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Every year the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from media stories and voluntary reports sent to OIF from communities across the U.S.

What is a book challenge?

A book challenge is a documented request to remove materials from schools or libraries. Learn more hereopens PDF file . A book challenge is an effort to censor library materials.

Censorship is the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons – individuals, groups, or government officials – find objectionable and dangerous.

What is intellectual freedom?

Intellectual freedom is a First Amendment right and a core tenant of public libraries. It is the right of every individual to both seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction. Book challenges and censorship threaten intellectual freedom.

Why does this matter?

Public libraries believe in the freedom to read and access information. Library materials, books, and resources are a gateway to new ideas, perspectives, and learning. The information found in libraries can light up and illuminate our world. Censorship leaves us in the dark.

Keep the light on by standing up to censorship when you see it happening and exploring a challenged or banned book.

Learn more at

Learn More

ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.

50 Years of Intellectual Freedom

Frequently Challenged Books by Year

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