Banned Books Week Sept 27th – Oct 4th

Well now, what kind of librarian would I be if I didn’t mention Banned Book Week on my blog?

The American Library Association (ALA) has posted the 10 most frequently banned books and authors of 2007. I’ve posted the list below the link. I must say that some of these authors are repeat offenders, and I am glad that this is being brought to attention. Although my library doesn’t receive many complaints about books, I haven’t had to figure out the psychology behind the “I didn’t like it, so no one else should read it” mentality.

This is what ALA had to say about BBW on their website:

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, this annual ALA event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. This year, 2008, marks BBW’s 27th anniversary (September 27 through October 4).

BBW celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

BBW is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Intellectual freedom, censorship and copyright issues are some of the most prevalent issues libraries deal with on a daily basis. We are just gatekeepers to information. Librarians aren’t parents or guardians. We are not responsible for sitting down a child and explaining why certain materials are not age appropriate. That should be the parent’s responsibility. Its never fair that parents try to shirk away that responsibility just by getting rid of the book. The problem will resurface eventually.

Most libraries will have some sort of display or lists of frequently banned books. Many other locations, college campuses, bookstores, etc, will be hosting read-outs. My former college is hosting a read-out today, gathering people to read 15-20 minutes from their favorite banned book. I unfortunately won’t be able to make it, but you can check out this link to find out what is going on in your state and local area. BannedBooksWeekpicturecopy.jpg picture by n_avanesian

1) “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group
2) The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence
3) “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes
Reasons: Sexually Explicit and Offensive Language

4) “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman
Reasons:  Religious Viewpoint

5) “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain
Reasons:  Racism

6) “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language,

7) “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

8) “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
Reasons:  Sexually Explicit

9) “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris
Reasons:  Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

10) “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons:  Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

Off the list this year, are two books by author Toni Morrison. “The Bluest Eye” and “Beloved,” both challenged for sexual content and offensive language.

The most frequently challenged authors of 2007

1) Robert Cormier
2) Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
3) Mark Twain
4) Toni Morrison
5) Philip Pullman
6) Kevin Henkes
7) Lois Lowry
8) Chris Crutcher
9) Lauren Myracle
10) Joann Sfar



Books Inc. Burlingame
1375 Burlingame Ave
Burlingame, CA 94010

Will have a Banned Books Week display


UC Davis Bookstore
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Will have a Banned Books Week display


Valley Beth Shalom Day School Sheila Sporn Library
15739 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91436

Will have a Banned Books Week display
Will have a Banned Books Week event

October 2, 3, 7
Susan Dubin

We are a PreK-6 School. On October 2nd, 3rd and 7th, we will have each class visit the library and explore some of the books that have been challenged. Children and teachers will sign a “Freedom to Read” poster saying “I read Banned Books!” with the name of the book they read and their name. Challenged books will be on display and available for check-out. Students will also be encouraged to write to their local council person and representative explaining their reasons for supporting the right to read.


Arnold O. Beckman H. S. Library
3588 Bryan Avenue
Irvine, CA 92603

Will have a Banned Books Week display

714-734-2900 x525

Loma Linda

Floodway Bookstore
24818 Redlands Blvd.
Loma Linda, CA 92354-4002

Will have a Banned Books Week display


Mountain View

Books Inc.
301 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Rob Garcelon

Palo Alto

Books Inc.
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto , CA 94301

Will have a Banned Books Week display


Valencia Library
500 N. Bradford Ave.
Placentia, CA 92708

Will have a Banned Books Week display
Will have a Banned Books Week event

Joy Millam
714-996-4970 x3250


Raven’s Tale
352 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667

Will have a Banned Books Week display


Kern County Library, Ridgecrest Branch
131 E Las Flores Ave
Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Marsha Lloyd

Display and collection of books which have been banned or challenged, handouts.

San Francisco

San Francisco Center for the Book
300 De Haro Street
San Francisco, CA 94131

Will have a Banned Books Week display
Will have a Banned Books Week event

August 15-November 26, 2008

Banned & Recovered: Artists Respond to Censorship More than 60 artists interpret banned or challenged books in their chosen medium in response to the suppression of literary art. Curator Hanna Regev has assembled more than 60 artists, each interpreting a banned book of their choice. “Collectively,” says Regev, “the work initiates an important undertaking—the recovery of fragments of our censored history. We felt that the pairing of visual and graphic artists with these banned and threatened books was a natural one. After all, what better group to interpret suppressed works than visual artists who are already so attuned to the threat of censorship. The show is a powerful reminder of the fragility of our freedoms, many of which are being chipped away by the Patriot Act. It is a powerful testament to the irrepressible creative spirit.”

Compass Books
Terminal 3
San Francisco International Airport
San Francisco, CA 94128

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Books Inc.
2251 Chestnut St.
San Francisco, CA 94123

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Books Inc. in the Castro
2275 Market St. @ 16th
San Francisco, CA 94114

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Gregory Armenta

Books Inc. Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Jody Diel

Books Inc.
3515 California St
San Francisco, CA 94118

Will have a Banned Books Week display

School of the Arts High School
555 Portola Drive
San Francisco, CA 94131

Will have a Banned Books Week display
Will have a Banned Books Week event

Sheldon Atwater


Small World Books
1407 Ocean Front Walk`
Venice, CA 90291

Will have a Banned Books Week display

Mary Goodfader

3 responses to “Banned Books Week Sept 27th – Oct 4th

  1. I’m doing a week-long celebrationg at The Book Lady’s Blog, if you’d like to leave a link over there. Thanks, and happy BBW!

  2. Banned Books Week is “shameless propaganda … now institutionalized with a week of its own.”

    “Those who are spreading hysteria about book banning and censorship know that they are in a war, but too many of those who thoughtlessly repeat their rhetoric do not.”

    See who said this (not me) and more here:

    Even a former ALA Councilor said:

    “It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don’t talk about much–the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it’s totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all.”

  3. I always find out about this week too late to get myself a banned book to read! Last year I read And Tango Makes Three, but since my library had no copies because crazies had stolen all three, I had to buy my own copy and an extra one to donate to my library. Apparently boy-on-boy penguin egg hatching porn (????) is more of a sin than stealing library books. They said they had even found one of their stolen copies in a bathroom garbage in the library, but when they cleaned it off and put it back, it disappeared again.

Your 2 Cents

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s