Banned Books Front and Center at Kirkwood Library

The Kirkwood Public Library encourages patrons to exercise their freedom to read during the American Library Association's Banned Books Week.

A banned books display in the Teen section of the Kirkwood Public Library (KPL) is a testament to the institution's anti-censorship convictions.

The display that features challenged literature is a celebration of patrons' freedom to read as part of the American Library Association's (ALA) Banned Books Week that began Sept. 30 and ends Sept. 6.

"The American Library Association does it every year. Some years we do a display and some years we don't. This year we came up with a creative idea of how to display it," said Sarah Erwin, the director of the Kirkwood Public Library.

The display features popular books that have been challenged in the past like Animal Farm and Cather in the Rye.

"We do it because the whole goal of a public library is to represent all different viewpoints. We provide access to different materials. Readers can pick what's best for them," Erwin said. "We always tell people to let us know if their viewpoint isn't represented."

According to the ALA, The top challenged books in 2011 were:

  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle 
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism

Visit ala.org to see more challenged titles.

Owen Skoler October 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I think the display is great. Go KPL! What do you think of the 2011 list of most challenged books? Any reads surprise you?


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