Articles about banned books have frequently appeared in the news recently. For example, this Book Riot article discusses several proposed pieces of legislation that involve banning books. Additionally, the ACLU tracks legislation affecting LGBTQ+ rights, which includes banning books with LGBTQ+ content.
If you're a teenager or young adult in America, you can access banned books for free by visiting:
The Brooklyn Public Library invites Americans who are 13 to 21 years old to apply for a free BPL ecard to access their full ebook collection. The Seattle Public Library invites Americans who are 13 to 26 to access their full ebook and audiobook collection. If you’re interested, you can sign up for their library cards and/or donate to their funds.
To find more information about different forms of censorship and how we can respond, please visit the following sites:
The ALA provides helpful information about frequently challenged and banned books, including the top 10 list for each year.
They also explain how people can fight censorship, including supporting library workers, showing up to library and school board meetings, and contacting their representatives.
This campaign was launched by the ALA to unite against book bans. They provide a lot of helpful information about ways to get involved, including an action toolkit.
The Freedom to Read Foundation is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the ALA. It provides grants to individuals and groups, participates in litigation involving freedom of speech and the press, and educates people about the importance of libraries and the First Amendment.
PEN America provides detailed information on why, where, and how books are banned and other forms of censorship. For example, librarians and teachers may be reluctant to purchase or teach books that could be seen as controversial.
We refer to the SLJ for reviews of the books we choose. A recent article discusses the results of their 2022 controversial book survey, in which librarians demonstrate the ways censorship attempts affect their collections.
The CBLDF protects the First Amendment rights of comics creators, publishers, librarians, and readers. The organization also explains why some comics/graphic novels have been banned.
Please refer to the show notes for each episode to see the resources we recommend for individual episodes.