While banning books from public schools and libraries is a less destructive form of censorship that became common practice in the United States and other Western European nations after the Enlightenment period, it is certainly not the only form of censorship that has targeted library holdings. Censorship has also occurred in the burning and destruction of libraries themselves throughout the centuries, with notable examples including the complete destruction of the University of Oxford library in 1683 under direct order of the king of England and the wholesale destruction of Albanian-language collections in Kosovo libraries from 1990 to 1999 (Polastron 2007). Burning of libraries was also common practice in both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, where some of the longest-lasting and most extensive censorship programs occurred during the twentieth century.
Throughout the twentieth century, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has become famous not only as one of Twain's greatest achievements, but also as a highly controversial piece of literature. In certain Southern states, the novel was banned due to its extensive criticism of the hypocrisy of slavery. Others have argued that the novel is racist due to the many appearances of the word "nigger." Unfortunately, the connotations of this word tend to override the novel's deeper antislavery themes, and prevent readers from understanding Twain's true perspective. In Twain's time, this word was used often and did not carry as powerful a racist connotation as it does currently. Therefore, in using the word, Twain was simply projecting a realistic portrayal of Southern society. Undoubtedly, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is highly significant due to its deep exploration of issues surrounding racism and morality, and continues to provide controversy and debate to this day, evidencing the continued relevance of these concepts.