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Banned Books Week: Welcome

Resources and information for Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week: September 22 - 28, 2024

Banned Books Week • October 1-7 2023

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2023

"ALA documented 4,240 unique book titles targeted for censorship in 2023—a 65% surge over 2022 numbers—as well as 1,247 demands to censor library books, materials, and resources. Pressure groups focused on public libraries in addition to targeting school libraries. The number of titles targeted for censorship at public libraries increased by 92% over the previous year, accounting for about 46% of all book challenges in 2023" (ALA, Top 10 Most Challenged Books).

The ten most challenged titles, along with reasons cited for censoring the books, are featured in the video posted below. Click here to view the video on YouTube.

What is Banned Books Week?

"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 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" (ALA, Banned Books Week, 2024).

History of Banned Books Week

"Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in libraries, bookstores, and schools. By focusing on efforts to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship" (ALA, Banned Books Week, 2024).

Challenged verses Banned

Banned vs Challenged: What's the difference?

Challenge: "An attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.

Banned:  Removal of materials.

Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection" (ALA, Banned Book FAQs, 2024).

References & Citations

"Banned Books Week (October 1 - 7, 2023)", American Library Association, December 11, 2012. (Accessed April 10, 2024)

"Free Downloads", American Library Association, January 3, 2013. (Accessed April 10, 2024)


Diane Schrecker

Diane Schrecker, MLIS, M.Ed.

Curriculum & Instruction Librarian
Head of the IRC
☏ 419.207.6406

Instructional Resource Center
Archer Library at Ashland University
509 College Avenue
Ashland, OH 44805

☏ 419.289.5406

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Take our banned books week poll!

top ten most challenged books of 2023

Take the Poll!

How would you rate your knowledge of banned and/or censored books?

I'd rate my skill level as ...
Great! I am a banned books week guru.: 6 votes (35.29%)
Okay. I know a t hing or two about banned books.: 9 votes (52.94%)
Rookie. I'm confused by banned vs challenged.: 2 votes (11.76%)
Total Votes: 17



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