Banned books and other forms of censorship

On the banning of books, censorship and other freedom of access issues

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More than a book a day challenged in U.S.

A press release of the American Library Association promoting Banned Books Week (Sept. 23-30) reports:

"More than a book a day faces expulsion from free and open public access in U.S. schools and libraries every year. There have been more than 8,700 attempts since the American Library Association (ALA) began electronically compiling and publishing information on book challenges in 1990..."

It is not clear from the press release how many of these efforts are successful.

The ALA press release also says:

"There were 405 known attempts to remove books in 2005. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. About 70 percent of challenges take place in schools and school libraries. "

Update: According to Associated Press, the 405 challenges is the lowest on record since ALA first began tracking the number of challenges in the 1980s. AP also reports:

"The number of works actually pulled has also decreased over the past quarter century, from more than 200 in 1982, to at least 44 last year, including Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," the Nobel laureate's debut novel. The school board in Littleton, Colo., ordered the book removed, largely because of the story includes the rape of an 11-year-old girl by her father."

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