Events Spotlight: September 26

We’ve reached the midpoint of Banned Books Week. What are you doing to celebrate today? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at, where you can find events happening all over the world! If you’re hosting an event, let us know about it by completing this form — we’ll add it to the map!

Don’t forget to tag @BannedBooksWeek and #BannedBooksWeek on Twitter and Facebook when you share your Banned Books Week adventures!

Let’s take a look at how people are celebrating today…

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

Drag Queen Story Hour Reads Banned Books
Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET

Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like–drag queens read children’s books and lead creative activities promoting imagination and freedom of self-expression. In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ll be reading books from the ALA’s Top Ten Banned Books of 2017 list. Half of the books on the list were challenged for LGBTQ themes, so this story hour could not be more needed to ensure that these important stories are not silenced. Co-hosted by Drag Queen Story Hour and the National Coalition Against Censorship. All families are welcome to join us at the Brooklyn Public Library!

Image Comics Livestream: Nick Dragotta
Twitch, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. ET

Image Comics is celebrating Banned Books Week with Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and The Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table of the American Library Association by producing a week of Library Livestreams featuring creators Nick Dragotta (EAST OF WEST), Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK, Lumberjanes), Pornsak Pichetshote (INFIDEL), Charles Soule (CURSE WORDS), and Skottie Young (I HATE FAIRYLAND, BULLY WARS, MIDDLEWEST).

Simply visit the Image Comics Twitch page at All webinars will run from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST and will include a discussion between moderator and creator for 40-45 minutes; followed by 15-20 minutes of Q&A participation with live audience. No registration is required to view these livestreams.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Golden, Colorado
Miners Alley Playhouse, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. MT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Los Angeles, California
Skylight Theatre, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. PT

Join the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, as they present Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret during Banned Books Week 2018 (September 23-29). This lively celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on the American stage raises awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in theater. The performances will feature selections from Chicago, Spring Awakening, Cabaret, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works.


Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign (all week)

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 23-29), readers are encouraged to write to their favorite banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories meant to them. The goal of the campaign is to not only raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and support authors, but also encourage thoughtful discussions about the power of words and how essential it is to have access to a variety of viewpoints in libraries. Authors also have shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at

Project Censored (all week)

Project Censored will celebrate Banned Books Week with several guests representing a variety of perspectives on censorship and advocacy for the right to read. Find the show at the Project Censored website,, during Banned Books Week.

Penguin Random House Instagram Sweepstakes Benefitting We Need Diverse Books (all week)

This year, Penguin Random House is highlighting quotes from books that have been challenged or banned in a social media sweepstakes competition, open to participants who repost these quotes or tag a friend and comment with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #Sweepstakes. For every entry, Penguin Random House will donate one book – up to 5,000 total – to We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

To participate in this campaign, follow @PenguinRandomHouse on Instagram.

More info…

Other Events

UK Drill & Grime–What’s the Problem?
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST
Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road
London, EC1R 3GA United Kingdom

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK?

Part of Free Word’s upcoming THIS IS PRIVATE Season, launching 5 September 2018.

“This is how it’s been from the beginning, it’s just that everyone is hearing about it now.”

South London rapper Giggs spoke out in 2010 about the forced cancellations of his shows by the Met Police using the risk assessment Form 696. 8 years later, Form 696 has been scrapped, yet UK drill groups are being banned from YouTube and in some cases prohibited from making music without police approval, in case of lyrics that “encourage violence”.

How is music that reflects the lives of marginalised youths on inner-city estates treated in the UK, and what does this say about the censoring of certain voices and communities? With Grime MC P Money, DJ A.G, Drill Producer Carns Hill and Journalist Ciaran Thapar. More info…

Banned Books Read-Out
September 26 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm CDT
Texas State University, 601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666 United States

Alkek Library will observe Banned Books Week 2018 by celebrating our freedom to read during the annual Read-Out. Alkek Library invites the Texas State community to read from their favorite Banned Book on September 26th, 2018. Readings will take place from 10am-2pm in the Alkek Library Open Theater on the main floor. We will have a selection of books available for you to choose or bring your own. Sign up for a 5 minute reading spot here:

Don’t feel like reading? That’s okay! Join the audience and listen. More info…

Banning Books Silences Stories Workshop & Freeze Mob
September 26 @ 11:15 am – 12:05 pm CDT
University of West Florida John C. Pace Library, 11000 University Parkway, Bldg. 32
Pensacola, FL 32514 United States

Banned Books Week gives students the opportunity to support free expression and intellectual freedom. Books tell stories and everyone’s stories should have the right to be heard! Don’t be silent, speak out against censorship by joining us Wednesday, September 26th, as we celebrate Banned Books Week and promote the freedom to read. Our “Banning Books Silences Stories” workshop will start at 11:15 in the Great Good Place of the University of West Florida John C. Pace Library followed by a fun 3-minute reading “freeze mob” on the UWF Cannon Green at noon. Everyone is welcome to participate in either or both events. More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 26 @ 12:00 pm – October 1 @ 8:00 pm EDT
Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library, 340 N Senate Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46260 United States

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library is celebrating the freedom to read and expression of ideas during Banned Books Week!

