The members of the Banned Books Week coalition have a number of resources available to support Banned Books Week programming, promotion of the annual celebration of the right to read, and banned books themselves. Many of these resources can be used throughout the year, so you can celebrate the right to read every day!
Check out the following resources from the coalition. Several can be used by multiple audiences, from educators, to librarians, to retailers, and beyond! Most of these resources are free unless otherwise indicated.
Print and Digital Resources • Publications • Librarian Resources • Educator Resources • Student Resources • Retailer Resources • Writer and Artist Resources • Event Resources • Banned Books and Plays • Reporting Censorship
Copyright notice: Unless otherwise indicated, the resources offered here are copyright and/or property of their respective creators. Resources can be used to support and promote Banned Books Week events, but none of the following resources can be sold or used for fundraising purposes. Copyright should be attributed to the respective creator. For inquiries or clarification, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Print and Digital Resources
Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook
Celebrate Banned Books Week Handbook is a free publication from the Banned Books Week Coalition that can be used to guide your celebration of the right to read during Banned Books Week or any time of year! It includes programming ideas, best practices for events, resources, and tips for handling censorship. Read it here.
ALA’s Banned Books Downloads
ALA maintains an extensive array of social media graphics, infographics, web banners, and more in support of banned books and Banned Books Week. View them online here. Please credit ALA when using these resources: “Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association, www.ala.org“
Banned Books Week Products
ALA has bookmarks, posters, pins, bundles, and more to support your Banned Books Week Events! Pick up yours in the ALA store here.
CBLDF Posters and Shelftalkers
Feel free to use these great posters from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in your Banned Books Week displays and to advertise your events celebrating the freedom to read! Click on the links below to download high-res versions of each:
- Nate Powell CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2016 poster, featuring artwork from John Lewis and Andrew Aydin’s March (11″ x 17″)
- Nate Powell CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2016 poster, featuring artwork from John Lewis and Andrew Aydin’s March (8.5″ x 11″)
- Raina Telgemeier CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2015 poster, featuring Callie from Drama (8.5″ by 11″)
- Jonathan Hill multi-character poster, featuring banned and challenged comic book characters (11″ by 17″)
- Jeff Smith CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2014 poster, featuring Bone (11″ by 17″)
Featuring “Fighting Words” about censorship from some of the biggest names in comics, you can use these shelf talkers from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to call attention to banned books, as part of your Banned Books Week displays, on bulletin boards, and more!
- CBLDF Banned Books Week 2017 Shelftalker Spread (11″ by 17″)
- CBLDF Banned Books Week 2017 Shelftalker Spread (11″ by 17″ with bleed)
- CBLDF Banned Books Week 2016 Shelftalker Spread (11″ by 17″)
- CBLDF Banned Books Week 2016 Shelftalker Blurbs
Please credit CBLDF when using these resources: “Created by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, cbldf.org“
Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read
Compiled by First Amendment advocate Robert P. Doyle, ALA’s Banned Books: Defending Our Freedom to Read is packed with challenge entries, histories of core documents such as the Library Bill of Rights and First Amendment, infographics, timelines and explanations of legal cases. Order a copy here.
Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children’s Books, Second Edition
The most beloved and popular children’s books are still among the most frequent targets of censorship and outright bans. Books Under Fire gives librarians the information and guidance they need to defend challenged books with an informed response while ensuring access to young book lovers. Order it from ALA here.
CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook
The CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook is a free resource that gives you the scoop about what comics are banned, how to report and fight censorship, and how to make a celebration of Banned Books Week in your community! View editions from the last several years here.
Read Banned Comics
CBLDF has created a visual guide that helps you identify, understand, and protect comics! Discover the books frequently facing censorship. Hear from the creators, including Neil Gaiman, Raina Telgemeier, G. Willow Wilson, and more, who share their thoughts on censorship and attacks on their work. Read it here.
An annual publication of Project Censored, Censored offers in-depth analysis of censored stories and media. Obtain copies for this and previous years in the Project Censored online store.
Intellectual Freedom Manual
ALA OIF’s Intellectual Freedom Manual is more than just an invaluable compendium of guiding principles and policies; it’s also an indispensable resource for day-to-day guidance on maintaining free and equal access to information for all people. Order a copy here.
Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy
ALA OIF’s Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy (JIFP) includes substantive essays, peer-reviewed articles, book reviews, legal briefs, and opinion pieces. The $50 annual subscription allows readers to review the latest book banning incidents, court rulings, and legal controversies. Subscribe here.
NCAC’s Book Censorship Action Kit
NCAC presents this collection of materials on how to effectively fight challenges to books in schools for the use of students, educators, parents, and authors. Read it here.
