Books are banned or challenged every day. But, does that mean? A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict material. A book ban goes even further--the work is removed from the classroom or library circulation. But, you can help save books from disappearing from the shelves. Here are a few simple steps you can take to save banned books!
Time Required: Varies
- Read banned books. Support the effort to educate the public about censorship by learning more about the books that are most controversial. Do you know why Uncle Tom's Cabin was banned? What about Of Mice and Men? The list goes on and on. Not only will you read some of the greatest classics of all time, but you may even become inspired to do more to help save these books!
- Once you've read a few banned books, you can start to educate others about why these books are so great! When you talk with an individual who is concerned about the content of a book, ask whether he/she has had a chance to read it. Then, you can talk about why you enjoyed the book. Keep an open mind.
- Debates over censorship can become emotional, so don't allow yourself to become heated or upset when you're speaking with an individual who believes that banning books is the correct course of action. He or she is entitled to have an opinion on the topic, and you may not be able to change the person's mind. Remember: Just because you love books and have had a great experience with literature doesn't mean that everyone else has. Speak in a calm and direct manner. Don't become angry, and move on.
- Report any challenge that takes place at your local library, bookstore, or school. The American Library Association makes it easy to report challenges and banned books with this on-line form.
- Get involved. You can volunteer at your local library and/or school, and you may be able to make a difference (or at least offer a voice) in decisions about book challenges and banned books. You can also join the Freedom to Read Foundation.