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Banned Books: About Banned Books

Banned Books Week (September 18-24, 2022) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.

the words "UWSP reads banned books" on a background of orange chevrons with orange fall leaves on the left side and orange and yellow mushroom illustrations on the right side.

Article Databases

Use the following databases to find articles related to banned or challenged books/censorship. To access, click here and then go to the name of the database

  • Search tips: Search on the title of the book, author’s last name, and “banned books” or “challenged books” or “censored books” or censorship.




Newspaper Source Plus (Ebsco)


Brief articles about specific challenges from school districts. Good for current challenges.

Access World News (Newsbank)

Newspapers (including international papers)

Good resource for current banned books issues and challenges.

Academic Search Ultimate (Ebsco)

Scholarly & Popular Articles (multidisiplinary)

In-depth and scholarly articles on censorship and challenges.

ERIC (Ebsco)

Education database that includes professional and scholarly articles

Education-related articles that include information on challenges from and for an educators perspective.

LISTA (Ebsco)

Library-related literature from scholarly and trade publications

Includes School Library Journal and American Libraries and other literature from the profession that discussed challenges books from school and public libraries.

Professional Development Collection (Ebsco)

Trade-related articles on Education

Includes articles on pedagogical theory and practice.

Resource Roundup

About Banned Books Week

The 2022 Theme for Banned Books Week is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” It is a telling theme as the American Library Association (ALA) reported that there were 681 documented attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities, and public libraries this year, one of the highest documented reports of challenges in over 20 years.

Banned Books Week began in the 1980's following the landmark 1982 case Island Trees School District vs Pico, which ruled that school officials can't ban books in libraries simply because of their content. The American Booksellers Association (ABA) created a display at their annual convention of challenged books in a padlocked cage, and after the success of the display began the event known as Banned Books Week in partnership with the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom and the National Association of College Stores.

  • 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.


Each year the American Library Association lists the Top 10 most challenged books, along with records of frequently challenged books and resources for fighting censorship.