Fact: The Brooklyn Library has a vaulted room which holds some of the more "controversial" books. CityRoom pointed out that you can't find a copy of, say, cartoonist Hergé's book "Tintin au Congo" on the shelves, because that book is held in this locked room. (The site published parts of the book, so probably that web page should go in there too.) One librarian told them, “It’s not for the public," and has been locked away for 2 years now after "a patron objected to the way Africans are depicted in the book. In particular, the patron took issue with illustrations that she felt had the Africans 'looking like monkeys.'’’

Fair enough, it is a public library after all, and patrons who want to see what they call The Hunt Collection, can do so by appointment. The site notes that The New York Public Library branches "fielded written objections on 10 items since 2006, including Godless: The Church of Liberalism, by Ann H. Coulter." You can still find that book out on the shelves though, and "on the rare occasions when a formal objection is upheld by library officials, a book may be removed or put in a less accessible area; that way, the challenged item remains in the library’s collection."

On last year's ALA top 10 most frequently challenged book list were Gossip Girl and The Kite Runner—you can check out a map of banned books nationwide here. And next month it's Banned Book Week; New York will participate with a display at McNally Jackson on Prince Street. This may be a good time to start a Banned Book Club!