This is the "Home" page of the "Banned Books" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Banned Books   Tags: banned books, challenged books, general interest  

What are banned books and why are books banned? This research guide will help you answer these questions and understand more about this topic.
Last Updated: Mar 23, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Home Print Page

Banned Books

Beware of the book

This image appears on the ALA Banned Books website.


    2016 Banned Books Week

    September 25−October 1, 2016


    What are banned or challenged books?

    What are challenged or banned books?

    According to the American Library Association, a challenged book is a book that someone has attempted to remove or restrict. A banned book is a book that has been removed from a collection.

    The banning and challenging of books has a long history throughout the world. Hundreds of books are challenged and banned each year in the United States alone. The American Library Association keeps statistics on those incidents which are forwarded to the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom.

    Who challenges books the most in our country?

    Parents are by far the largest group to request a book removed from a school library or reading list, or from the shelves of a public library. For a breakdown of groups that challenge the rights of individuals to read books, see this chart from the American Library Association:

    Why are books challenged or banned?

    Books can be challenged or banned for many reasons. Sexually explicit material tops the lists of reasons that books have been challenged or banned. Other reasons include obscene language offensive language, unsuitable for age level, homosexuality, racism, politics and religion.


    The First Amendment

    In the United States, your right to read what you want is protected by the First Amendment. In a free society, the author and reader are protected. Read more about this at:

    Below is a list of notable First Amendment Cases:

    Here are other resources of interest on this topic:


    Books in the FLCC Library About Book Banning and Censorship Issues

    Cover Art
    Burning Books - Haig Bosmajian
    Call Number: REF Z659 .B67 2006
    ISBN: 0786422084

    Cover Art
    First Amendment Law in a Nutshell - Jerome Barron
    Call Number: REF KF4770.Z9 B37 2004
    ISBN: 0314146113
    Publication Date: 2004

    Cover Art
    Freedom for the Thought That We Hate - Anthony Lewis
    Call Number: KF4770 .L49 2009
    ISBN: 9780465018192
    Publication Date: 2009

    Cover Art
    Obscene in the extreme : the burning and banning of John Steinbeck’s The grapes of wrath - Rick Wartzman
    Call Number: PS3537.T3234 G895 2008
    ISBN: 9781586483319
    Publication Date: 2008


    Loading  Loading...