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Banned & Challenged Books: Banned Book Week

This guide contains information about the difference between banned and challenged books, the statistics behind the who and why of challenges, and the most challenged books of the year.

Banned Book Week


Banned Book Week

Banned Book Week is a celebration of our freedom to read, and is usually held during the last week of September. 


The intent of this event is to help people become aware of the reasons behind book challenges and the danger of banning books simply because ideas in them might make some people uncomfortable. 

The basic premise is that, if one individual doesn't like the contents of a book, they are welcome to not read it, however, they shouldn't make that decision for everyone.  Everyone has the right to choose what books they want to read.

From (

"Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

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. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country."

Challenged v. Banned Books:

It is important to note the difference between "challenged books" and "banned books":

  • Challenged Books - books that someone has formally complained about, or challenged the presence of, in order to attempt to have items removed or restricted in the library.  Note: this is not just them expressing their point of view, but an attempt to prevent others from accessing the same material. 
  • Banned Books - books that have been removed from the library after a formal challenge has been issued and, hopefully, reviewed or gone through an evaluation process and discussions.



30 Years of Liberating Literature Timeline

Librarian: Dawn Jackson

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Dawn Jackson
CCAC North Campus, Library
Reference: 412-369-3602

Librarian: Chris Galluzzo

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Christopher Galluzzo
North Campus Library
Community College of Allegheny County
8701 Perry Highway
Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5372
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