Censorship: Be Prepared for Challenges

Erin M. Schadt /

Although it might seem like a problem of the past, challenging books continues to be an issue libraries and schools experience regularly. In fact, every year the American Library Association (ALA) releases the top ten list of most frequently challenged books.

Because this is a common occurrence, making sure you are prepared to deal with a challenge to materials is important. The ALA has an abundance of information available from their Office for Intellectual Freedom. The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) is another rich source of information. The NCAC has provided two resources aimed at schools, which also contain valuable information that can be applied to libraries. These resources have recently been updated on our site and are worth bookmarking:

Book Censorship in Schools: A Toolkit

Censorship and the First Amendment in Schools: A Resource Guide

The toolkit and guide contain background information, examples and steps to take if you experience a challenge. They also provide examples for prudent institutional policy.

For more information on censorship and challenges, as well as on Banned Books week (that happens each fall) visit the ALA's Banned & Challenged Books site.