Banned Books Week, Sept. 29- Oct. 6

By , October 1, 2007 7:51 am

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. This year it is from Sept. 29 – Oct. 6. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted.

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. It stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.

Between 1990 and 2000, of the 6,364 challenges reported to or recorded by the Office for Intellectual Freedom:

  • 1,607 were challenges to “sexually explicit” material (up 161 since 1999)
  • 1,427 to material considered to use “offensive language” (up 165 since 1999)
  • 1,256 to material considered “unsuited to age group” (up 89 since 1999)
  • 842 to material with an “occult theme or promoting the occult or Satanism” (up 69 since 1999)
  • 737 to material considered to be “violent” (up 107 since 1999)
  • 515 to material with a homosexual theme or “promoting homosexuality” (up 18 since 1999)
  • 419 to material “promoting a religious viewpoint” (up 22 since 1999)
  • 317 to material involving “nudity” (up 20 since 1999)
  • 267 to material involving “racism” (up 22 since 1999)
  • 224 to material involving “sex education” (up 7 since 1999)
  • 202 to material considered to be “anti-family” (up 9 since 1999)


Proclamation from the Butler Libraries
Quotes relating to Banned Books Week

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