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Banned Books Week September 24-October 1, 2011


WHAT TO DO ABOUT BANNING BOOKS? Exercise your rights! Read a banned ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Banned Books Week September 24-October 1, 2011

Banned Books WeekSeptember 24-October 1, 2011
What does it mean to ban a book?
  • Banning a book is when a person or group decides
    that a book is so inappropriate in some way that
    NO ONE should read the book. Then the person or
    group has the book removed from the shelves of

How does a book get banned?
  • An individual or group files a formal challenge
    with a school or library, requesting that a book
    or material be removed
  • The school or library forms a committee to review
    the material
  • The committee votes on if the material should be
    removed or retained
  • If the material is kept on the shelf, the person
    filing the complaint may file another complaint
    with the court system, which then will review the

How often are books banned?
  • In 2010, there were 348 (down in number from
    2009) REPORTED challenges. A challenge is
    defined as a formal, written complaint, filed
    with a library or school requesting that
    materials be removed because of content or
  • A book is challenged if someone requests that it
    be removed from library shelves.
  • A book is banned if the library or school agrees
    to remove it from circulation.
  • More challenges are filed against school than
    other institutions.

Why are books challenged or banned?
  • Books usually are challenged to protect others,
    frequently children, from difficult ideas and
  • Most librarians see challenges as grounded in
    good intention and pure in conviction, but they
    are ultimately illegal and restrictive.

Why are books challenged?
Why are books challenged or banned?The ISSUES
  • Family values
  • Political values
  • Intellectual freedom (think Iran and President
    Ahmadinejads comments that the Holocaust did not
    happenor at least not to the extent others

Why not ban books?1st Amendment rights--
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
    free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom
    of speech, or of the press or the right of the
    people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
    government for a redress of grievances.

Whats wrong with Banning Books?
  • Books provide education on a wide variety of
    subjects and the opportunity to have an
    experience vicariously
  • Without a wide variety of views, change cannot
    occur within a society
  • It is not possible to experience events such as
    the Holocaust or life in Puritan society but
    these events helped shape the world we live in
    today and it is important to have knowledge of
    those events.

Effects of Banning Books
  • Without examples such as Maya Angelous
    experiences in her childhood (I know why the
    Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou), how would
    people who have not experienced racism learn
    about racism?
  • Without The Scarlet Letter, how would we
    understand Puritan society and how it operated?
  • Without Fahrenheit 451, how would you understand
    what effect burning books could have on a person
    and how the desire for banned items increases
    their interest and mystery?

  • In other words, reading is an opportunity to
    experience an event without actually living
    through it.

Should other people decide what YOU read?
  • Parents and teachers are responsible for helping
    you select reading materials while they are still
    responsible for you. But as an adult, you have
    the freedom to read books of your choice and to
    decide what your children may or may not be
    allowed to read.

According to the Library Bill of Rights..
  • Parentshave the right and the responsibility to
    restrict the access of their childrenand only
    their childrento library resources. Censorship
    by librarians of constitutionally protected
    speech, whether for protection or for any other
    reason, violates the First Amendment.

Challenges by Year
What books have been banned?
  • Banned for depictions of sex, racism, and violence

What books have been banned?
  • Offensive language

What books have been banned?
  • Ordered BURNED in East St. Louis for indecency
    and obscenityit actually was restricted to
    adults only instead of being burned

What books have been banned?
  • Banned in a number of places over the years
    because of objections to the language used and
    the perception that the book promotes racism

What books have been banned?
  • Fahrenheit 451 is about book burning and the
    effect that banning or censoring books has on a

What books have been banned?
  • Many have objected to the magical content in
    this book, claiming it promotes witchcraft and
    evil content. (It was written by the daughter of
    Christian missionaries and she is still writing

What books have been banned?
  • Many have objected to the magical content in
    this book, and the other Harry Potter books,
    claiming it promotes witchcraft and evil content.

