This semester, in all of the comp-linked seminar classes, we've been discussing the First Amendment, which includes freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but what about freedom to read?

Banned Books Week (Sept 24 - Oct 1): "Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year. Observed since 1982, the annual event reminds Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted." (

Let's look a bit closer by breaking up into five groups. I will have each group read an article pertaining to Banned Books Week and report their findings to the class.

Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5

On a sheet of paper and as a group...

  • Summarize the article in 1-2 sentences.
  • Looking at the challenged book list (and perhaps your article), what do you think causes a book to be put on the list?
  • Should Freedom to Read be up there alongside religion, speech, etc.? Why or why not?

Is there any case in which the banning of certain books would be okay?