Freedom to Read Week, September 18 through 24. Visit www.ala.org/bbooks. Freedom to Read Week, September 18 through 24. Visit www.ala.org/bbooks.

Freedom to Read

We are celebrating you and your family’s right to choose what you read with a week of take-home activities, displays, and programs. By highlighting the abundance of diverse and inclusive materials available at MPPL, we hope to bring new perspectives and more understanding, empathy, and joy to the readers in our community. 

See our Freedom to Read Guide here.

Book Menu

Need help choosing your next read? Download a copy of our Book Menu to see a selection of some of our favorites!

You can also pick up a copy of our Book Menu at the Main Library and South Branch during Freedom to Read week, now through September 24.

Library Bill of Rights

From the ALA Library Bill of Rights.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Learn More

Library Events

Sunday Matinee: James and the Giant Peach

Join us for a family movie matinee! In celebration of Freedom to Read week, we will watch James and the Giant Peach (PG) and enjoy snacks. All children must be accompanied by an adult at this family event.

Sunday, September 18, 2:00 p.m.

Virtual City Lit Theater Presents Books on the Chopping Block

Join us for a virtual top 10 countdown of dramatic readings by City Lit Theater Company in honor of Freedom to Read Week. City Lit’s annual performance features the American Library Association’s (ALA) list of most challenged books from last year. City Lit is excited to showcase these books and to engage with you about censorship and the freedom to read during a Q&A session following the readings.

Top 10 Challenged Books of 2021

The American Library Association recorded 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Overall, 1,597 books were targeted. Here are the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2021, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

Gender Queer book cover

1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit images.

Lawn Boy book cover

2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.

All Boys Aren't Blue book cover

3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was considered sexually explicit.

Out of Darkness book cover

4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered sexually explicit.

the hate you give book cover

5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Challenged for profanity, violence, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message and “indoctrination of a social agenda.”

the Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian book cover

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and use of a derogatory term.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl book cover

7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to women.

The Bluest Eye book cover

8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse.

This Book Is Gay book cover

9. This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson

Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.

Beyond Magenta book cover

10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.