Celebrating Diversity with Banned Books Week

September 22nd 2016
NMBCC Library Banned Books Display

Banned Books Week was created in 1982 as a designated week for celebrating free and open access to information and bringing awareness to challenged books. Many times, parents voice concerns for their children being exposed to different content in literature. The majority of books are asked to be banned from schools or public libraries; however, numerous libraries across the United States favor diversity and oppose this form of censorship. As libraries, we uphold our stance of supporting intellectual freedom and the right to read.

This year, Banned Books Week (September 25-October 1) will highlight books written by diverse authors, including authors of color. There is a vast array of diverse topics in literature that are challenged for a variety of reasons, the top ones including offensive language, sexually explicit material, violence, content considered unsuitable for the age group, and homosexuality.

The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center Library stands in solidarity with libraries that promote freedom to access and read diverse books. In the NMBCC Library and Wells Library collection, you can find many challenged books written by African American authors. Here is a list of important literature written by African American authors that have been asked to be banned for different reasons:

               Beloved / Toni Morrison

               Invisible Man / Ralph Ellison

               The Color Purple / Alice Walker

               Native Son / Richard Wright

               The Autobiography of Malcolm X / Malcolm X and Alex Haley

               The Bluest Eye / Toni Morrison

               I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings / Maya Angelou

               Things Fall Apart / Chinua Achebe 

               Their Eyes Were Watching God / Zora Neale Hurston

               A Lesson Before Dying / Ernest J. Gaines

               Go Tell It on the Mountain / James Baldwin

               Song of Solomon / Toni Morrison

Take a look at these resources to learn more about Banned Books Week and the reasons for banning some of the titles mentioned above:

We hope you enjoy learning about this celebration and read some banned books this week!

Today's Hours

9:00am - 5:00pm All hours


  • Building Access Use entrance on west side of building (behind the Auditorium) with wheelchair accessible ramp. Library on first floor. Building Access
  • Media Showing RoomPortable viewing equipment available for showing library-owned media items for small groups. Media Showing Room
  • ScanningScanners located at workstations 2 and 9; those using scanners have priority when other workstations are available. Scanning
  • Reserve ServicesPrint and media reserves are located at the NMBCC Library Circulation Desk. Reserve Services
  • Food ServiceLounges with snack, coffee, and soda vending machines located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the building. Food Service
  • Group Study SpaceSmall Group Study Room and multiuse Exhibit Room may be reserved by emailing bcclib@indiana.edu. Collaborative Learning Center room available first-come, first-served for group study. Group Study Space
  • PrintingOne black & white printer with print release station. Printing
  • Computer Workstations9 workstations, 1 print release station, 2 flatbed scanners. Collaboration table with large screen monitor and capability to connect up to 4 laptops. Computer Workstations

Contact Info

Neal-Marshall Center A113
275 North Jordan Ave.
Bloomington, IN 47405
(812) 855-3237
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DeLoice Holliday - Head
(812) 855-4369

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