This year, Ball State University English professor Rai Peterson will be living in the front window of KVML as our prisoner. For the entire week she will be imprisoned behind a wall of banned books, while joining the community in exploring censorship and challenged works.

From September 24-29, we invite you to join our prisoner for readings and discussions with guests such as Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, IUPUI professor Trevor Potts, Hunter S. Thompson’s son Juan Thompson, playwright Kenneth Jones, and more!

Not only are we supporting banned books, but also mental health awareness and our year of programming theme Lonesome No More. Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter Nanette will share her family’s story and struggle with mental health challenges. More info…

Afternoon Conversations Real Life Rebel: Telling Her Story
September 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT
Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

Margaret Tolbert will discuss her book, “Resilience in the Face of Adversity,” about growing up in Suffolk during the Civil Rights struggle and overcoming adversity during that time. More info…

UNLV Libraries Banned Books Buffet
September 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm PDT
UNLV Lied Library, 4505 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89145 United States

Explore a banned or challenged book at the UNLV University Libraries Banned Books Buffet on Wednesday, Sept. 26 from 2-4 p.m. in the Amargosa Room at Lied Library in Las Vegas. Celebrate your freedom to read and right to choose during Banned Books Week!

Every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove banned books from schools and libraries. The Banned Books Buffet is an annual event celebrating your right to choose what to read. Explore books like Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, and Captain Underpants. Fight censorship, read a banned or challenged book, learn about intellectual freedom, have a snack, and more at this event. More info…

Banned Books Reading
September 26 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm EDT
Muskegon Community College, 221 S. Quarterline Rd
Muskegon, MI 49442 United States

In conjunction with Banned Books Week on Sept. 23-29, 2018, Muskegon Community College will host an event on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Blue and Gold Room. Excerpts will be read from books that have been challenged and banned in schools, libraries, and communities across the nation. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. More info…

Banned Books Week Discussion
September 26 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm EDT
Augusta-Richmond County Public Library System, 823 Telfair St
Augusta, GA 30901 United States

Program For Teens ~ Grades 6-12
Discuss your favorite banned books, the reasons why they were banned, and ways we can celebrate these books and our freedom to read. We’ll also showcase the Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out videos you create! More info…

Escape Room – Banned Books Week
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Central Branch Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22201 United States

Celebrate your freedom to read with a Banned Books Week-inspired escape room challenge!

It seems some of our favorite novels have begun to mysteriously disappear from our stacks. We need your help solving a series of riddles, puzzles, and clues to figure out where they have gone. If you are up to the task, please inquire immediately!

It’s a great chance to bond with family & friends.

Think you can solve the mystery in time?

For ages 16 and up. Register your 4-6 person group for 1 session:

This is an Escape Room style, timed game. There will not be a room to escape – only puzzles to solve.

More info…

I Totes Read Banned Books Craft
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
The Connection Branch Library, 2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 United States

Decorate a tote bag with your favorite quote from a banned book. Support freedom of expression and fashionably rock your reading uncensored! All supplies provided. More info…

Anarchy in the Stacks: DIY Book Making Workshop
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Morgan Memorial Library, 443 W Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

On this date, we bring you a DIY Workshop open to adults and teens interested in the “forbidden” craft of bookmaking. All materials provided. Registration is required. More info…

Banned Book Celebration
September 26 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
Book Cottage, 1901 Horton Rd
Jackson, MI 49203 United States

Join us in discussing your favorite banned book. We will talk about why they were banned and celebrate how many you have read! Food will be available at the Whimsical Cottage Cafe, this event is free! More info…


Person’s silhouette entering the backlit hall

Banned Books Week Lecture: Utopian Communities
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Shirlington Branch Library, 4200 Campbell Avenue
Arlington, VA 22206 United States

What is the history of utopianism and what kinds of experiments have there been in the U.S.? Why do a few succeed, but most fail? What social conditions make people want to escape into a utopia?

Celebrate Banned Books Week and get the answers to these questions in a talk with Mary McCutcheon, a former professor of anthropology at George Mason University from 1988 to 2004. Learn about controversial utopian thinkers and writers. More info…

Banned Books Week Talk
September 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT
Logan Library, 255 N Main St
Logan, UT 84321 United States

Join us for “Intellectual Freedom: A Value for the Left and the Right,” a presentation by Wanda Huffaker, Chair of the Utah Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by the Logan Library and the Friends of the Logan Library. More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 26 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm CDT
Multiple, Chicago, IL United States

Free Dramatic Readings by City Lit Theater Company of excerpts from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual freedom.

Today’s event:
Wednesday 9/26, 7:30PM – Mt. Prospect Library
10 S. Emerson St., Mount Prospect, IL