As the American Library Association kick off Banned Book Week, an annual event designed to draw attention to censorship issues, a bizarre case of visual censorship by IKEA is in the news.

The Swedish furniture company acknowledged that catalogs distributed in Saudi Arabia were retouched, with women disappearing from some photos. For example, the Swedish publication Metro noted that an original photo showed a pajama-clad woman standing at a bathroom sink, with two children and a man nearby -- the very picture of "Leave it to Beaver" wholesomeness. But in the Saudi version, the woman has vanished -- even her reflection in the mirror is gone.

In a statement, IKEA's worldwide franchisor said the retouchings occurred during the "work process" but were not requested by the Saudi franchisee. IKEA said it had "reviewed several of the discussed pictures, for example the women in front of the bathroom mirror ...  . Those pictures could very well have been included in the Saudi Arabian catalogue. We will naturally review our routines and working process, to ensure that this will not happen again. We deeply regret that mistakes have been made in this instance."

Meanwhile, the 326 challenges in 2011 reported by the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom go well beyong catalogs, to include classics such as "Brave New World" and "To Kill a Mockingbird. Here's the list:
  1. ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
    Reasons: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  2. The Color of Earth (series), by Kim Dong Hwa
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence
  4. My Mom's Having A Baby! A Kid's Month-by-Month Guide to Pregnancy, by Dori Hillestad Butler
    Reasons: nudity; sex education; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  5. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: offensive language; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit; unsuited to age group
  6. Alice (series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; religious viewpoint
  7. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    Reasons: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit
  8. What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
    Reasons: nudity; offensive language; sexually explicit
  9. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily Von Ziegesar
    Reasons: drugs; offensive language; sexually explicit
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: offensive language; racism