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On Display: Banned Books Week

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Do you remember the first time you read a book that made you really think about issues that perhaps were not often heard? Maybe it became your favorite book!

We are lucky to live in a country where we are able to read anything we want, thanks to the 1st amendment of the Constitution.

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  It is held during the last week of September. The 2010 celebration of Banned Books Week will be held from September 25 through October 2.

Here is a list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009, according to the American Library Association.

1. ttyl, ttfn, l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs

2. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
Reasons: Homosexuality

3. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Anti-Family, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide

4. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Racism, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

5. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

7. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Reasons: Sexism, Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group, Drugs, Suicide, Violence

8. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

10. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Reasons: Nudity, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Grou

Looking for something more in depth? Here is a pdf document that shows other books banned or challenged in 2009-2010 .

Looking for something fun? There is a nice animation at this website.

Banned Books Week is important because it draws attention to the problem of censorship while showcasing the benefits of free and open access to information!

Hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country have displays of challenged books and/or host a variety of events. Here, at the New Dorp Library we have  some of the above titles - On Display.
 

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Need access to a banned book.... can the NPYL help?

Greetings. I currently taking a graduate class at Columbia University on the strategies of war. I would like to read a copy of the original edition of the book Operation Dark Heart. I have read that the Pentagon tried to destroy all the copies of it in honor of Banned Books Week, but several copies survived. Can the New York Public Library help me find a copy to read?

Operation Dark Heart

Two copies are currently on order. You can place a hold here: http://catalog.nypl.org/record=b18623742~S1

Lauren Lampasone, Thanks for

Lauren Lampasone, Thanks for your suggestion, but it didn't work. A censored copy of the book was sent to me instead of the uncensored edition I requested. There were literally black lines in the text where the government had censored the author. The hold I placed was for the uncensored edition. Six months after placing the hold, a copy of the censored edition arrived at my branch library for me... the book had a totally different ISBN number from the edition I requested. After six months, all I received was the official government-censored edition - complete with black marker covering portions of the text. How can the library help me find an uncensored copy to read? Fritz Herrick, student Columbia University

The Thomas Dunne (St

The Thomas Dunne (St Martin's) seems to be the only edition currently available but it is to come out unredacted in paperback later this year: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/us/15author.html Check Worldcat or Books in Print for information on the new edition and if needed, put in a request to purchase or request through ILL when it becomes available in October. http://www.worldcat.org/search?qt=worldcat_org_all&q=operation+dark+heart http://www.nypl.org/collections/articles-databases/books-print-professional

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