For immediate release | September 11, 2017

Readers invited to participate in Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament during Banned Books Week

CHICAGO — To coincide with this year's ALA Banned Books Week’s theme, “Words Have Power,” the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom is harnessing the power of social media to host engaging activities and ignite conversations about the freedom to read.

Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament

During Banned Books Week (Sept. 24-30), readers are encouraged to complete banned book-themed tasks on Twitter for a chance to win literary prizes in the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament.

The Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament draws attention to library resources and the benefits of unrestricted reading. Readers are invited to post any of the following action items to Twitter using the hashtag #RebelReader:

  1. Take a selfie with a banned or challenged book

  2. Share a video of yourself talking about censorship or reading from a banned or challenged book

  3. Post a quote from a favorite banned or challenged book

  4. Share a story about an educator who helped you learn the power of words

  5. Take a photo of a completed ALA Banned Books Week coloring sheet

  6. Take a photo of yourself with any Words Have Power swag

  7. Share a link to your local library’s homepage or book selection policy

  8. Tweet some love at a banned author from this list

Each eligible tweet is entered into a drawing for banned book swag bags, which includes a signed copy of frequently challenged book “Drama,” an I Read Banned Books tote, a Litographs poster of a banned book, a Discover What You’re Missing mug, a copy of the frequently challenged book "George," a banned book cover pin, Erase Censorship pencils and a signed copy of the most challenged book of 2016, “This One Summer.”

One winner will be randomly selected every day of Banned Books Week and announced on OIF's Twitter. Participants can submit multiple tweets for each task, but duplicate tweets are discouraged. Visit the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament homepage for Official Rules.

More than 180 libraries and nonprofits have signed up to host the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament locally. Partners receive a digital toolkit with publicity materials, and library partners are entered into a drawing for intellectual freedom-themed giveaways. Find out if your local library or institution is hosting the Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament.

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom will also celebrate Banned Books Week with its annual Stand for the Banned Read-Out. While participants are still invited to film themselves reading from a banned book, the office also encourages readers to talk about censorship or how banned books have impacted their lives. Videos submitted to the office will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Participants can also post their videos on Twitter with the hashtag #RebelReader to enter the drawing.


The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is hosting its second annual Thunderclap, a platform that posts a one-time message on the social media pages of those who sign-up.

When ALA reaches its goal of 500 supporters, the following message will be posted on social media profiles the Monday of Banned Books Week: “Your words have the power to challenge censorship. Support the freedom to read & express ideas. #bannedbooksweek.” Last year, the American Library Association reached 1.6 million people with its Thunderclap message.

Related Links


Eleanor Diaz

Program Officer

Office for Intellectual Freedom