Many books are generally banned around the world. Each book has a reason that one may agree with or may not but the topics the book discusses are important ones that makes students more aware of things around them. I generally disagree with the banning and restricting of books as each book has a lesson learned or a moral of story that is quite important to know as it is not talked about much in school and it could bring awareness for people who did not know it was an issue. For example, many books are banned for either one of these reasons: body issues, LGBTQIA+ content, teen suicide, political or religious views, sexual references, profanity and/or violence.
A list of the top 10 most challenged books comes out every year starting from 2001. These lists come out at the American Library Association’s (ALA) website. A specific book that was banned in 2018 was Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher for the reason of addressing suicide. I do not agree with this ban/restriction of this book as it discusses about an important topic that isn’t known or spoken about a lot that could help many people understand the concept or at least become more aware about it. This book is also “...igniting conversations about suicide, bullying, and consent.” which was stated in the Banned Books Week’s website which also states other topics that are important for students to know as this is something that happens within life but many don’t see examples about it or know that it happens to other people too. In The Guardian’s website they talk about how there also is a Netflix adaptation of this book which caused many parents and teachers to want to ban the book as the show got a lot of criticism for the inclusion of suicide and mental health but the show does stray away from the book a bit and is much more graphic but it’s not a reason to ban the book as it is not as graphic as the show and still tackles the important issues.
Many libraries and librarians either agree or disagree with the banning of certain books even though in the final decision it is not their choice but they could always fight and advocate for the book to stay or go. I believe the responsibilities that libraries and librarians have with challenged books is to advocate for them to stay as in the Freedom to Read Statement addresses how it is librarians duty to provide the most diverse selection of books despite it being unpopular or dangerous by the majority and in the Library Bill of Rights it states how libraries should challenge censorship as their goal is to provide knowledge and awareness to new topics.
Admin. “Library Bill of Rights.” Advocacy, Legislation & Issues, 11 Feb. 2019, www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill.
Admin. “The Freedom to Read Statement.” Advocacy, Legislation & Issues, 10 May 2018, www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/freedomreadstatement.
Admin. “Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists.” Advocacy, Legislation & Issues, 30 July 2019, www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10.
Banned Books Week, bannedbooksweek.org/banned-spotlight-thirteen-reasons-why/.
Flood, Alison. “Thirteen Reasons Why Tops Most Challenged Books List, amid Rising Complaints to US Libraries.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Apr. 2018,
I am Karen HP and a senior in Durham School of the Arts. This blog is for my learning development and new skill experience through out my final year of high school.