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
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.
The following are superb award winners and are here waiting for readers. You don't have to browse through them while stuffed in a little carrell in the reference room - although you can't take reference titles home, you can carry them to any comfortable place in the library.
R 903 NEW New Dictionary of the History of Ideas 6 vol This is one of the most important works in our collection. Please read the preface (sorry, it is pdf) The original (old but beloved) Dictionary of Ideas has been digitized and is freely available online, but is no substitute for the pleasure of browsing the luxurious and expanded new six volume print version. (see also Sign of the Tomes)
R 391.03 ENCYCLO Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion 3 vol
v. 1. Academic dress to Eyeglasses --
v. 2. Fads to nylon --
v. 3. Occult dress to Zoran, Index.
Publishers Blurb While librarians may not be exemplars of fashion, they are very fond of good books about it. Fashion quotes.
If "beach reads" are 800 page paperbacks of dubious literary merit, here are two books for those of you stuck at home sitting in 6 inches of hot water in a plastic pool in the backyard. Clever, but also very light in mass.
813.6 CAIN Confessions of a teen sleuth : a parody / by Chelsea Cain ; illustrations by Lia Miternique. Frank Hardy, Tom Swift Jr., Encyclopedia, Cherry Ames - she knew them all. Did this parody need to be labeled as such lest some innocent think he/she has stumbled upon the real Nancy's original diaries? Or was it a legal maneuver? Whether a work is parody or satire matters for copyright purposes. Pictures.
818.607 ROBIN Saving face : how to lie, fake, and maneuver your way out of life's most awkward situations / Andy Robin and Gregg Kavet ; illustrated by Mike Pisiak. Though this is actually cataloged as a self-helf book, few but the most outrageous extroverts would actually follow any of the tips here. For the shy they are delicious to contemplate. You could probably read the whole thing in less than an hour, though this sort of humor may be better in much smaller doses. Just don't get it wet.