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Banned Books Week 2021: Banned & Challenged Books 101

A guide to links and Banned Books Week resources on the web and home to the world famous UST Banned Book Trivia contest!

Why Celebrate Banned Books Week?


The American Library Association defines Banned Books Week as "the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.....BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them."

Comic Book League Defense Fund (CBDLF) Links

Why Comic Books are Banned
"Comics are challenged for all of the same content reasons that other books are challenged, but are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of the medium’s visual nature..."

Banned and Challenged Comics
CBLDF's list of banned and/or challenged comic books

History of Comics Censorship
"This six part series puts our ever-popular convention presentation on the history of comics censorship into print, covering the history of comics censorship from book burnings and the establishment of the Comics Code Authority to modern day library challenges and attacks on manga."

What's the difference between banning or challenging a book?

According to the American Libraries Association website

"A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.  A banning is the removal of those 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."


Banned Books on the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.


Banned Books on the Internet Archive

Browse Banned Books by Subject/Keyword


The History (and Present) of Banning Books in America

"In those early days, Banned Books Week consisted almost entirely of libraries and bookstores hanging posters and displaying banned books. “Those displays were enormously effective communication tools,” says Finan, “because people would wander over and find out that the books they love had been challenged. Suddenly they understood that censorship isn’t just about fringe literature.”

How Banning Books Marginalizes Children


Since the 1800s, attitudes about which books are “appropriate” for kids to read have too often suppressed stories about different cultures and life experiences.