With spring here, perennials are coming back to life ... and so is the perennial question: Why was this book banned? We blogged an answer last year, but today alone we have fielded a handful of questions from students preparing papers in response to this popular assignment. The single best resource is the 2010 BBW (Banned Books Week) Resource Guide (actually titled Banned Books: Challenging our Freedom to Read), edited by Robert P. Doyle, for the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. The "Resource Guide" is published every three years, with updates published to coincide with the annual Banned Books Week. It is not available online, though much of its content is derived from reports from the Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, which is online, but as a subscription product.
In addition, the ALA Library has put together a wiki page, Researching Challenged (“Banned”) Books, which lists some online resources. For print resources, please see the Censorship Bibliography section, linked from the foot of that page.
The ALA Website includes a general discussion of Banned & Challenged Books, with links to reports of the "most banned" and tips for celebrating Banned Books Week (for 2011, it's September 24−October 1). If students in your community have this assignment, tweet the link to this post--and maybe set up a resource shelf, starting with the Banned Books Resource Guide!'