Today is the first day of Banned Books Week. Robert P. Doyle writes in Books Challenged and Banned in 2008-2009: Speak-Read-Know,
The challenges documented in this list are not brought by people merely expressing a point of view; rather, they represent requests to remove materials from schools or libraries, thus restricting access to them by others. Even when the eventual outcome allows the book to stay on the library shelves and even when the person is a lone protester, the censorship attempt is real. Someone has tried to restrict another person’s ability to choose. Challenges are as important to document as actual bannings, in which a book is removed from the shelves of a library or bookstore or from the curriculum at a school. Attempts to censor can lead to voluntary restriction of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy; in these cases, material may not be published at all or may not be purchased by a bookstore, library, or school district.
Visit the American Library Association’s Issues & Advocacy: Banned & Challenged Books for information and resources on ways to prepare and respond to challenges to library materials, which includes essential preparation, challenge support, and reporting a challenge.