Events like ‘Banned Books Week’ conjure up chapters in American history when censorship played a bigger a role in what books were available in libraries. But debates about banning books are far from a thing of the past – and we continue to live in a world where one word in a volume can spark an outcry from parents and lead librarians to fear backlash for stocking it. We consider the past and current debates about banning books in our nation and consider alternatives to taking books off shelves.


  • Edie Ching Lecturer, College of Information Science, University of Maryland; Member, ALA Notables Childrens' Book Committee; Reviewer, Booklist
  • Barbara Jones Director, Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association

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