Banned Books and Moral Courage

by Alisha Johnson, Ensley Branch Library

In light of the recent Banned Books Week (September 24-30), libraries should understand the necessity of moral courage and its correlation to intellectual freedom. Over the years, many people have voiced their concerns over which titles should be allowed on the shelves in libraries due to various reasons—racial themes, alternative lifestyles, profanity, sex, violence, negativity, witchcraft, unpopular religious and political views, and any theme judged unsuitable for a particular age group—and these actions have been executed without fully understanding the purpose of libraries and their contribution to communities. All of the aforementioned aspects restrict unlimited access for all and voids the concept of intellectual freedom.

Our libraries give individuals the freedom to read and like or not like something, learn about something that they had no previous knowledge of and, ultimately, books can really change the world!

Celebrate banned books all year round by checking out some from your library. For a complete list of banned and challenged titles and more information on the subject, visit the Banned Books Week Coalition website.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel / by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the Creators of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
A Time to Kill by John Grisham