In April, the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016. While these 10 books receive a lot of press and discussion, there are many other books that have been challenged and banned. More than 300 censorship reports were sent to the office and documented in the news in 2016. After we calculate the Top Ten, we also publish a Field Report to share information about the public book challenges.
The Field Report is a great resource to showcase the variety of books and unique situations of each challenge. It includes nine beautifully designed pages, packed with 46 detailed censorship incidents and tips on how to protect the right to read in your community. The office hands the Field Reports out at all of the intellectual freedom programs at ALA’s conference, and they’re available for purchase through the ALA Store if you want to give them out during Banned Books Week — only $35 for 50 copies.
Of the 323 challenges reported in 2016, 46 titles were public challenges and printed in the Field Report. Many librarians ask that their report be kept confidential to prevent any loss of employment or professional repercussions. But more and more, we’re getting permission to share these brave stories. We estimate 82-97% of challenges go unreported.
Censorship thrives in silence; silence is its aim. ~ OIF Director James LaRue