Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School and Public Librarianship


Special Educational Services/Instruction


College of Education


Shontz, Marilyn


Censorship--New Jersey; Libraries--Censorship--New Jersey


Library and Information Science


It is essential that young adults have access to books that are of interest to them, regardless of controversy that may surround such titles. The purpose of this study was to determine the existence of commonly banned young adult (YA) books in the library collections of traditional public high schools in Gloucester County. A significant lack of such books may be a sign that censorship or self-censorship has hindered the development of the collection, thereby robbing students of their freedom to read.

The researcher searched the OPACs of thirteen traditional public high schools for thirty-seven predetermined titles. The titles that were searched for were selected by compiling the titles listed in the ALA publications Hit List: Frequently Challenged Books for Young Adults (1996) and Hit List for Young Adults 2. Frequently Challenged Books (2002). The researcher obtained data in three ways: through remote access to the online catalog, through the JerseyCat database, and through on-site visitations. A total of 481 title searches were completed. The results of the study indicated that some form of censorship may have occurred in four of the thirteen libraries.