Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrated in September (this year Sept.23-29) and is a celebration of the freedom to read.  The event was created in 1982, when a sudden surge of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries.

In 1982, the Island Trees School District that decided to remove books from their school libraries that the school boards felt went against the values they hoped to instill in students. This decision was challenged by five students and the case ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court, where it was decided that, under the First Amendment, local school boards could not remove books from the library if they disliked ideas contained in those books. However, challenges from parents and school boards occur regularly against content on religious, political, or moral grounds.

In Canada, books and other publications are often challenged and asked to be removed from the shelves of schools and libraries and are sometimes prevented entry into the country at the border. In response, organizations such as the Book and Periodical Council (BPC) monitor and raise awareness on censorship issues in Canada and celebrate the freedom to read and the freedom of expression. One of their projects it the Freedom to Read Week.

 

Learn more about books you may be surprised were banned