Inspire kids to become lifelong readers with Panel Power, a tool for battling misconceptions about comics that is filled with information about their benefits, activities, and reading recommendations. Read Panel Power here.
Raising A Reader: How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read!
With more than 80,000 copies in print, CBLDF’s Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read! is an indispensable tool for showcasing the value of graphic novels and chock full of reading suggestions and title recommendations to get kids engaged with this exciting medium! Check it out here.
Teaching Banned Books: 32 Guides for Children and Teens, Second Edition
In this best-selling classroom- and library-ready book of discussion guides, thoroughly updated and expanded to include genres such as graphic novels and nonfiction, award-winning champion of children’s literature Pat R. Scales shows that there is a way to teach these books while respecting all views. Get a copy here.
American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA), the worlds largest and oldest library association, provides ideas and resources on how your library can participate in the annual celebration of the freedom to read. ALA also provides information on challenged books, including the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Top 10 Challenged Books list, which has been published since 2001. ALA also helps librarians facing actual or possible challenges to library materials, services, and programs. Check out ALA’s challenge support webpage for information.
Comics — Start Here!
This publication utilizes data from a CBLDF-sponsored survey designed to facilitate new shelving guidelines, as well as providing information about handling challenges. Read it here.
Adding Graphic Novels to Your Library or Classroom Collection
This ongoing feature from CBLDF provides specific resources for librarians and educators who may need to justify and defend the inclusion of the book in library and classroom collections. Check out the series here.
Graphic Novels: Suggestions for Librarians
Prepared by the National Coalition Against Censorship, the American Library Association, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, this resource is intended to help in collection development; categorizing and shelving graphic novels; and handling complaints. Read it here.
The First Amendment in Schools: A Resource Guide
NCAC presents a collection of materials on the topic of censorship in schools for the use of students, educators, and parents everywhere. Check it out here.
Responding to Book Challenges: A Handbook for Educators
The Free Expression Educators Handbook contains practical tools and advice for managing book challenges and censorship controversies in schools and school libraries. The handbook, created by The National Coalition Against Censorship in collaboration with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), is intended for teachers, librarians, and school administrators. Read it here.
Using Graphic Novels in Education
This ongoing column from CBLDF examines specific graphic novels, including those that have been targeted by censors, and provides teaching and discussion suggestions for the use of such books in classrooms. Check out the columns here.
CBLDF Discussion Guides
CBLDF’s Discussion Guides are tools that can be used to lead conversations about challenged graphic novels and to help allay misconceptions about comics. Click through to download the guides.
Censorship Guide for Teachers: 12 Ways to Use Project Censored in Your Classroom
Project Censored has suggestions for incorporating its programming into classrooms here. Project Censored has additional educator resources available here.
Faculty Rights & Resources
This page collects all of FIRE’s resources for faculty members, including on our publications and teaching materials, faculty conferences and webinars, and other opportunities. This site is updated and expanded as FIRE develops new programs and resources. Read it here.
The Students’ Right to Read
Gives model procedures for responding to challenges, including “Citizen’s Request for Reconsideration of a Work.” Read it here.
Guidelines for Selection of Materials in English Language Arts Programs
Presents criteria and procedures that ensure thoughtful teacher selection of novels and other materials.
NCTE Position Statement Regarding Rating or “Red-Flagging” Books
Explains why rating books, or ‘red-flagging,” is a form of censorship that schools should not practice. Find it here.
Statement on Classroom Libraries
Explains why classroom libraries play a key role in providing access to books and promoting literacy. States NCTE’s support for efforts to provide teachers with the ability to exercise their professional judgment in developing and maintaining classroom libraries. Check it out here.
NCTE Beliefs about the Students’ Right to Write
During this era of high-stakes testing, technology-based instruction, and increased control over students’ expression due to school violence, students’ right to write must be protected. Read the statement here.
BE HEARD! Protecting Your Protest Rights
A joint effort of NCAC and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Be Heard! Protecting Your Rights is a short comic by Kai Texel that delineates the protest rights of students in the United States. View this important tool for student advocacy here.
High School Network
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s High School Network is designed with K-12 education in mind. Achieving a robust free speech culture in college requires that students get a proper Constitutional grounding before they arrive on campus. That’s why FIRE is expanding its offerings by developing a variety of First Amendment educational resources aimed at fostering greater appreciation for American liberties among high schoolers. Check out the resources here.
Kids’ Right to Read Project
The Kids’ Right to Read Project (KRRP) is a signature aspect of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program. KRRP offers support, education, and direct advocacy to people facing book challenges or bans in schools and libraries and engages local activists in promoting the freedom to read. It was co-founded with the American Booksellers for Free Expression and is supported in part by the Association of American Publishers and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Check out the KRRP website for more information.
