It’s Banned Books Week, when libraries, schools, bookstores, and groups and individuals around the world—including Banned Books Week Honorary Chair LeVar Burton—call attention to censorship and ways to fight it.
Since 1982, Banned Books Week has highlighted attempts to remove books and other materials from libraries, schools, and bookstores. The theme of this year’s Banned Books Week, “Let Freedom Read,” is a call to action about the urgent need to defend the right to read and to support readers, library staff, educators, authors, publishers, and booksellers during a time of unprecedented attempts to ban and challenge books.
The American Library Association (ALA) and Unite Against Book Bans will have a slate of programs, a call to action on Let Freedom Read Day, videos from the Banned Books From the Big Chair read out, and more throughout the week. Read on for details.
Authors and Advocates on Fighting Book Bans
October 4, 12 p.m. CDT
Join author John Green (Looking for Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars), writer and illustrator Mike Curato (Flamer), librarian and Texas FReadom Fighters co-founder Becky Calzada, and Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for an online conversation about the impact of book bans and the ways in which they have taken action to fight censorship. The program will close with a short Q&A. Sign up here.
LeVar Burton LIVE in Conversation with Da’Taeveyon Daniels
October 4, 7 p.m. CDT
Beloved reading advocate, writer, and television and film star—and Banned Books Week 2023 Honorary Chair—LeVar Burton will discuss his anti-censorship work and literacy advocacy with Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels during this rare live event, which will stream on Facebook. Follow @bannedbooksweek and join us.
Rally for the Right to Read: A Banned Books Week Event
October 5, 1 p.m. CDT
Join Penguin Random House, Booklist, and Unite Against Book Bans for the video of Ibram X. Kendi’s inspiring speech from the Rally for the Right to Read at the 2023 ALA Annual Conference. Introduced by ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall, in conversation with Chris Jackson, publisher and editor of One World, this hour-long webinar will celebrate the right to read and librarians’ role in providing access for all. Representatives from Unite Against Book Bans will also join the webinar to share resources and offer a myriad of ways that viewers can join in the fight for the freedom to read, and 10 LIVE webinar attendees will win a full set of Ibram X. Kendi’s books. Register now!
A Seat at the Table: Youth Advocates on Fighting Book Bans
October 5, 7 p.m. CDT
Join Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Da’Taeveyon Daniels for an inspiring roundtable discussion about youth advocacy in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and how that work can inform opposition to censorship around the country. Join us on Facebook (@bannedbooksweek) or via Zoom: register here.
Let Freedom Read Day
October 7 marks Let Freedom Read Day, the first Banned Books Week day of action. From calling decision-makers to checking out or buying banned books, to writing letters and more, everyone is encouraged to do at least one thing to defend the right to read and to speak on behalf of those who ensure access to information. For information about ways to participate and resources, visit bannedbooksweek.org/let-freedom-read-day.
Banned Books Week on social media
If you attended the ALA Annual Conference in June, you might have had a chance to read a banned book from a very large chair! Visit the Banned Books Week YouTube account to see all the fabulous read out videos!
Keep your eye on Instagram throughout Banned Books Week – in addition to the live program with LeVar Burton, you can expect some exciting content from advocates. Follow @banned_books_week, @uniteagainstbooksbans, and @americanlibraryassociation.
Find the latest information about ALA’s Banned Books Week programming, book bans and challenges support at ala.org/bbooks.
Visit BannedBooksWeek.org for information about Banned Books Week events and other programs, ways to participate, and promotional materials, and follow Banned Books Week on social media (@BannedBooksWeek on X and Facebook, @banned_books_week on Instagram) for the latest updates.