Banned Books Week – What, Who and Why?


What Are Challenged or Banned Books?

According to the American Library Association, A challenged book is a book that someone has attempted to remove or restrict a book, based on the objections of a person or group. A banned book is a book that has been removed from the collection. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

Who Challenges Books?

Parents are the largest group to request a book be removed from a library’s collection. Often with good intentions, parents will challenge a book to “protect others, usually children” but in reality they are restricting the rights of others to read that book.


Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. (2015).  2014 books challenges infographic. Retrieved from

Why Are Books Challenged or Banned?

Each book that is banned or censored is done so for the content within the pages. There are a few common reasons that books have been banned or censored in schools, libraries, and book stores.

These include:

Racial Issues: About and/or encouraging racism towards one or more group of people.

Encouragement of “Damaging” Lifestyles: Content of book encourages lifestyle choices that are not of the norm or could be considered dangerous or damaging. This could include drug use, co-habitation without marriage, or homosexuality.

Blasphemous Dialog: The author of the book uses words such as “God” or “Jesus” as profanity. This could also include any use of profanity or swear words within the text that any reader might find offensive.

Sexual Situations or Dialog: Many books with content that include sexual situations or dialog are banned or censored.

Violence or Negativity: Books with content that include violence are often banned or censored. Some books have also been deemed too negative or depressing and have been banned or censored as well.

Presence of Witchcraft: Books that include magic or witchcraft themes. A common example of these types of books are J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series.

Religious Affiliations (unpopular religions): Books have been banned or censored due to an unpopular religious views or opinions in the content of the book. This is most commonly related to satanic or witchcraft themes found in the book. Although, many books have also been banned or censored for any religious views in general that might not coincide with the public view.

Political Bias: Most Commonly occurs when books support or examine extreme political parties/philosophies such as: fascism, communism, anarchism, etc.

Age Inappropriate: These books have been banned or censored due to their content and the age level at which they are aimed. In some cases children’s books are viewed to have “inappropriate” themes for the age level at which they are written for.

Many books have been banned or censored in one or more of these categories due to a misjudgment or misunderstanding about the books contents and message. Although a book may have been banned or labeled a certain way, it is important that the reader makes his/her own judgements on the book. Many books that have been banned or censored later were dropped from banned books lists and were no longer considered controversial. For this reason, banned books week occurs yearly to give readers a chance to revisit past or recently banned books to encourage a fresh look into the controversies the books faced.

John F. Reed Library, Fort Lewis College. (November 15,2013). Common reasons for banning books. In Butler University Libraries’ Libguide (Banned books:  Reasons for banning books). Retrieved from


The Charlotte School of Law Library invites the Charlotte School of Law community to participate in a Banned Books Read Out on Monday, October 5th from 11 am to 1 pm in the East Reading Room on the 5th floor of the library. Bring your favorite banned or challenged selection. We would like to know why you chose your selection and why it is important to you. We will have many banned or challenged books on display during the Read Out so you are welcome to choose one of them.  We ask that you sign up in advance … HERE.

~Betty Thomas~

1 Comment

Filed under Books & Stuff, Library

Reminder – MLA Presents: Library Freedom Project Workshop


To register, please visit

Alison Macrina, The Library Freedom Project (Boston) from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

~Betty Thomas~

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Library

Reminder: Professionalism for New Attorneys, October 9-10

PNA Banner1015

The North Carolina State Bar Professionalism for New Attorneys is a MANDATORY CLE program that newly licensed attorneys must complete in their first year to meet CLE requirements.

Date:             October 9-10, 2015
Check-in       8:30 am (both days)
Time:             9:00 am – 3:30 pm (both days)
Location:      Charlotte School of Law – Uptown Campus
Parking:        Parking rates vary – click here 
CLE Credit:   12.0 Total (11.0 Ethics / Professionalism | 1.0 Substance Abuse / Mental Health)


(agenda / speakers subject to change)  

To learn more about Charlotte Law’s upcoming Continuing Legal Education Opportunities, go to

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, General Charlotte School of Law Information

Banned Books Week: Diversity Under Attack


Banned Books Week:  September 27 – October 3, 2015

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Usually scheduled during the last week of September, this annual event reminds Americans not to take this democratic freedom for granted. When books are banned, readers are unable to critically analyze what is written or see different viewpoints.

Diversity under Attack

In her study “Book Challenges Suppress Diversity,”  Malinda Lo concluded that diversity is under attack. Lo drew these statistics from the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s data on book challenges. She found that books with diverse content are increasingly being challenged. By diverse content, Malinda Lo identified any content that addressed issues about race, sexuality and/or disability or were about non-white, LGBTQ, and/or disabled characters. See the diagram below:


Challenging or banning books leads to less discussion and understanding of diverse perspectives outside of the mainstream.


