Banned Books Week has Begun!

Welcome to the Tyler libraries celebration of Banned Books Week 2016!  This week, the Library Space blog will feature posts highlighting the importance of initiatives like Banned Books Weeks and fighting censorship in our public libraries, school, and institutions!

To start the week, let’s talk a little about the background of Banned Books Week. It started over 30 years ago with Judith Krug, a first amendment and library activist. Ms. Krug contacted the American Library Association’s committee on Intellectual Freedom about the banning of books in public institutions.  Shortly after contacting ALA, Banned Books Week was formed and libraries have been championing this cause since.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA).  ALA supports and advocates for all library issues and topics, but one of the main tenets of ALA Library Bill of Rights (2016) is, “libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.”  To uphold this idea and policy, ALA does not advocate for the censorship of any materials found in school, public, academic, or any other type of library, instead they celebrate and promote the books that are challenged or banned in many areas.

But why do people want to ban books?  Most of the time it comes from good intentions to protect children from works that may be seen as taboo or unfavorable to someone’s liking.  While the intent is noble, it is against intellectual freedom to decide what is appropriate for someone else who may not share the same point of view. Thirty-four years ago, ALA began bringing attention to the number of attempts to censor information in public, school, and other libraries.  To commemorate the history of Banned Books Week, visit the ALA interactive timeline of 30 years of the most significant banned books:

Before we start highlighting our favorite banned books, check out some information on this cause and how to spread awareness about intellectual freedom:


Tomorrow’s post will feature the most commonly banned works available at your Tyler Libraries!  Happy reading!

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