Banned Books Week Events

Free Webinar: How to protect the freedom to read in your library

bbw.ala.logoTuesday, September 29 - 9 a.m. PT; 10 a.m. MT; 11 a.m. CT; 12 p.m. ET

What do you do when a patron or a parent finds a book in your library offensive and wants to take it off your shelves? How do you remain sensitive to the needs of all patrons while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way? In this 1-hour webinar, three experienced voices will share personal experiences and tips for protecting and promoting the freedom to read.

Part I: How to use open communication to prevent book challenges

klKate Lechtenberg, teacher librarian at Iowa’s Ankeny Community School District, finds that conversations between librarians, teachers, students, and parents are a key way to creating a culture that understands and supports intellectual freedom. “The freedom to read is nothing without the freedom to discuss the ideas we find in books.”

Part II: How to handle a book challenge after it happens

avatar.jpg.320x320pxKristin Pekoll, assistant director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share her unique experiences facing several book challenges (and a potential book burning!) when she served as a young adult librarian. How did she address the needs of upset parents and community members while maintaining unrestricted access to information and keeping important books on her shelves?

Part III: How to bring attention to the issue of banned books

sdmWhy would a supporter of free speech and open learning purposely ban a book? Scott DiMarco, director of the North Hall Library at Mansfield University, reveals how he once banned a book to shed light on library censorship and what else he is doing to support the freedom to read on his Pennsylvania campus.

Following the three presentations, there will be some time for Q&A moderated by Vicky Baker, deputy editor of the London-based Index on Censorship magazine.


Sponsored by:

Reddit's Banned Books Week AMA (Ask Me Anything-Scary Stories style)

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 7-9 p.m. CT

This Reddit AMA will include Cody Meirick, producer and director of the upcoming documentary, Scary Stories; Peter Schwartz, son of author Alvin Schwartz; as well as Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director for the Office for Intellectual Freedom with the American Library Association. It is Banned Books Week! We'll be talking about banning books in America. Why are these books banned and why should we care?
Banned Books Week Ask Me Anything - Scary Stories Style

  1. Save the date on your personal calendars. 
  2. Check back to the link above on the day of the event.
  3. Follow the direct link to the AMA Banned Books Week post that Cody will create specifically for this live event. 
  4. Create an account or login to Reddit
  5. Ask Questions and comment about the impact of Banned Books, especially Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Example: Reddit AMA Discussion with Lois Lowry
Learn more at the Scary Stories Documentary website.

Participate in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-OutAre you interested in participating in Banned Books Week, but don't know how? Consider joining many celebrities, libraries and bookstores across the country in the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!

For the fifth year in a row, readers from across the country and around the world will be able to participate virtually during Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 –October 3, 2015. Participants may proclaim the importance of the freedom to read by posting videos that will be featured on a dedicated Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel.

Instructions on how libraries can participate in the event can be found on the  How your library can participate in the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-out! page.

Promote Your Banned Books Week Event

Promote your Banned Books Week event on the website targeted to the general public on the Events page. Add your event to the list by filling out this form