FIRE’S Spotlight Database
FIRE’s Spotlight Database rates policies that regulate student expression at over 475 colleges and universities. Public institutions bound by the First Amendment and private schools that promise free speech rights are rated as “green light,” “yellow light,” or “red light” institutions based on the extent to which they restrict free speech. Check out the database here.
Student Rights on Campus Guides
It is imperative that our nation’s future leaders be educated about the central tenets of a free society and that they be able to debate and resolve peaceful differences without resorting to coercion and repression. To help achieve this goal, FIRE launched its series of Guides to Student Rights on Campus. Check them out here.
The Student’s Right to Read
NCTE and its constituent groups have developed position statements on a variety of education issues vital to the teaching and learning of English language arts. All students have the right to materials and educational experiences that promote open inquiry, critical thinking, diversity in thought and expression, and respect for others. Read NCTE’s Student’s Right to Read statement here.
Youth Advisory Board
Index on Censorship’s Youth Advisory Board is a specially selected group of young people aged 16-25 who advise and inform Index on Censorship’s work, support our ambition to fight for free expression around the world and ensure our engagement with issues with tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more here.
Youth Free Expression Program
NCAC launched the Youth Free Expression Program in 2010 to address the virtually unchecked assault on the free speech rights of young people. Through advocacy and education, the project supports the rights of youth to access information, as well as their freedom to question, learn, and think for themselves. One of the initiatives supported by the program is the Youth Free Expression Film Contest.
American Booksellers for Free Expression
The American Booksellers Association has created a number of tools to help retailers advocate for various causes, including free expression. Specifically, the American Booksellers for Free Expression division of ABA provides resources for Banned Books Week and beyond. Find out more here.
CBLDF Retailer Resources
The Comics Book Legal Defense Fund has several resources for retailers, including digital guides for remote events and virtual event safety (here), book clubs (here), webinars (here), and understanding retailer rights (here).
Writer and Artist Resources
Artists at Risk Connection
Artists speak for all of us, but artistic freedom is under assault. PEN’s Artists at Risk Connection (ARC) supports artists everywhere so they can live and work without fear. Find out more here.
Arts Advocacy Program
NCAC’s Arts Advocacy Program, launched in 2000, is the only national project dedicated to working directly with individual artists and curators involved in censorship disputes. Read more about the program here.
Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret
The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund organizes Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret, a multi-city celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages designed to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. Find out more here.
Comic Book Creators
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund helps creators who are being attacked in cases where their work is clearly protected as parody or fair use. Call 1–888-88-CBLDF (22533) or 971-266-8212 or email email@example.com for assistance. Visit cbldf.org for more information.
Index on Censorship campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide by publishing work by censored writers and artists, promoting debate, and monitoring threats to free speech. They encourage an environment in which artists and arts organizations can challenge the status quo, speak out on sensitive issues, and tackle taboos. The organization provides workshops for artists in the UK and other resources in support of free expression. View artist resources here.
Permissions and Copyright
The Association of University Presses hosts extensive information on copyright and permissions questions as they apply to scholarly communications. Find a permissions FAQ and more here.
Activity Ideas for Banned Books Week
Fight censorship with activity and event ideas from ALA OIF! Check them out here. For more ideas, take a look at ALA OIF’s Pinterest page.
CBLDF Comics Connector
The CBLDF Comics Connector is a free a resource that lists comics creators and industry professionals who are able to provide lectures and workshops for schools and libraries. Odds are good you’ll be able to find someone who will participate in your Banned Books Week events! Check out the CBLDF Comics Connector here.
Judith Krug Fund Banned Books Week Event Grants
Each year FTRF distributes grants to non-profit organizations to support activities that raise awareness of intellectual freedom and censorship issues during the annual Banned Books Week celebration. Libraries, schools and universities are encouraged to apply. Find out more here.
Banned Books and Plays
Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists
Every year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. View the lists here.
CBLDF Banned Comics Case Studies
Collecting case studies about specific comics that have been challenged or banned, this series has details on which comics were attacked, why, and what CBLDF did to help defend them. Read all about it here.
Texts Challenged, 2002-2018
NCTE has compiled a list of the books it has defended over the last several years. The list can be viewed here.
Report censorship to the American Library Association at https://www.ala.org/tools/challengesupport/report
Report censorship to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund at http://cbldf.org/report-censorship/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Report censorship to the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression at https://www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/
Report censorship to the National Coalition Against Censorship at https://ncac.org/report-censorship
Report censorship to the National Council of Teachers of English at https://ncte.org/report-censorship-incident/ or by emailing email@example.com