UTC Library Celebrates the Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week, September 21-27, 2014
Join the UTC Library in observing this annual event, now in its 32nd year, which highlights books that have been challenged or banned and recognizes individuals and organizations that support the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable” noted U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan (Texas v. Johnson).
Librarians facing book challenges are supported not only by the Bill of Rights, but by policy documents and resources of the American Library Association (ALA). “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack” the ALA’s Freedom to Read Statement asserts.
The Association also provides an ongoing record of challenges reported to their Office for Intellectual Freedom. Just in the past decade, 5,099 challenges were reported. Of these:
- 1,577 challenges were due to “sexually explicit” material
- 1,291 challenges were due to “offensive language”
- 989 challenges were due to materials deemed “unsuited to age group”
- 619 challenges were due to “violence”
- 361 challenges were due to “homosexuality”
- 291 challenges were due to “religious viewpoint”
- 274 challenges were due to “occult or Satanic themes”
- 119 challenges were due to “anti-family”
While the majority of challenges were directed at K-12 libraries, colleges and universities were not exempt; 114 challenges were made to items used in campus classes and academic libraries received 30 challenges for material in their collections.
How are the novels The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and Bone by Jeff Smith related? They both appeared on ALA’s Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books for 2013. Every year, the ALA compiles a list and posts on their website: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10. Two of the ten for 2013 were graphic novels, a genre that has increasingly come under fire from censors thereby receiving special recognition from the Banned Books National Committee this year.
For select banned and challenged books that UTC Library owns, check out the following lists as well as the display on the 1st floor.
SUPPORT A FREE SOCIETY – READ A BANNED BOOK TODAY!