The Charlotte School of Law Library invites the Charlotte School of Law community to participate in a Banned Books Read Out on Monday, October 5th from 11 am to 1 pm in the East Reading Room on the 5th floor of the library. Bring your favorite banned or challenged selection. We would like to know why you chose your selection and why it is important to you. We will have many banned or challenged books on display during the Read Out so you are welcome to choose one of them.  We ask that you sign up in advance … HERE.

~Betty Thomas~

1 Comment

Filed under Books & Stuff, Library

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — September 28, 2015


How Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Convinced 13,000 People to Come Back

You’re used to Harris Teeter knowing you better than you know yourself because of the VIC card on your key ring. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is now proving that even civic groups with much smaller budgets can harness data analytics to improve.

Nowra Librarians Promote Joy of Books on YouTube: video

When their masters at the Shoalhaven City Council asked the librarians to detail their achievements over the past 12 months, there was little chance that anyone was going to doze off during the presentation. “We knew it could be death by Powerpoint and we’re really partial to a bit of song and dance,” said Ms Sharpe. The librarians looked for an anthem. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody seemed right.

At Christian University, a Socialist Candidate Takes the Pulpit

Liberty University, a Christian institution that enrolls 14,000 students on campus and nearly 100,000 more online, was founded on the principles of evangelism. But on Monday it was the university’s guest, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who was preaching his beliefs.

Suit Claiming Botched Entrance Exam against Law School Tossed

A federal judge in Nevada has dismissed a lawsuit against the Florida Costal School of Law brought by a prospective student who claims he was wrongfully denied admission to the school due to a botched exam.

Could Your Firm’s Associates Pass a General Counsel’s Research Audit? Now You Can Find Out!

Casey Flaherty, formerly, the GC of Kia Motors, made headlines in 2013  by developing a basic technology audit which he administered to outside law firms. Taking a page from Casey’s technology audit and AALL’s Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competencies, The Private Law Libraries and Information Professionals SIS of AALL has published a series of research audits which were created by attendees of the 2014 PLL Summit.

The Qualities of Tomorrow’s Top Lawyers

When I graduated from law school, we did not have difficulty identifying what it would take to be a top lawyer. First, you had to be at the top of your game when it came to knowledge of the law. You did not have to graduate first in your class, but you did need the legal-knowledge wherewithal to stand out in a competitive profession. Second, you needed drive. To be at the top, you had to be prepared to put in the hours.

10 Common Misconceptions about the Constitution

On this date 228 years ago, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution. To celebrate Constitution Day, we offer you a little trivia about the document which forms the foundation of our republic.

The Ten Most Important Books to Expand Your Brain

Books suck. No question about it, almost everyone who writes a book is a crappy writer.  And this is a good thing.  It’s because the writer spent his life getting GOOD at what he was writing about. He didn’t spend his life being good at writing.

How to Find Work You Love [TED Talk]

Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

You Really Don’t Need to Work So Much

Recently, the New York Times ran a front-page story about the conditions for white-collar workers at Amazon. It revealed a workplace where abrupt firings are common, grown men and women cry at their desks, and people are scolded for not responding to e-mails after midnight. The story made clear how much things have changed in the American workforce. Once upon a time, it was taken for granted that the wealthier classes enjoyed a life of leisure on the backs of the proletariat. Today it is people in skilled trades who can most find reasonable hours coupled with good pay; the American professional is among those subject to humiliation and driven like a beast of burden.

Legal Technology Survey

The ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center has surveyed practicing attorneys about their technology choices for more than a decade.  The Center’s annual Legal Technology Survey Report is recognized as the source for information regarding the use of technology by attorneys in private practice.

Shake-Up In Legal Research: Fastcase Acquires Loislaw from Wolters-Kluwer

The legal research company Fastcase has acquired one of its prime competitors among middle-market legal research providers, Loislaw. Fastcase has purchased Loislaw from Wolters Kluwer, which had acquired it in 2000 for $95 million.

Three Words That Should Be Banned: Work-Life Balance

When I lead workshops on reducing stress, anxiety, and increasing productivity, a topic that often comes up is the idea of work-life balance. Often, the participants will express feeling like they’re failing at both work and life. When they’re at work, they often feel as though they should be home, spending time with their significant other, spouse, or children. When at home, the reverse is true. They think about all the work left undone.

Leave a comment

Filed under Library, Weekly Round Up