The SC4 library is celebrating the first amendment and fighting censorship by taking part in the American Library Association’s banned book week.
According to ala.org, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools.
The ALA defines a challenge as a formal written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. A ban is the actual removal of those materials.
While some banned/challenged books are as notorious as “Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger others are as unassuming as “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White.
The ALA claims for every challenge reported four or five go unreported.
The following books were chosen from the SC4 library, (with the exception of “Ulysses” by James Joyce), the information about those books were gathered from compiled lists at ala.org/advocacy/banned.
In 2001“The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien was burned outside Christ Community Church in Alamagordo, NM, for being accused to be satanic.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling was challenged in 2001, 2002, and 2003 under the argument that it promoted the occult/Satanism and violence.
“1984” by George Orwell was challenged 1981 in Jackson County, FL for being pro-communist and containing sexually explicit matter.
“The Naked and the Dead” by Norman Mailer was critically acclaimed to be one of the greatest pieces of literature to come out of WW2 yet it was banned in Canada and Australia in 1949.
“The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair was burned in Nazi bonfires because of the author’s socialist views.
“Ulysses” by James Joyce was burned in the U.S. in 1918, Ireland in 1922, Canada in 1922, England in 1923, and banned in England in 1929.
Are books still being challenged and banned today? The First Amendment has an obscenity clause, meaning that the First Amendment does not protect obscenity; but, there is no clear definition of what it means to be obscene.
Things that are considered to be obscene to some people are not obscene to others, and here lies the issue.
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