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Banned Books

Banned Books Week is observed during the last week of September each year and its purpose is to remind Americans not to take the freedom to choose or to express an opinion for granted.
Celebrate Your Freedom to Read with American libraries and read a banned book.
The Library’s own graphic designer Jill Marshall-Work composed the poem “Read a Banned Book” for the 2008 Banned Books Week.

“Read a Banned Book”
By Jill Marshall-Work

Once in a happy and faraway land,
no one thought books should be challenged or banned.
People read histories and mysteries galore, non-fiction, fairy tales, classics and more!

People knew access to books is required
to keep our brains challenged, enlightened, inspired.
Then came the words fervent booklovers dread:
“Should J.D. Salinger ever be read?”

Soon many voices chimed in to complain,
Ban C.S. Lewis, James Joyce, and Mark Twain.
No Maya Angelou; Chaucer’s risqué;
Banish 'The Bible.' Lock Dickens away.

No Arthur Miller, lock up "The Koran."
Steinbeck and Hawthorne wrote books we should ban.
Padlock 'The Talmud,' put Freud in seclusion.
Challenging Darwin’s a foregone conclusion.

Ban the Anne Frank. No 'And Tango Makes Three.'
Put Harry Potter behind lock and key.
Get rid of 'Junie B. Jones' and Thoreau.
Ditch Dr. Seuss; even Shakespeare should go!

Yet still in libraries, doors open wide, sharing the treasures the books hold inside.
So celebrate books, show the world where you stand.
Open your mind, read a book that’s been banned.

American Library Association's Banned Books Week

This page from the American Library Association celebrates Banned Book Week.

The File Room

A list of documented censorship cases worldwide.

The Online Books Page: Banned Books Online

Links to the e-text of a selection of banned books in the public domain, published by the University of Pennsylvania.