Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
UC Logo
Libraries | Ask the Libraries

Banned Books Week

Celebrate your right to read!

Initiators of Challenges

Who Initiates Challenges

People with the best intentions may challenge books. Often they see it as protecting others. Challenges can come from those holding ideological beliefs on both the right and the left. In 2019, the ALA recorded that:

  • 50% of reported challenges were initiated by parents
  • 20% by library patrons
  • 11% by a board or administration
  • 9% by religious or political groups
  • 5% by librarians or teachers
  • 4% by elected officials
  • 1% by students

Why Are Books Challenged?

Reasons for Challenges

The top three reasons cited for challenging materials as reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom are:

  1. the material was considered to be "sexually explicit"
  2. the material contained "offensive language"
  3. the materials was "unsuited to any age group"

Other reasons cited include:

  • anti-ethnic
  • cultural insensitivity
  • racism
  • sexism
  • anti-family
  • violence
  • drugs, alcohol, smoking
  • gambling
  • suicide
  • homosexuality
  • religious viewpoint
  • political viewpoint
  • occult, Satanism, witchcraft
  • inaccurate
  • technical errors


University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

Contact Us | Staff Directory

University of Cincinnati

Alerts | Clery and HEOA Notice | Notice of Non-Discrimination | eAccessibility Concern | Privacy Statement | Copyright Information

© 2019 University of Cincinnati