The Freedom to Read – Celebrating Banned Books Week

The Attleboro FREE Public Library emphasizes it’s budget friendly borrowing policy –  borrow, return, repeat, but during Banned Books Week each fall, FREE means something else entirely. Libraries eliminate barriers to information, allowing equitable access to a variety of opinions, perspectives and material. Libraries uphold patron privacy, giving card holders peace of mind knowing that they can check out anything they want. Reading material of your own choosing is a basic premise we uphold every day. We don’t have what you’re looking for? Libraries will search it out for you using Inter Library Loan. The Attleboro Public Library also encourages patron suggestions.

Not everyone shares the view that libraries should offer such a broad view of the world and so challenges happen. While few books are actually banned from libraries (somewhere around 10%), challenges happen with some regularity. There were 323 challenges reported to the American Library Association last year. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has published this list of the most challenged books of 2016.

Attleboro Library staff have gathered some of the nation’s most frequently challenged titles and put them on display for visitors to browse. These titles bring the reader closer to communities and characters that they may not typically encounter, building empathy and understanding of the world we share. We encourage you to give one a try. It may be life changing. Looking for a suggestion? This article talks to 12 authors about the challenged books they’ll never forget.