Since 1990, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has maintained a database on challenged materials. ALA collects information from two sources: media reports and reports submitted by individuals. Reports of challenges culled from public documents and media across the country are compiled in the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy; and then compiled in the resource guide, Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read (digitally available to ALA members. Login required.)
While many of these challenges or bans are reported confidentially, OIF compiles lists of just the banned and challenged book titles in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools.
OIF tracked 156 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2020. This is a complete list of book titles that were banned, challenged, or restricted during the year.
Explore additional frequently challenged books by topic, genre, time, and audience. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom provides confidential support to anyone undergoing a challenge or ban. Support can come in the form of letters, book reviews, resources, talking points or emotional support. Report censorship online.
Field Report 2020
Visit the ALA Store to purchase the most recent bibliography of banned and challenged books. The Field Report is filled with descriptions of public challenges and ways to defend the freedom to read.
A digital version is also available. Sales support the American Library Association’s work in defending and promoting the right to access information.
Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.