Vincennes University student Kane Jones, Owensville, reads a selection during VU's Banned Books Week Readout on Sept. 29 in front of the Shake Learning Resources Center. This annual event celebrates the freedom to read. Banned Books Week, Sept. 24-30, brings together the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types 0 in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools.