"Banned Books" week is coming up, September 26 through October 3. Many books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials. The American Library Association (ALA) tracks challenges that occur, recording 513 challenges in 2008. However, many challenges are not reported, and the ALA estimates that this reflects only 20-25% of actual challenges.
This Google Maps mashup of Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009, is drawn from cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Details are available in ALA's "Books Banned and Challenged 2007-2008," and "Books Banned and Challenged 2008-2009," and the "Kids' Right to Read Project Report." Click on a pinpoint for additional information on the location of the challenge and details on what happened.
View Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2009 in a larger map
Note that the map above doesn't include all the challenges that have occurred in Texas. For 13 years now, the ACLU of Texas has released an annual report, Free People Read Freely, during Banned Books Week that provides information about the books that have been removed, restricted, or retained in Texas school libraries and class reading lists during the previous school year. This information is obtained through an Open Records request by the ACLU under the Texas Public Information Act.