It’s your right to read! Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression, and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom.
This year, we are proud to partner with HarperCollins Children’s Publishing, Bookshop.org, the Banned Books Week Coalition, and the American Library Association to support banned books.
But you don’t have to stop fighting for your freedom to read after Banned Books Week is over! Here’s what you can do to combat censorship and keep books available in schools and libraries all year long.
Little Free Libraries are an excellent vehicle for providing access to books, and HarperCollins Children’s Publishing is sending out 1,000 of their banned books to Little Free Libraries around the country! If you’re a Little Free Library steward, you can apply here for a chance to receive ten banned books, with priority being given to those in areas where books are being challenged. You can also purchase a banned book from Bookshop.org or your local bookstore and put it in a Little Free Library near you. You can find a Little Free Libraries by using our mobile app, available for free download.
Read the Books
Exercise your reading rights. Check out a banned book. Encourage your book club to discuss challenged books. Many challenges to materials are the result of isolated passages taken out of context, so understanding the material is crucial. After reading the material, you will better understand the literary merits of the book as well as the concerns of the challengers, which will prepare you to counter any objections to the material you are trying to defend.
If you hear of a challenge at your local school or library, support free and open access to library materials by contacting the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). OIF estimates it learns of only 3-18% of book challenges. Find out your library’s policy for reviewing challenged materials. Stay updated about intellectual freedom by signing up for the free Intellectual Freedom News newsletter, or reading the Journal for Intellectual Freedom and Privacy.
Banned Books Week—or any time of year—is a great time to oppose book bans. Use the hashtag #bannedbooksweek on social media to declare your right to read. Or consider decorating your Little Free Library with a banned books theme!