Libraries invited to join Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign this Banned Books Week
For Immediate Release
ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom
Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. This Banned Books Week (September 23-29), the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is hosting a letter-writing campaign that celebrates stories that have made an impact.
Dear Banned Author encourages readers to write to banned or challenged authors, sharing how their stories made a difference. Libraries are invited to host letter-writing programs during Banned Books Week. The Dear Banned Author webpage includes promotional tools:
- Printable postcards
- A list of banned and challenged author addresses and Twitter handles
- Tips on hosting a letter-writing program
- Shareable images
Readers are also encouraged to share their letters on social media using the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor and #BannedBooksWeek.
Dear Banned Author not only raises awareness of books that are threatened with censorship, but also generates discussions about the essential access to a variety of library materials. Authors have also shared fan letters as support when there's a public challenge to their books.
In addition to writing letters, the ALA Public Library Association (PLA) invites community members to write stories. PLA and Short Édition are hosting a national short story contest, from Sept. 25-Oct. 30, 2018. Additional information can be found on the PLA website; full contest details will be released on Sept. 25.
Raise the Roof for Readers
OIF will also host the annual Stand for the Banned Virtual Read-out. Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs, continuous readings of banned and challenged books.
Submitted videos may be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Suggestions for video content include reading from a banned or challenged book, sharing why a book was censored, or discussing the benefits of unrestricted reading.
Librarians, teachers and others in the book community can share Banned Books Week events with the world in one collaborative spot. Events submitted to the Banned Books Week calendar reach a broad audience and are easily searchable.
Additional Banned Books Week resources — such as images, GIFs and coloring sheets — can be found on ala.org/bbooks. Program and display ideas can be found on the Banned Books Week Pinterest page and in the Facebook video “Raise the Volume on Banned Books Week Programs.”
About Banned Books Week
First celebrated in 1982, Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas. Every year, libraries, bookstores, universities and organizations host engaging programs and create eye-catching displays. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restricted in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.