Tag: cbldf

ICYMI: Gene Luen Yang, Portugal The Man, and Alex Gino Talk Censorship

We were delighted to host three amazing virtual events this week, with free expression superstars Gene Luen Yang, Cody Miller, Jung Kim, Portugal The Man, Alex Gino, and Peter Coyl! In case you missed it, we have the details and videos below.

Banned Books Week, the National Council for Teachers of English, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund spoke with Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops, Superman Smashes the Klan) and educators Cody Miller and Jung Kim about censorship, the importance of diverse literature, and the use of comics in classrooms.

Grammy Award-winning musicians and free expression heroes Zach Carothers and Eric Howk of Portugal The Man joined Banned Books Week and the National Coalition Against Censorship to discuss the protest when the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough School Board, which oversees schools in the band’s hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, voted to remove five classic novels from the 11th grade reading list. Through their charitable non-profit, PTM Foundation, Portugal The Man helped provide thousands of copies of the banned books to students in the district.

Acclaimed and award-winning author Alex Gino joined Banned Books Week, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and Peter Coyl (Director, Montclair Public Library) for a discussion about the censorship of Gino’s award-winning middle grade novel George, which led ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books lists for 2019 and 2018. We also discussed the importance of access to information for young readers and representation on the shelf.

Gene Luen Yang, Live with Banned Books Week and NCTE!

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Council of Teachers of English at 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28 for a special Banned Books Week Facebook Live event with author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops)! During this hourlong event, Yang will converse with NCTE member leaders and moderators Lisa Fink (NCTE) and Karen Evans (Education Coordinator, CBLDF) about the censorship of his work, examine the importance of diverse literature, and discuss the use of comics in classrooms. You’ll have a chance to ask your questions during a short Q&A. (We will try to get to as many of your questions as we can!) How will this work?
  1. Make sure you like NCTE on Facebook.
  2. At 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28, go to Facebook and look at the News Feed.
  3. Click Watch in the Navigation Panel on the left. (Click See More if you don’t see Watch in the list.)
  4. After clicking Watch, click Live in the Navigation Panel on the left.
You can also go directly to facebook.com/live to access Facebook livestreams or the video section of NCTE’s Facebook page to access the event.

About Gene Luen Yang

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. As the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he advocated for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely. American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was a National Book Award finalist, as well as the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was also a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man (with various artists), Superman Smashes the Klan (with Gurihiru), the Avatar: The Last Airbender series (with Gurihiru), and Dragon Hoops. In 2016, Yang was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

About Henry “Cody” Miller

Henry “Cody” Miller is an assistant professor of English education at SUNY Brockport. He is a former high school English teacher. Cody currently acts as the chair of the National Council of Teachers of English LGBTQ advisory board.

About Jung Kim

Jung Kim, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy, mother, ultrarunner, 1.5 generation Korean American, and #AsAmAF. A former high school English teacher and literacy coach, she writes about Asian American teachers, graphic novels, and equity. Her second co-authored book on teaching with graphic novels, Using Graphic Novels in the English Language Arts Classroom, is out from Bloomsbury Press on October 1.

About NCTE

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) supports teachers and their students in classrooms, on college campuses, and in online learning environments. For more than 100 years, NCTE has worked with its members to offer journals, publications, and resources; to further the voice and expertise of educators as advocates for their students at the local and federal levels; and to share lesson ideas, research, and teaching strategies through its Annual Convention and other professional learning events.

About the Banned Books Week Coalition

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers AssociationAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of University PressesAuthors GuildComic Book Legal Defense FundFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)Freedom to Read FoundationIndex on CensorshipNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of EnglishPEN AmericaPeople For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

BBW Events Spotlight: September 28

Looking for something to do today? Don’t miss the Banned Books Week Coalition’s conversation with Gene Luen Yang, a look at the Comics Code Authority and rating systems, and a look back at the life of Neal Cassady.

Gene Luen Yang, Live with Banned Books Week and NCTE!

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm CDT
BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION Virtual Event

Join the Banned Books Week Coalition and the National Council of Teachers of English at 5:00 p.m. CDT on September 28 for a special Banned Books Week Facebook Live event with author Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, Dragon Hoops)! During this hourlong event, Yang will converse with NCTE member leaders and … Read More

Censorship: The Comics Code Authority & Rating Systems

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT
Virtual Event

Alex Cox (Image Comics) in conversation with a member of the Intellectual Freedom Round Table on the history of the Comics Code Authority and its impact on comics censorship. This discussion will also touch on how current ratings systems and library classifications can impact readership. Register here. ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table and … Read More

Presentation with Jami Cassady

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT
Virtual Event

Through stories and memorabilia from the Neal Cassady Estate, Jami Cassady will discuss the life of her father and the pivotal role that he played in the Beat Generation, the ’60s Counterculture, and 20th century literature. Register for this virtual presentation at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/regi…/2673011033281638156 You’ll receive a link to easily connect to the discussion from any … Read More

Celebrate on Social Media All Week Long!

