What is Banned Books Week and Why Should USD Celebrate it?

bbw 2017

Last week Copley Library celebrated Banned Books Week for the second year in a row. We had a lot of fun and we got many great questions from Toreros about this annual event sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). Questions like, What is it and why does it matter and who won that $225 dollar gift card to the Torero store?! In this post, we give you answers to the top five questions we got during last week’s celebration of Banned Books Week.

1.       What does it mean for a book to be banned or challenged?

According to the American Library Association, “A Challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.” Typically, these are materials that are a part of a school curriculum or a library collection.

2.       Why is Banned Books Week worth celebrating at USD?

There are many reasons to celebrate Banned Books Week but for Toreros it is particularly relevant to the mission of our university; when a person or a group of people attempts to restrict access to books that they find offensive anywhere, it threatens efforts everywhere to advance academic excellence, expand knowledge and create diverse, inclusive communities.

3.       What are some of the reasons people try to ban books?



This graph breaks down common reasons from the previous decade and these reasons remain typical for 2016-2017


4.       Do people still try to ban books in 2017?

Yes. Every year the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom releases a list of the top ten challenged or Banned Books for the previous year.

5.       Did I win the $225.00 gift card?

Our student winner was Alanna Bledman; she received a $225.00 gift card to the Torero Store and a copy of her favorite banned book. Our faculty winner was Susannah Stern; she won a new Chromebook and a copy of her favorite banned book.

Thanks to everyone who participated last week and especially to those of you who took the time ask us some great questions!


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