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Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

September 18-24, 2022

Celebrating the Freedom to Read

About Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is a weeklong celebration of freedom (f-READ-om??) and a way to highlight current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Reading is an indispensable tool for intellectual freedom, and this annual event supports the freedom to seek and express ideas - the freedom to read the books that challenge us (even those which may be considered unpopular or uncomfortable). Removing or restricting access to books creates barriers. Books have the power to reach across boundaries - to build connections between readers by allowing us to share our stories with one another. 

In conjunction with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, McGill Library declares this week Freedom to Read Week! This week, let’s talk about how we can all benefit from the American shared freedom to choose and read books for our own interests. To learn more about Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association's Banned & Challenged Books page.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

The American Library Association tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1,597 individual books that were challenged or banned in 2021, these are the top 10 most challenged. 

Statistics courtesy of the American Library Association.

Frequently Banned & Challenged Books

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has been tracking and recording attempts to ban books since 1990. The following list is just a snapshot of the most banned and challenged books. For a more extensive list and some great information, visit the ALA page for more Frequently Challenged Books

Censorship by the Numbers


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Kira Hess
McGill 109