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Library Books Survive Criticism for Content

The Hunger Games is third on the Top 10 list for 2011. The book has been criticized for being anti-ethnic, anti-family and insensitive and for its offensive language, occult/satanic message and incidents of violence.

The American Library Association (ALA) has released its annual list of the most frequently challenged library books of the year. The list is part of the ALA’s 2012 State of America’s Libraries Report, released April 9 in conjunction with National Library Week (April 8 – 14).

The report included a a statement that publishers are limiting library e-book lending.

According to the report, the rapid growth of e-books has stimulated increasing demand for them in libraries, but libraries only have limited access to e-books because of restrictions placed on their use by publishers. Macmillan Publishing, Simon and Schuster and Hachette Book Group refused to sell e-books to libraries. HarperCollins imposed an arbitrary 26 loans per e-book license, and Penguin refused to let libraries lend its new titles altogether. When Random House raised e-book prices, the ALA urged it to reconsider. “In a time of extreme financial constraint, a major price increase effectively curtails access for many libraries, and especially our communities that are hardest hit economically,” Molly Raphael, ALA president, said in a statement.

On its website, the ALA explains the difference between banned and challenged books: A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. Due to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens, most challenges are unsuccessful and most materials are retained in the school curriculum or library collection.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom received 326 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011 include the following titles; each title is followed by the reasons given for challenging the book.

10 Most Frequently Challenged Library Books of 2011

1) ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series) by Lauren Myracle
Reasons: Offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

2) The Color of Earth (series) by Kim Dong Hwa
Reasons: Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

3)  The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Reasons: Anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

4) My Mom’s Having A Baby! A Kid’s Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
Reasons: Nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

5)  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group

6) Alice (series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Reasons: Nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint

7) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Reasons: Insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

8) What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
Reasons: Nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit

9) Gossip Girl (series) by Cecily Von Ziegesar
Reasons: Drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit

10) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Offensive language; racism

For lists of the top 10 challenged books by year, 2001 to 2011, click here.

William J Belmonte Jr April 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
HIEL! ve vill not allow you to read these books und you must bring them to the book burning, because ve do not like them and neither must you! And ve vill be looking at your children anything ve deem vrong vit them vill be elimitated.

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