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Banned Books Week 2023


What is Banned Books Week?

"Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For more than 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, writers, journalists, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship."

- American Library Association

The Facts

Straight from the American Library Association

2022 saw over 1,200 demands to censor library books and other resources. Learn how this compares to past years, the numbers by state and other statistics.

Find maps and other visualizations on censored library materials.

Discover which titles were challenged most in 2022.

Want to learn more about trends in challenged books? Check out the archive of the most challenged books each year, going back to 2001.



Challenging the Challenges

There have been, and continue to be, many cases brought to court surrounding the censorship of books and resources. Below are just some of the more notable examples.

1924: Evans v. Selma Union High School District of Fresno County (California Supreme Court) (The King James Bible)

1972: Todd v. Rochester Community Schools, 41 Mich. App. 320 (Slaughterhouse Five)

1995: Case v. Unified School District No. 233, 908 F. Supp. 864 D. Kan. (Annie on My Mind)

2000: Sund v. City of Wichita Falls, Texas, 121 F. Supp. 2d 530 N.D. Texas (Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate)

2003: Counts v. Cedarville School District, 295 F.Supp.2d 996 W.D. Ark. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)


Additional Resources

There is always more to read, watch and learn!

Banned Books Alive

Members of our local community theater will recite passages from their favorite banned books on Tuesday, 10/17 at 6:00PM at the Downtown Branch of the Monroe County Public Library.

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out

The Banned Books Virtual Read-Out features videos of readers exercising their First Amendment right to read a banned book.

We're Here For You!

IU Libraries Resources

IU Libraries can answer your questions on the history of book censorship and legislation surrounding it. In addition to this guide, check out the guide specifically highlighting our Children's Collection.

For specific information on statistics and legislation around banned books, reach out to Emily Alford, Head of the GIMMS Department.

For general questions, you can chat, call or email us anytime!