The key resource for researching why a particular title was challenged or banned are the publications of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The Office maintains information on which books are challenged and why and regularly publishes this information in the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy, where there may also be discussion of the events surrounding a challenge, and in a compilation published about every three years, most recently in Banned Books: Defending our Freedom to Read, edited by Robert P. Doyle. (Before 2016, similar information was in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.)
Doyle and others used histories of censorship to compile the initial listing of challenged or banned books; this bibliography is in the Guide, as well as included on a list of books on censorship maintained by the ALA Library.
More recent entries are derived from the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy or Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom.
This publication is available in many libraries around the country, or may be ordered from the ALA Store..
Bibliography supporting research on censorship, banned and challenged books, and intellectual freedom. For researching why a particular book has been challenged, we recommend the Banned Books Resource Guide, which is represented on this list by the most recent editions, as well as the entry for the serial comprised of all the editions.
The official journal of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). JIFP is a double-blind peer reviewed publication, topically focused on practical, moral, ethical, philosophical, and theoretical issues of intellectual freedom and informational privacy within the United States and globally. Published quarterly.
Superceded by the Journal Of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.
The Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom was the only journal that reported attempts to remove materials from school and library shelves across the country. The NIF was the source for the latest information on intellectual freedom issues.
This map is drawn from cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Details are available in ALA's "Books Banned and Challenged 2007-2008; 2008-2009; 2009-2010; 2010-2011; 2011-2012; and 2012-2013," and the "Kids' Right to Read Project Report." “Mapping Censorship” was created by Chris Peterson of the National Coalition Against Censorship and Alita Edelman of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
Since 1982, Banned Books Week has rallied librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types to celebrate and defend the freedom to read. To commemorate 30 years of Banned Books Week and enter our 31st year of protecting readers' rights, ALA prepared l this timeline of significant banned and challenged books. Timeline powered by Tiki-Toki.
Where else to look....
If your library does not have "Banned Books," use the library catalog to locate books on censorship. Useful subject headings are "Challenged books--United States" or "Censorship--United States."
Many libraries offer databases enabling access to periodicals and newspapers. Ask your librarian about accessing these--or visit your library's website, library card in hand, to access.
Use newspaper indexes such as the following to read coverage of book challenges in the communities where they occurred.
LexisNexis - Full-text access to magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times.
NewsBank - Full-text articles from major metropolitan newspapers.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers™ - Digital archive offering full-text and full-image articles for significant newspapers dating back to the eighteenth century.
Use literature databases such as the following to seek out biographies of authors, book synopses, bibliographies, and critical analysis.
Booklist Online - Reviews, awards information, some author information in editorial content
Gale Literature Resource Center - Has full-text articles and book reviews, biographical essays.
Library and Information Science Source - Full-text and indexed entries from library science literature, including major review sources
NovelList - Includes reviews and reading recommendations, reading levels, summaries, and awards books have received.
Often, a general web search of < "[book title]" and (banned or challenged) > will yield up useful articles and blog posts about challenges. For example, < "looking for alaska" (banned or challenged) > will bring up newspaper coverage--as well as a video by the author--on the censorship challenges faced by Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
The Library of Congress created an exhibit, "Books that Shaped America," that explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life." Below is a list of books from that exhibit that have been banned/challenged.
The Banned Books Week Coalition is a national alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.
A bibliography representing books challenged, restricted, removed, or banned in 2014 and 2015 as reported in the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom from May 2014 to March 2015 and in American Libraries Direct (AL Direct), by Robert P. Doyle.