For immediate release | May 21, 2013

Freedom to Read Foundation announces seven recipients of 2013 Banned Books Week event grants

CHICAGO - The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF), via its Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, has announced seven $1,000 grants to libraries, schools and community organizations in support of Banned Books Week events. Banned Books Week, which will take place Sept. 22–30, 2013, celebrates the freedom to access information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship.

Recipients of this year’s grants are the Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library Foundation, Judith’s Reading Room, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Livingston Parish (La.) Library, Lockport (La.) Public Library, School of Law and Social Justice (Atlanta), and Yuma County (Ariz.) Library District.
"The quality of this year's application was tremendous,” said FTRF Executive Director Barbara Jones. "We couldn't be more pleased by the care and thought that was put into the proposals. From a dance performance and an art show to online and offline readings, discussions, and lectures, we're confident that the chosen projects represent a range of innovative, creative ideas that will result in great events!”
In exchange for the grant, recipients agree to provide FTRF with photos and video of their events. View the video featuring 2012 grant recipients. Photos from past years are available on FTRF's Facebook page.
In addition to the cash award, the Freedom to Read Foundation is providing Banned Books Week merchandise, sold by the American Library Association Store, to the grant recipients. Many other Banned Books Week events around the country will be listed at
Below is a description of grant-winning events:
Gadsden (Ala.) Public Library Foundation, for "Banned Books Week Gadsden Reads: Fahrenheit 451." The library and its partner organizations will focus primarily on Ray Bradbury's classic novel, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2013. Events include a scholarly lecture, a public book discussion, a Banned Books Art Exhibit and an informal discussion of the novel with inmates at a local detention center.
Judith’s Reading Room, for "Emotive Powers of Literature: Celebrating Banned Books through Dance.” The Eastern Pennsylvania-based nonprofit will collaborate with Muhlenberg College on a dance performance focused on books banned or challenged in the U.S. in the last 31 years. This is the second consecutive grant for Judith's Reading Room, which was established in 2010 in memory of Judith F. Krug.
Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, based in Indianapolis, is sponsoring a wide-ranging series of events, including a film festival, invitational juried art show and the distribution of a free bookmark featuring controversial phrases from Vonnegut's frequently challenged novel "Slaughterhouse-Five." In addition, for the duration of Banned Books Week, local author Hugh Vandivier will live in the library's storefront window behind a wall of banned books.
Livingston (La.) Parish Library, for "I Read Banned (Southern) Books Week," a celebration of southern books that have been banned and challenged. Included in their program are a performance of a one-act play; a night of music featuring banned country songs; "jail cell" displays and photo booths at all five branches and giveaways of books, movies, audiobooks and tote bags.
Lockport (La.) Public Library, a branch of the LaFourche Parish Public Library, will organize an art workshop, pirate radio-type broadcasts, podcasts, a short video project ("A World without Books"), mock trials to determine if books will be "jailed," movie matinees and many more activities.
The School of Law and Social Justice, part of the Atlanta Public Schools, for "Danger! Black Men Reading," a series of events highlighting banned books by African-American male authors, including Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Malcolm X. The school's application noted that boys at the school are 50 percent less likely to check out titles than girls. The programs will discuss the impact censorship has had on the black community and on black men and boys specifically.
Yuma County (Ariz.) Library District will present "Time in the Slammer" in cooperation with The Freedom Library. Inspired by the Yuma Territorial Prison, the project will create "jail cells" in all seven branches, in which people can sit, read and get their pictures taken to promote the concept that people are willing to sit in jail for their right to read.
The Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund was established after Krug’s death in April 2009. Judith Krug was the founding executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. She helped found Banned Books Week in 1982 in her capacity as director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. The Freedom to Read Foundation began awarding Banned Books Week grants in 2010 and became an official Banned Books Week sponsor in 2012.
To make a donation to the Krug Fund, visit


Jonathan Kelley

Program Officer

Freedom to Read Foundation