Banned & Challenged Books

  • Defend the Freedom to Read. It
  • Participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out
  • Celebrate Banned Books Week with this year

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2014: September 21-27

Top ten frequently challenged books of 2013 has been released as part of the State of America's Library Report. Find out which books made the list.

The ALA promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

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 ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) promotes awareness of challenges to library materials and celebrates freedom of speech during Banned Books Week. This event is typically observed during the last week of September of each year. See Banned Books Week for information and resources for getting your library or organization involved in this event! 

OIF compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted to us by librarians and teachers across the country.  For more about books challenged as well as information about classic novels that have been challenged and/or banned, please see Frequently Challenged Books

OIF also offers support for librarians facing challenges to materials in their library. The support librarians seek will not be disclosed to any outside parties and the challenge report OIF receives is kept confidential. Please see Challenges to Library Materials for resources and information to help you prepare for and respond to challenges.


If you would like more information about banned and challenged books not covered in the website, please feel free to contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4220, or oif@ala.org.