It’s that time of year again: Banned Books Week is from September 23-29, 2018, celebrating books that a community or person has deemed as unfit or offensive and asked to be removed from a library, school or bookstore. Banned Books Week is a celebration of your freedom to read and your First Amendment rights!
Below are some staff picks of our favorite banned books!
Glenn, Library Director
Bible - Challenged for its religious viewpoints in schools
Talmud - Challenged by the pope
Ellen Jacobs, Teen Librarian
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - Religious parents want Harry Potter banned from the classroom because it 'glorifies witchcraft'
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Has been challenged due to strong language, discussion of sexuality and rape, and use of the n-word
Kevin O’Kelly, Head of Reference
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne - Banned because it might offend Muslim students and their parents
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Challenged at a Baptist College in South Carolina for language and sexual references
Tim Devin, Technology Librarian
AnnaMarie Almeda, Children’s Librarian
Strega Nona by Tomie DePaola - Banned because of its use of witchery and supernatural elements like the magic pasta pot
Mary Terry, Reference Librarian
Looking for Alaska by John Green - Challenged for offensive language and sexually explicit descriptions.
I really liked the author's defense or explanation when he said "Text is meaningless without context. What usually happens with Looking for Alaska is that a parent chooses one page of the novel to send to an administrator and then the book gets banned without anyone who objects to it having read more than that one particular page.” He went on to say, "So far as I can tell that kind of narrowly prescriptive reading only happens in the offices of school superintendents.” The best–selling writer continued, “If you have a worldview that can be undone with a novel, let me submit that the problem is not with the novel.”
Karen Kramer, Head of West Branch Library
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum - Banned for depicting women in strong roles
Wendy Wood, Head of Cataloging
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - Banned for use of the F-word and other profanities
If you’re interested in banned books and preventing censorship, please come to our banned books program on September 29th for a read-a-thon, crafts table, prizes and coffee! The program will be held at the Central Library Auditorium from 1 - 3pm.
Remember, Stand up for your Right to Read!