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You Thought Banning Books Was A Thing Of The Past In America? Think Again!


You might think that banning books is a think of the past in American in 2016. But, a South Coast librarian says you’d be wrong, and is hosting a community event to look at the issue.

Allison Gray is the Goleta Library’s Supervising Librarian. She says the American Library Association puts together an annual top ten list of most banned books. The list is filled with books which deal with topics like sexuality, religious viewpoints, and graphic language.

She says among the books on the latest list is “Fifty Shades Of Grey,” which was banned in some places because of its sexual content, and in some cases by criticism of what some people contend is poor writing. Also banned in some places is “I Am Jazz,” a picture book written by a transgender teen trying to explain their story to kids. Some people claimed that the book promoted homosexuality, an assertion rejected as false by librarians.

You won’t believe what’s sixth on the most banned book list. It’s the Bible, which some people object to being in public institutions because of its religious viewpoints. Gray says that ironically, the most stolen books from libraries are Bibles.

On Sunday, Gray is going to host an event at the Goleta Library looking at the banned books issue, called “Banned Book…Why?”

Gray has been a librarian for 25 years, and admits she thinks calls for book bans have actually gotten worse over the years. The librarian says the fact is people have a choice. She says people can check something out, or not check it out, and that people should have choices. The interactive program “Banned Books…Why” will take place from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, at the Goleta Library. It’s free, and open to the public.