Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. Here’s what you can do to fight censorship, keep books available in libraries, and promote the freedom to read!
Stay informed. If you hear of a challenge at your local library, support your librarian and free and open access to library materials by contacting the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). OIF estimates it learns of only 3-18% of book challenges. Find out your library's policy for reviewing challenged materials. Stay updated about intellectual freedom by signing up for the free Intellectual Freedom News newsletter, or reading the Journal for Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.
Organize your own Banned Books Week program. This could be at your school, public library, or favorite bookstore. Think “outside the book" when brainstorming ideas. OIF offers an array of resources, such as options for a First Amendment film festival and display ideas. The Banned Books Week Pinterest page hosts a collection of ideas to spark your creativity.
Participate in the OIF Virtual Read-out. Join readers from across the world in filming yourself reading from your favorite banned book. The videos are featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.
Submit content that address censorship and banned books to the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Posts can be news items, reviews and listicals.
Perform a play about the freedom to read. The Office for Intellectual Freedom offers a complete stage adaption of YA novel The Sledding Hill, written by frequently banned author Chris Crutcher.
Proclaim Banned Books Week at your local library. Use our proclamation template to announce your library’s dedication to the freedom to read.
Stock up on Banned Books Week materials. Every year, OIF produces a line of Banned Books Week products (PDF). Show your literary pride with T-shirts, bookmarks and posters, while helping support OIF. We also offer a free downloads page with graphics, official logos and social media tools.
Write a letter to the editor. Edit and adapt this “Read a Banned Book” opinion column for your local newspaper. Include local Banned Books Week programs so your community can support their right to read.
Brush up on banned book history. The latest edition of Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read contains an annotated list of challenged and banned books, as well as the history of literary censorship.
Help spread the word. Use the hashtag #bannedbooksweek to declare your right to read.
Speak out. Announce the importance of unrestricted reading on your local public radio station with a PSA script. Write letters to the editor, your public library director and your school principal supporting the freedom to read. Talk to your friends about why everyone should be allowed to choose for themselves and their families what they read.
Exercise your reading rights. Check out a banned book. Encourage your book club to discuss rebellious reads.
Join the Freedom to Read Foundation. It's dedicated to the legal and financial defense of intellectual freedom, especially in libraries.
Share how you're celebrating Banned Books Week with OIF at email@example.com; your ideas may inspire others!