ALA observes banned book week

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The American Library Association (ALA) is observing Banned Books Week 2005 from September 24 until October 1, the last week in September. The ALA's list of suggested activities for members [1] includes various activities which draw attention to the books that have been challenged or banned within the last few years (see 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000), such as posting lists, organizing readings, and assigning research papers on censorship in the U.S. to students.

Attempts to ban books from library shelves rose by more than 20%, to 547 formal challenges, in 2004. The most frequent attacked books included several with gay themes, including Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." The most challenged book was Robert Cormier's classic novel "The Chocolate War". In Norwood Colorado, parents recently burned copies of Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima" after having them pulled from the High School curriculum.