At the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University, we’re tracking developments in the continuing problem of books being banned.
Under the press-freedom guarantee of the First Amendment, government agencies are barred from prohibiting people’s access to books. It’s a form of censorship, in fact the most common form. Yet attempts are made, from the right and from the left, to declare certain books off-limits.
Bookstores may decide not to carry certain titles, as they are not government bodies. But public libraries and public schools should not be in the business of deciding to take books off shelves because they are controversial in one way or another.
Below you’ll find a list of recent articles covering book banning across America.
See also “Book Banning” in the First Amendment Encyclopedia.
Recent news articles on book banning
Book bans can take a toll on students https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/the-impact-book-bans-can-have-on-youth-mental-health/ Nov. 1, 2023
Scholastic’s marketing techniques makes it easy for schools to bar books about minorities or with LGBTQ themes. Scholastic’s “bigot button” – by Judd Legum (popular.info)
Book censorship is on the rise in Colorado. Colorado libraries face increasing requests to remove or limit access to books and programming – Greeley Tribune
PEN America offers an extensive overview of efforts to limit access to books. School Book Bans: The Mounting Pressure to Censor – PEN America
New Jersey School Boards Association is urged to take a stand against the banning of books. State education group considers taking stand against book banning in public schools (yahoo.com) Oct. 10, 2023
A book about banning books explains the issue to children. Raj Haldar’s ‘This Book Is Banned’ introduces kids to book banning : NPR Oct. 6, 2023
There’s an impact on authors when their books are banned. Book bans are surging, taking an emotional and financial toll on authors | CNN Oct. 4, 2023
Books are being banned in accelerating numbers across the United States. Banned book data shows alarming increase in book bans and challenges (usatoday.com) Oct. 2, 2023
There are growing calls to ban certain books in New Jersey. Here are some of the books parents want to ban in N.J. schools – nj.com Oct. 6, 2023
NPR interviews children about book censorship. Kids share their thoughts about banned books with NPR : NPR Oct. 4, 2023
Students fight back against book censorship. School culture wars push students to form banned book clubs, anti-censorship groups – ABC News (go.com Oct. 2, 2023
Iowa town considering shifting power to limit access to books to the City Council rather than the library board. Pella, Iowa, voters to decide whether to give City Council more power to ban books from library – CBS Minnesota (cbsnews.com Oct. 20, 2023
Threats to literature in America are broader than book bans. Book Bans Aren’t the Only Threat to Literature in American Classrooms (msn.com)
Many book ban efforts can be traced to a single website. What’s behind the national surge in book bans? A low-tech website tied to Moms for Liberty (msn.com)
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