What books have been banned?
  • This book was banned because there is a wine
    bottle in the basket on the cover of the book.
    Some people felt it promoted drinking alcoholic

What books have been banned?
  • This book was banned for encouraging
    inappropriate behavior

What books have been banned?
  • Banned for inappropriate content, promotion of

What books have been banned?
  • Banned in some schools and libraries because
    inappropriate pictures

What books have been banned?
  • Banned in some schools and libraries because of
    content about the logging industrycriminalizes
    the forestry industry

2010-top ten challenged books
  • And Tango Makes Three / Justin Richardson and
    Peter Parnell
  • Ttyl, ttfn, l8r,g8r series / Lauren Myracle
  • Brave New World / Alodus Huxley
  • Crank / Ellen Hopkins
  • The Hunger Games / Collins
  • Lush / Natasha Friend

More books challenged--
  • 7. What My Mother Doesnt Know / Sonia Sones
  • 8. Nickel and Dimed / Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 9. Revolutionary Voices / Amy Sonnie
  • 10. Twilight / Stephanie Meyer
  • We have these in our library

Other books challenged--
  • Black Beauty / Anna Sewell
  • The Bible
  • Animal Farm / George Orwell
  • Catcher in the Rye / J. D. Salinger
  • Goosebumps books / R. L. Stine
  • Scary Stories / Alvin Schwartz
  • --and many more..

Court Cases(Foundations of Free Speech)
  • The Right to Read Freely
  • Evans v. Selma Union High School District of
    Fresno County, 222 P. 801 (Ca. 1924)
  • The California State Supreme Court held that the
    King James version of the Bible was not a
    "publication of a sectarian, partisan, or
    denominational character" that a State statute
    required a public high school library to exclude
    from its collections. The "fact that the King
    James version is commonly used by Protestant
    Churches and not by Catholics" does not "make its
    character sectarian," the court stated. "The mere
    act of purchasing a book to be added to the
    school library does not carry with it any
    implication of the adoption of the theory or
    dogma contained therein, or any approval of the
    book itself, except as a work of literature fit
    to be included in a reference library."

Court Cases (Foundations of Free Speech)
  • Rosenberg v. Board of Education of City of New
    York, 92 N.Y.S.2d 344 (Sup. Ct. Kings County
  • After considering the charge that Oliver
    Twist and the Merchant of Venice are
    "objectionable because they tend to engender
    hatred of the Jew as a person and as a race," the
    Supreme Court, Kings County, New York, decided
    that these two works cannot be banned from the
    New York City schools, libraries, or classrooms,
    declaring that the Board of Education "acted in
    good faith without malice or prejudice and in the
    best interests of the school system entrusted to
    their care and control, and, therefore, that no
    substantial reason exists which compels the
    suppression of the two books under consideration."

Court Cases (Foundations of Free Speech)
  • Minarcini v. Strongsville (Ohio) City School
    District, 541 F.2d 577 (6th Cir. 1976)
  • The Strongsville City Board of Education rejected
    faculty recommendations to purchase Joseph
    Heller's Catch-22 and Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless
    You, Mr. Rosewater and ordered the removal of
    Catch-22 and Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle from the
    library. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth
    Circuit ruled against the School Board, upholding
    the students' First Amendment right to receive
    information and the librarian's right to
    disseminate it. "The removal of books from a
    school library is a much more serious burden upon
    the freedom of classroom discussion than the
    action found unconstitutional in Tinker v. Des
    Moines School District."

Court Cases(Freedom of Expression in Schools)
  • Zykan v. Warsaw (Indiana) Community School
    Corporation and Warsaw School Board of Trustees,
    631 F.2d 1300 (7th Cir. 1980)
  • A student brought suit seeking to reverse school
    officials' decision to "limit or prohibit the use
    of certain textbooks, to remove a certain book
    from the school library, and to delete certain
    courses from the curriculum." The district court
    dismissed the suit. On appeal, the Court of
    Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the
    school board has the right to establish a
    curriculum on the basis of its own discretion,
    but it is forbidden to impose a "pall of
    orthodoxy." The right of students to file
    complaints was recognized, but the court held
    that the students' claims "must cross a
    relatively high threshold before entering upon
    the field of a constitutional claim suitable for
    federal court litigation."

What to do about banning books?
  • Exercise your rights! Read a banned book today
  • Talk to your neighbors about why everyone should
    be allowed to choose for themselves and their
    families what they read
  • If you want to know more, visit the ALA website
    on challenged and banned books

  • Poster Images from American Booksellers
    Foundation for Free Expression,
  • http//
  • Book Cover Images from Alibris
  • Court Case citations from The American Library
    Association, Notable First Amendment Court Cases
    website http//