Join us at the Port Jefferson Free Library as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week. This weeklong celebration was created to raise awareness of and about censorship and to celebrate the freedom to read! It was started by library activist Judith Krug in 1982. The American Library Association as well as other organizations support the event. For the complete list click here.
Libraries and librarians stand as providers of information and defenders of the freedom of access to information. The Library Bill of Rights, which applies to librarians and the public they serve says:
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.
Censorship is not a new invention, and for as long as the written word had existed there have been those who would seek to control it.
It is important to clarify the difference between a challenge to a particular book and a ban. A challenge is a formal request that asks for an item to be removed or access to be restricted.A ban simply removes the book completely. A challenge is presented to the authority responsible for the library (usually a Board of Trustees or in a school the Board of Education). The challenge is reviewed by the Board and then they make a decision which will result in either a ban or the book remains on the shelf. The grounds for such requests are usually political, religious, or focus on “offensive” content.
While many people have heard through the media about challenges to books such as the Harry Potter Series and other titles for children and teens, there are many other books that have been challenged over the years. Here is a list that illustrates variety and age of books in this category:
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Brideshead Revisted by Evelyn Waugh
- The Catcher in the Rye
- Candide by Voltaire
For more information about banned and challenged books please click here.
Celebrate your freedom to read and check out one of these books today. Look for our display on the table in the Reading Room.