With book bans on the rise, it is absolutely essential that people do something — anything — to defend books from censorship in their communities. This final day of Banned Books Week is Let Freedom Read Day — do at least one thing today to fight censorship! Keep reading for day of action ideas and more Banned Books Week programs!
Spotlight: Let Freedom Read Day
The freedom to read is under attack — let’s do something about it! Whether you have 5 minutes or an hour or more, there’s plenty you can do to fight. Visit the Let Freedom Read Day page for ideas, a downloadable one-sheet, and social media assets that you can use to let the world know you took action today!
Show us how you’re taking action on social media by using the hashtags #LetFreedomReadDay and #BannedBooksWeek!
And don’t forget: Censorship won’t stop just because Banned Books Week does — you can take action any day of the year!
Banned Books Week Coalition Events
John H. Dickerson Community Center, 308 Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm EDT
The New Republic is launching a bold new initiative to combat censorship and celebrate the First Amendment to coincide with Banned Books Week October 1–7, 2023. This fall, we are taking it on the road, sending a bookmobile to distribute books in states that have witnessed the highest incidents of banned books, including Texas, Florida, Missouri, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
We will launch our journey at the Brooklyn Book Festival on October 1 where we will accept book (and financial) donations with special help from our partners at House of SpeakEasy via the SpeakEasy Bookmobile.
Our “festival on wheels” will connect with communities, authors, bookstores, libraries, and local leaders to celebrate the freedom to read.
BookPeople 603 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX, United States • 10:30 am – 2:00 pm CDT
In partnership with Book People, The Child Defense Fund of Texas, and the Austin Public Library, PEN America Austin will celebrate Banned Book Month 2023 on October 7 at Book People by demonstrating the magical power of reading. With legislature like Texas House Bill 900 threatening students’ access to books, PEN Austin is inviting local writers, readers, and free expression advocates to honor the magic of their unique stories.
This day of celebration for the magical power of reading will have two sections that will allow Austin residents to reflect on how integral books are to our identity and our ability to express ourselves. Staff from the CDF and APL will be on hand to supply writers, readers, and free expression advocates of all ages with the materials and knowledge to produce their own zine and bookmarks via a production workshop. Magician Nicole Cardoza will demonstrate the transformative power of words with a magic show. Lastly, the PEN America Freedom to Read team will present research findings about the book ban crisis and its effects on Texas students, schools, libraries, and booksellers. PEN America will be joined by local coalition leaders who are pushing back against book bans in defense of the freedom to read. Leaders like Carolyn Foote of FReadom Fighters will talk about ways to get involved locally in your own schools and communities.
Kindred Stories 2304 Stuart Street, Houston, TX • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT
Book bans are on the rise in America, driven by new laws and regulations limiting the kinds of books that kids can access.
This month, we’re hitting the road with the Freedom to Read Foundation, Pen America, and Little Free Library to hand out copies of banned books in some of the most affected communities.
Explore this this site to see whether the Banned Wagon is coming to a city near you, learn about the books we’ll be handing out, and explore more resources to fight book bans!
River Forest Public Library, 735 Lathrop Ave., River Forest, IL • 2:00 p.m. CDT
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.
Books on the Chopping Block is our annual 60-minute performance of dramatic readings of short excerpts taken from these books. City Lit has teamed up with the ALA in celebration of Banned Books Week since 2006, performing at special events, libraries and bookstores in and around Chicago…and virtually this year.
Our mission at Little Free Library is to expand access to books – including banned books – and we invite you to join us! Sharing banned and challenged books in your local Little Free Libraries is a meaningful way to get books into readers’ hands, show your support for reading freedom, and do something positive in your community. Here’s how:
1) Share a banned book in a Little Free Library. Find Little Free Libraries near you using our free mobile app (littlefreelibrary.org/app/).
2) Snap a photo and post it on social media with #bannedbooksweek. Don’t forget to tag Little Free Library so we’re sure to see your photos!
3) Bonus: Little Free Library stewards can enter to win our Banned Books Week giveaway with HarperCollins Children’s Books, which will be open for entry during the month of October (littlefreelibrary.org/books/).
In this challenge, every book you read (to a grandchild or on your own) gives you one “point,” and points can be traded in for free Grandparents For Truth swag! Supplies are limited so make sure to read early and often!
How You Can Join the Challenge
- Sign up for the challenge here.
- Pick a banned book off of our banned book reading list
- Submit a photo or video of you (or you and a grandkid!) reading the banned book. If you post it to social, make sure you tag us (we’re @peoplefor on Twitter/X and Facebook and @peoplefor_ on Instagram)and use the hashtag #bannedbooks2023
- Each photo or video you submit or tag us in is worth one point! Rack up points to get free Grandparents for Truth swag like tshirts, book marks, water bottles, and more!
- Keep an eye on your inbox! At the end of October, we’ll reach out to you to see what swag you’d like.
Supplies are limited – so read early and often!