“The Kite Runner,” by Khaled Hosseini. “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. The Holy Bible. This seemingly different list of books have one thing in common — all were banned or challenged in the United States for a variety of reasons.

Each year, hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries, with concerns ranging from religious viewpoints to profanity to LGBTQIA+ content. When the challenge results in the removal of the book from an institution, whether from the library’s shelves or the school’s curriculum, the book is considered a banned book. In 2018 alone, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom noted 483 books were challenged or banned.

Jessica Laganosky is the public services librarian for the Adams County Library System.

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