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Syracuse University Libraries

Banned Books Week

Our Curators

The Libraries’ 2022 celebration of Banned Books Week features blog and display content developed by graduate students from the Syracuse University iSchool. Many thanks to Payton Cooke, Alex Shoshani, and Ariel Summers for their contributions.

A Curator's Note

Censorship frequently occurs as an attempt to “protect” children. While this may seem commendable, the data shows that these challenges frequently target books with diverse characters and experiences, most often those in the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC populations. In putting together a collection of banned and challenged children’s books, we ask that viewers consider the harmful effects of shielding children from a world they are destined to become a part of.

When a book with a non-heterosexual relationship is banned, not only are children in the LGBTQIA+ community silenced and shamed, but all children are taught that this act of silencing and shaming is the norm and accepted by their community. When a book addressing topics such as abuse or neglect is restricted, consider that children who experience this may be shamed into silence and less likely to seek help from the adults who claim to ‘protect’ them. In perusing the collection, we encourage viewers to consider the multi-layered harm and misguidance that comes from censoring the reading and teaching of diverse experiences. As the keystone of this display we have included Pat R. Scales’s book, Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, to help facilitate future educators’ confidence in approaching sensitive topics with students

Book List