Banned Books Week Events

2014 Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week 2014 took place September 21-27. ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom celebrated Banned Books Week with a free webinar. 

You're Invited to a Free Webinar: Regional Issues for Banned Books in 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 9am PT/12pm ET
Cosposored by SAGE Publications and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom

In 2013, there were 307 reported requests for books to be removed from America’s libraries, potentially putting those volumes out of reach of students, readers, and learners of all types. While every corner of the map faces unique issues related to library censorship, these issues also catalyze passionate freedom-to-read advocates dedicated to getting the books back on library shelves. In this one-hour webinar, we will “travel” from London, to South Carolina, to Texas, to California, to talk with three activists about the problems they face and their efforts to un-ban books as well as Congresswoman Linda Sanchez about why their efforts are so important.

  • London, UK: Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, will start us off by discussing issues faced outside of the U.S. and how Index chooses to respond.
  • Charleston, South Carolina: We will then travel to Charleston — where the graphic novel Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel has been a flashpoint in a university funding controversy — to hear from Shelia Harrell-Roye, a committee member from Charleston Friends of the Library. With the 2014 Banned Books Week focus on graphic novels, Harrell-Roye will discuss what her group has been doing to support this critically acclaimed book.
  • Houston, Texas: Moving westward, we will travel to Houston to hear from Tony Diaz, author, radio host, and leader of El Librotraficante. Diaz is a champion for banned books and for ethnic studies textbooks in both Arizona and Texas.

This banned books journey will end in California where Congresswoman Linda Sánchez of the CA 38th District, will offer some closing remarks about why the freedom to read is so important for our nation’s future. Afterward, our very own Ed McBride will wrap up the conversation from Thousand Oaks, CA.

register-now-buttonRegistration is free, but spaces are limited.

Planning to attend? Let your social space know about this important event using #FreetoRead14.




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Highlights from Banned Books Week 2013

Banned Books Week 2013 took place September 22-28. In addition to the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out, many celebrated their freedom to read via Twitter Party! We also hosted Google Hangouts with banned/challenged authors throughout the week

Highlights from Banned Books Week 2012

Banned Books Week 2012 marked its 30th anniversary (see timeline). Thousands of individuals and institutions across the United States participate in Banned Books Week each year, and it has grown into a premier literary event and a national awareness and advocacy campaign around censorship. Award-winning broadcast journalists Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers had been named Honorary Co-Chairs of Banned Books Week. 

Bill Moyers, the host of “Moyers & Company” on public television and a long-time supporter of Banned Books Week, has produced a video essay addressing the importance of our freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. “Censorship is the enemy of truth, even more than a lie,” said Bill Moyers. “A lie can be exposed; censorship can prevent us from knowing the difference.”
Moyers’s video is part of the Virtual Read Out, an advocacy campaign to spotlight the harms of censorship of books in schools and libraries, and provide an opportunity for readers to demonstrate their support for the First Amendment by reading from their favorite banned or 
challenged books. Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Sara Paretsky, author of VI Warshawski fame, and Poet Laureate of San Antonio, Carmen Tafolla joined Moyers in the Virtual Read-Out with videos of them reading from their banned/challenged works or their favorite banned/challenged novel. Check out the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out channel on YouTube for access to more videos.
Banned Books Virtual Read-Out
In addition to the continuation of the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out, the Office for Intellectual Freedom delivered the 50 State Salute to Banned Books Week in coordination with ALA Chapters. The 50 State Salute consisted of videos on how each state celebrates the freedom to read. Click on the logo to videos your state produced:

50 State Salute to Banned Books Week


Photos of Banned Books Week events


Created with flickr slideshow from softsea.