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Committee for the Promotion of Diversity & Inclusion: Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week 2016

Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, runs this year from September 25th – October 1st. This year’s Banned Books Week will celebrate literature written by diverse authors and/or literature with diverse content that has been challenged or banned, and will examine why diverse books are disproportionately singled out in the first place. (To learn how the Banned Books Week Coalition defines diversity, please see: Defining Diversity.)

Maggie Jacoby writes in Why Diverse Books Are Commonly Banned: "The University of Wisconsin’s Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) and publisher Lee & Low have provided statistics from 1994 to 2012 that illustrate that while 37% of the U.S. population are people of color, only 10% of books published focus on multicultural content. In addition, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, has determined that 52% of the books challenged, or banned, over the past decade are from titles that are considered diverse content. These statistics are troubling and create more questions than answers."

CPDI invited members of the MIT Libraries staff to suggest a banned book with diverse content that is meaningful to them, and below are their recommendations.