2015 Top Ten Most Challenged Books

2015 Top Ten Most Challenged Books

During National Library Week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom publishes the list of Top Ten Most Challenged Books. We collect information from two sources: newspapers and reports submitted by individuals. All challenges are compiled into a database. Reports of challenges culled from newspapers across the country are compiled in the bimonthly Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom and compiled in the Banned Books Week Resource Guide. Challenges reported to the ALA by individuals are kept confidential. The Top Ten Most Challenged Books is not a national roundup of book challenges as all challenges are not reported to the ALA. Rather, it is a snapshot of the reports received by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. Our goal is not to focus on the numbers, but to educate the masses that attempts to ban books is happening within our country, and the themes that are suggested by those challenges. As citizens, librarians, parents, we all should safeguard the right to read freely and to choose for ourselves and allow others to do the same.

Teens and Sexual Education

Interview with Kyle Marshall: Sex Education and Teens

One of the consistently controversial subjects in many cultures is sexuality and youth. To many, it invokes some disgusting subjects that I do not wish to think about, none-the-less write about. But, for teens themselves it is an important subject that they require access to truthful and honest information about. Some governments and parents feel as uncomfortable as I do about discussing these things, or may reduce the access to honest sexual education information that teens have in some ignorant desire to “protect.”

Panama Papers

The Panama Papers

It is too early to really see the depth and repercussions of the now named “Panama Papers,” but it may be as influential to global economics as Snowden’s leak was to Western privacy. The Panama Papers are records obtained from an anonymous source concerning the Mossack Fonsecas company, an international company management organization. The company appears to be violating sanctions, promoting tax evasion, and laundering money for politicians, criminals, and many, many other wealthy people and organizations.

Alternative Text for Images on the Internet

Facebook Gets One Right: Opening the Internet to the Blind

Starting last November, Facebook began refining an artificial intelligence tool to analyze photos. As Mark Zuckerberg explained to an audience in Delhi, “If you are blind and you can’t see a photo, we can have our AI look at the photo and read an explanation of that photo to you.” And, as Zuckerberg pointed out, using machine interpreters instead of humans means that photos can be interpreted at any time, in any location, for anyone with visual limitations.

Common Sense Media Ratings

Common Sense Media: Promoting Family Values or Dictating Them?

These days, Common Sense Media’s initiatives contain a less than subtle paternalism based on the conviction that its values should control children’s learning experiences. Early pronouncements like Core Belief #6 (“We believe that through informed decision making, we can improve the media landscape one decision at a time”) suddenly come across as a determination to reform that landscape in its own image.