Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read September 29-October 4, 2008
Banned Books Week • Celebration of an Individuals First Amendment Rights and Intellectual Freedom • Resist Censorship • Access for all • Education
First Amendment • Freedom of Speech • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The First Amendment is often interpreted to mean Freedom of Expression. As the written word is a form of expression, the First Amendment can be said to protect individuals’ right to read and write without persecution. • Freedom to Read Statement • Freedom to View Statement
Intellectual Freedom • Definition: • Intellectual freedom is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. It provides for free access to all expressions of ideas through which any and all sides of a question, cause or movement may be explored. • Universal Declaration of Human Rights • Article 19 • “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” • United Nations: 1948 • American Library Association • Code of Ethics • Article II
Censorship • Definition: • Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons—individuals, groups or government officials—find objectionable or dangerous.
Library Bill of Rights • I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. • II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. • III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. • IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas. • V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views. • VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
“The Library is an open sanctuary. It is devoted to individual intellectual inquiry and contemplation. Its function is to provide free access to ideas and information. It is a haven of privacy, a source of both cultural and intellectual sustenance for the individual reader. Since it is thus committed to free and open inquiry on a personal basis, the Library must remain open, with access to it always guaranteed.” Robert Vosper, University of Kansas, Spencer Research Library, 1970
Frequently Banned Books of 2007 1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris10.The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Top 10 in the last 20 • Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz • Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou • The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck • Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling • Forever by Judy Blume • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson • Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Most Frequently Banned Books of the 21th Century 1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling 2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier 3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 4. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck 5. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou 6. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers 7. "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris 8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz 9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey 10. "Forever" by Judy Blume
Frequently Banned Books of the 20th Century • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald • The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger • The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee • The Color Purple, Alice Walker • Ulysses, James Joyce • Beloved, Toni Morrison • The Lord of the Flies, William Golding • 1984, George Orwell • Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Challenged in Arkansas • 41 separate books reported to the American Library Association. • Bentonville, Bryant, Cedarville, Concord, Conway, Fayetteville, Glen Rose, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Mena, Pea Ridge, Pine Bluff, Rogers-Hough, Searcy, Springdale
Challenged in Arkansas • Glen Rose • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes • 1981, Glen Rose High School • References to sex • Hot Springs • Run, Shelley, Run • 1977, Central Junior High • Objectionable language
Challenged in Arkansas • Little Rock • Blood Summer by Don Asher • 1979, unknown location • Returned to publisher for not meeting literary standards • Beach House by RL Stine (Fear Street series) • 1996, Pulaski Heights Elem. School • Descriptions of boys intimidating and killing girls
Challenged in Arkansas • Bryant • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck • 1998, Bryant school library • “takes God’s name in vain…” • Multiple Areas • Harry Potter Series • Various times and locations • Use of magic and promotion of the occult
Want more information? • Doyle, Robert. Banned Books. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007. • Roberts, Michelle. "Banned Books: A Pathfinder". University at Albany. September 1, 2008 <http://www.albany.edu/~mr3240/isp605/>. • Lesesne, Teri S. Hit List for Young Adults 2: frequently challenged books. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002. • Rogers, Donald, J. Banned!: Book Censorship in the Schools. New York: Messner, 1988. • Becker, Beverly C. Hit List for Children 2: frequently challenged books. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002. • Perez, N. "Banned Books Week". American Library Association. September 1, 2008 <http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/bannedbooksweek/bannedbooksweek.cfm>.
Sources • American Library Association • www.ala.org • United Nations • www.un.org • Doyle, Robert. Banned Books. Chicago: American Library Association, 2007.