Banned Books Week is almost here, but it’s not too late to put together a display or event at your library, school, or store! The Banned Books Week Coalition is ready to help you put it together — and promote it — with some last-minute ideas and resources!
Dear Banned Author
ALA’s Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to reach out to banned or challenged authors via letters, emails, and tweets. The program aims to raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and ignite 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.
It’s easy to host a Dear Banned Author programs. Printable postcards and author mailing addresses can be found on the Dear Banned Author webpage. Set up a table in your library or classroom or put them on the checkout corner, and encourage your visitors to participate!
You can also participate online or invite your patrons to do so while they’re in your library, school, or store. Eligible tweets to or about banned and challenged authors with the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor will be entered into a drawing to win Banned Books Week materials. Learn more here, and read the Official Rules before entering.
Stand for the Banned Virtual Read-Out
The annual Stand for the Banned Read-out invites readers to film themselves reading banned books or talking about censorship. Videos are highlighted on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Set up a space in your library, school, or store where your patrons can participate in the read-out. Get more details here.
Banned Books Trivia Night
Trivia nights, also called pub quizzes, quiz nights, or bar trivia, are a great low-cost way to engage your community for Banned Books Week and beyond! The Banned Books Week Coalition assembled a program kit that provides a basic outline and tips for hosting your own trivia night, along with templates for promotional and support materials and questions you can use during your event. Find out more here.
Start the conversation about Banned Books Week by making a display in your library, classroom, or store! Here are just a few ideas:
- Wrap a selection of banned and challenged titles with caution tape.
- Cover banned or challenged books in brown paper, and write only the reason why the book was challenged—not the title or creator—across the front. Imagine the surprise when the book labeled “Political Viewpoint, Racism, and Violence” turns out to be all-
ages favorite Bone by Jeff Smith!
- Put banned books and plays behind bars! Use a pet crate or fencing to “lock up” challenged material.
- Hang banned books from a mobile, just out of reach of your audience.
- Decorate a bulletin board or build a backdrop where patrons and customers can take selfies or “mugshots” of themselves reading banned books.
- Design a bulletin board to look like a page from a comic book. In each panel, feature a challenged or banned book or play with a caption about the material. The more ridiculous the claim, the better!
You can find even more programming ideas in the Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook here and on our resources page here. The Banned Books Week Coalition offers several promotional downloads here. Digital posters and more are available on the ALA Store. OIF’s Free Downloads webpage offers social media shareables, coloring sheets, activities, and videos.
If you host a Banned Books Week event, be sure to register it online at bannedbooksweek.org/events/ — it will be included on our free Banned Books Week event calendar for the world to find!