Have you read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” or John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” or Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”?  These and many other books have been the subject of censorship attempts by individuals and groups who wanted to remove them from library shelves and from being discussed in classrooms.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read.  Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information.  Banned Books Week unites the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of every type – in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some would consider unorthodox or unpopular.   This year marks the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week and the theme is “30 years of Liberating Literature.”

Through focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Weeks brings attention to the harm of censorship.

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country. We compile lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.  Extensive information on banned and challenged books has been compiled by the American Library Association.

Dublin Library has put up a display of books that have been targets of attempted censorship and we encourage you to check them out and celebrate your freedom to read what you want and make up your own mind on controversial topics.

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