Library systems across the country are joining the American Library Association's annual Banned Books Week which runs now through Sept. 30.
The annual event celebrates the freedom to read and serves as a reminder of the importance of open access to information and ideas, even if they are non-traditional or unpopular.
Book banning is not a thing of the past. In 2016, 323 challenges were reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. Between 82 and 97% of book challenges are never reported to ALA.
Among the top ten most challenged books last year, half were challenged because they included LGBT characters or content. Others were challenged because of sexually explicit content, profanity and in one case, because the author was facing criminal sexual allegations.
The top ten banned or challenged books of 2016 are as follows:
Librarians with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System invite local readers to join in the fight for freedom of speech by reading a banned book. Here are the top ten banned books selected by local librarians: