For immediate release | September 26, 2012

Bill Moyers calls out book censors for Banned Books Week

CHICAGO — Award-winning broadcast journalist Bill Moyers discusses book banning and the harms of censorship in a new video essay to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week is an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) that recognizes the importance of the freedom to read. Both Bill and Judith Davidson Moyers were named Honorary Co-Chairs of this year’s celebration Sept. 30 – Oct. 6.

In the video essay titled "The Bane of Banned Books,” Moyers talks about how libraries provided his first opportunity to indulge his love of reading and learning, and shares his dismay over efforts to remove books from schools and libraries in modern times.

Moyers will also discuss book censorship and Banned Books Week, among other topics, in a “Live Chat with Bill Moyers” on his website Monday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. Eastern time. To participate in the chat, comments and questions can be left on the site or via Twitter @BillMoyers.

Collaborating with his wife and creative partner, Judith Moyers, for more than 25 years, Bill Moyers has produced groundbreaking TV series and specials including “NOW with Bill Moyers,” “Bill Moyers Journal” and “Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth.” His latest book, “Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues,” was released last year. Judith Moyers is the executive editor of “Moyers & Company” and CEO of Public Affairs Television, their independent production company. For more information about Bill and Judith Moyers, please visit

Moyers’s video is part of the ALA’s Virtual Read-Out, an advocacy campaign to spotlight the harms of censorship of books in schools and libraries, and provide an opportunity for readers to demonstrate their support for the First Amendment by reading from their favorite banned or challenged books. Joining Moyers on the Virtual Read-Out this year are highly acclaimed and/or frequently challenged authors Dori Hillstad Butler, Stephen Chbosky, Sara Paretsky, Carmen Tafolla and many more. More than 800 videos were uploaded during Banned Books Week last year including posts from highly acclaimed and/or frequently challenged authors Jay Asher, Judy Blume, Chris Crutcher, Whoopi Goldberg, Lauren Myracle and many more. Check out the Banned Books Week YouTube channel to view the videos.

For more information about book challenges and bans in your area, or a listing of Banned Books Week events sponsored by libraries, bookstores and other groups throughout the United States, visit the Banned Books Week website.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by ALA, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the National Association of College Stores, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, and PEN American Center. Banned Books Week is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Project Censored.


Barbara M. Jones

Executive Director

Freedom to Read Foundation