For immediate release | July 20, 2010

Freedom to Read Foundation announces competition for two Banned Books Week grants

Judith Krug Fund will provide $2,500 and $1,000 awards to Read-Outs

CHICAGO – The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), through its Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, will provide two grants—one for $2,500 and one for $1,000—to two organizations to support “Read-Outs” celebrating Banned Books Week 2010. Applications for the grants will be accepted through Aug. 27, and the announcements will be made the week of Sept. 6. Banned Books Week 2010 will be held Sept. 25–Oct. 2.

This is the first announced project for the Judith Krug Memorial Fund, established after Krug’s death in April 2009. Krug was the founding executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, which was established in 1969 as a First Amendment legal defense organization affiliated with the American Library Association (ALA). Krug founded Banned Books Week in her capacity as director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

A Banned Books Week Read-Out is an event during which people celebrate the freedom to read by gathering to read from books that have been banned or challenged over the years. To help kick off this year’s Banned Books Week, ALA will be holding its annual Read-Out on Saturday, Sept. 25 in Chicago’s Washington Square Park—also known as Bughouse Square. Authors of some of the most frequently challenged books of 2009 will be reading from their works, including Lauren Myracle (the TTYL, TTFN, L8R G8R series), Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson ("And Tango Makes Three"), Stephen Chbosky ("Perks of Being a Wallflower"), and Carolyn Mackler ("The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things"). Award-winning (and frequently challenged) author Chris Crutcher will emcee the event.

“Judith Krug always loved the Chicago Read-Outs,” said Freedom to Read Foundation President Kent Oliver. “She enjoyed talking with the authors, the performers and particularly with the many young readers who came to hear the authors and get some wonderful books! She also always delighted in learning about other events going on around the country. She was so proud of Banned Books Week and how it was embraced nationally in schools, libraries, universities, book stores and online. We’re thrilled to offer these grants to encourage others around the country to hold their own celebrations of our freedom to read.”

To apply for a Judith Krug Banned Books Week Event grant, visit Organizations are required to submit an event description, timeline and budget with their application, as well as agree to provide a written report and video to FTRF following Banned Books Week. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit A compendium of thousands of books that have been banned and challenged can be found in the "2010 Banned Books Resource Guide," available via the ALA Store at You can also purchase Banned Books Week posters, buttons, bookmarks, t-shirts, bracelets, and tote bags there.

Contact Jonathan Kelley at or Nanette Perez at with questions, or call (800) 545-2433, ext. 4226.