For immediate release | October 13, 2011

750 videos posted during banned books read-out

CHICAGO – More than 750 people read from their favorite banned books during the virtual read-out that took place on YouTube as part of the recently concluded Banned Books Week. People of all ages were filmed in bookstores, libraries and their own homes throughout the United States. They were joined by Whoopi Goldberg and many authors whose books have been challenged, including Judy Blume, Lauren Myracle, Jay Asher and Chris Crutcher. The videos are posted here, “We are absolutely delighted that with the response to our first virtual read-out,” Barbara Jones, the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said. “Without question, this is the largest number of people to ever participate in a read-out, and we will be looking for ways to expand next year during the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week.”

The virtual read-out was the centerpiece of an expanded Banned Books Week, which focuses attention on the censorship of books in schools and libraries. The sponsors launched a redesigned website, In addition to providing information about the virtual read-out, it includes an interactive map that shows the location of book challenges in recent years as well as a listing of featured events and a state-by-state listing of libraries, bookstores and other groups that are participating in Banned Books Week.

To provide additional organizational support for Banned Books Week, the current sponsors–the ALA, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the National Association of College Stores (NACS)--recruited several new sponsors this year: National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and PEN American Center (PEN). Project Censored joined the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress as an endorser of Banned Books Week.

Publishers increased their support and participation as well. A number of AAP member publishers, including Hachette, Penguin, Random House, Scholastic, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster provided guidance for the observance through an AAP Banned Books Week Publisher Task Force.


Chris Finan

American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression

(212) 587-4025, ext. 4

Barbara Jones

American Library Association

(312) 280-4222

Judith Platt

Association of American Publishers

(202) 220-4551