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Vulgar. Obscene. Immoral.
Or Inspiring?

Banned Books Week

Vulgar. Obscene. Immoral.

Or Inspiring?

People use many different words to describe books that challenge the status quo and shape our nation’s identity. For many, these books are beacons of hope and inspiration. For others, they’re harmful distractions–works that do not reflect the best of a community.

Banned Books Week is a time to celebrate dissenters and discomfort—the struggle we all experience with ideas and characters that trouble us...and the courage we show in acknowledging they still have a right to exist.

It’s a time to embrace perspectives that can be unsettling, even harsh, and the creators who force us to confront those views. 

Finally, Banned Books Week is a time to resist the temptation to silence any voice, no matter how dangerous we perceive it to be. After all, if we allow one person’s story to be silenced, the next could be our own.

Join with NPL as we celebrate Banned Books Week during the last week in September each year. Let your voice merge with ours as we proclaim that, at our library, no one will be censored. No one will be silenced.

Learn more at bannedbooksweek.org.

Banned Books that Shaped America

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The Library of Congress created an exhibit which explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life." This is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned and/or challenged.

Celebrate Intellectual Liberty

"Since 1990, the American Library Association (ALA) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal complaint requesting to remove a book from library shelves or a school's curriculum...Challenges are an attempt at censorship, and censorship denies our individual freedom to choose and think for ourselves. However, thanks to librarians, teachers, parents, and students, most challenges are unsuccessful. So, books like I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Harry Potter series, John Green's novels, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series remain available—as do different versions of the Bible and Koran." - Kent Oliver, Nashville Public Library

Kent Oliver is Director of Nashville Public Library. He is a past chair of ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee and past president of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Read the complete Op-Ed piece in the Tennessean.

Banned Books Week Events

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Banned Books Week Displays

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Banned Books Week 2016