Friday, February 12, 2010

Banned Books in Canada

Canadian libraries will celebrate Freedom to Read Week, February 21-27, 2010.
It is very interesting to see their Challenged booklists and results of challenges:

when compared to those in the United States:

Background Information from 2001 to 2008 -Frequently Challenged Books (ALA)
Over the past eight years, American libraries were faced with 3,736 challenges.
1,225 challenges due to “sexually explicit” material;
1,008 challenges due to “offensive language”;
720 challenges due to material deemed “unsuited to age group”;
458 challenges due to “violence”
269 challenges due to “homosexuality”; and
Further, 103 materials were challenged because they were “anti-family,” and an additional 233 were challenged because of their “religious viewpoints.”

1,176 of these challenges (approximately 31%) were in classrooms; 37% were in school libraries; 24% (or 909) took place in public libraries. There were less than 75 challenges to college classes; and only 36 to academic libraries.

There are isolated cases of challenges to materials made available in or by prisons, special libraries, community groups, and student groups. The majority of challenges were initiated by parents (almost exactly 51%), while patrons and administrators followed behind (10% and 8% respectively).

Lists of Challenged Books in the United States:

It would be nice if the American Library Association (ALA) could publish an online comprehensive list similar to the Canadian.

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