Takoma Park Maryland Library · 101 Philadelphia Avenue · Takoma Park Maryland 20912 USA · 301.891.7259

September 28, 2005

Banned Books

This is again Banned Books Week. A challenged book is one that a person or group attempted to remove or restrict. A banned book is one that was removed in response to a challenge. Challenges happen all the time. Banning is rare as librarians can be very determined people.

Nationally, the most challenged books of 2004, according to the American Library Association, were:
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier (copies in J paperbacks, adult fiction, and audiotapes)
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers (we don't own this title)
Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael A. Bellesiles (363.33)
Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey (J fiction)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (J fiction)
What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones (we don't own this title)
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak (picture book collection)
King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland (we don't own this title)
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (818.54)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (adult fiction and adult paperbacks)

Reasons given for the challenges? sexual content, homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, political viewpoint, modeling bad behavior, nudity, racism.

And the most challenged authors were:
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Robert Cormier
Judy Blume
Toni Morrison
Chris Lynch
Barbara Park
Gary Paulsen
Dav Pilkey
Maurice Sendak
Sonya Sones
We have books by all these authors in our collection.

Have you ever seen The Library Bill of Rights? The Code of Ethics? The Freedom to Read statement? The Freedom to View statement? (but we don't have videos) These form the written, explicit record of the ethical committment of professional librarians.

Posted by library at September 28, 2005 04:12 PM