Customizable Downloads

Make your own Banned Books Week assets for social media! We have several different formats of our main banner that you can add your own information to, or you can share your favorite banned books and trivia with our customizable digital shelftalkers! Check out the entire set or downloadables hereMore…

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

Celebrate Banned Books Week Virtually!

Banned Books Week is fast approaching, but thanks to virtual programming and social media, you still have time to join the celebration September 27-October 3!

While you may not be able to hold in-person events, there are plenty of ways to engage your patrons and students using videoconferencing, webinars, and social media! Some ideas and Banned Books Week Coalition resources follow to help guide your planning!

Check back at bannedbooksweek.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get more resources, find out about our events

Resources and Virtual Events From ALA OIF

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has programs you can participate in during Banned Books Week! A quick rundown follows, but you can find out more here.

OIF has additional program ideas in the Intellectual Freedom Blog posts “40 Virtual Program Ideas for Banned Books Week” and “Banned Books Week Take Home Kits.”

#BannedBooksWeek in Action

Each day of Banned Books Week, OIF will promote a different action that spotlights literary activism. Titled #BannedBooksWeek in Action, readers are encouraged to share their activities on social media with the hashtag, focusing on the following daily topics:

  • Sunday: Read a banned book 
  • Monday: Speak out about censorship 
  • Tuesday: Create something unrestricted 
  • Wednesday: Express the freedom to read in style 
  • Thursday: Write about your rights 
  • Friday: Watch, listen, and learn from others 
  • Saturday: Thank those who defend the freedom to read every day of the year

Dear Banned Author

The annual Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email their favorite banned/challenged author during Banned Books Week. Postcards, author addresses and Twitter handles, and tips for hosting virtual programs can be found at ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author. Examples of letters and programs are published on the Intellectual Freedom Blog. Those who use #DearBannedAuthor on Twitter will be entered into a grand prize drawing of Banned Books Week merchandise. Details and Official Rules are listed on the Dear Banned Author webpage. 

Stand for the Banned Read-Out

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs of banned and challenged books. The Stand for the Banned Read-Out invites readers to submit brief videos of themselves reading from a banned book or discussing censorship. Submitted videos may be added to the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.

OIF Webinars and Watch Parties

On Sept. 29, SAGE Publishing and OIF will host the free webinar “COVID-19 and Academic Censorship,” which will address e-books, internet control, and open data. The free webinar is limited to the first 1,000 guests. 

On Oct. 2, OIF will host a national watch party of “Scary Stories,” a documentary about the banned and challenged series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, followed by a Q&A with director Cody Meirick on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel. Libraries and readers are invited to stream the documentary on Tubi or Amazon Prime at 6 p.m. CST and join the conversation on Twitter using #CensorshipisScary or on the Facebook event page. Libraries are invited to host their own watch parties as a Banned Books Week program; more details are available at ala.org/bbooks/scarystories.

#NCTEChat—Find Your Freedom to Read

Join NCTE on Sunday, September 20, at 8:00 p.m. ET for an #NCTEchat in which Betsy Gomez (@BannedBooksWeek), coordinator of the Banned Books Week Coalition, will lead a conversation on Banned Books Week 2020, the annual celebration of the freedom to read.

The following questions will be shared during the Twitter chat:

WARM-UP: Please introduce yourself. Tell us your name, location, the grade level you teach, and share the books you are currently reading as we head into fall. #NCTEchat [8:04 p.m.]

Q1: The theme of this year’s #BannedBooksWeek (Sept 27–Oct 3) is Censorship Is a Dead End. What are some texts that help your students navigate the world around them and help them find their freedom to read? #NCTEchat [8:10 p.m.]

Q2: Face-to-face interaction can make it easier to teach books that some find challenging or even controversial. What are some best practices for teaching this material during virtual and socially distanced instruction? #NCTEchat [8:18 p.m.]

Q3: Many students have had limited access to reading materials and information during the pandemic. What are some resources and practices that encourage reading and enable access to information during this time? #NCTEchat [8:26 p.m.]

Q4: Books help students explore worlds, lives, and experiences beyond their own, but censorship impacts access to these stories. How do you encourage students to speak out about the books they’ve read or want to read? #NCTEchat [8:34 p.m.]

Q5: What resources (articles, policies, websites, organizations etc.) have you found useful in dealing with or preparing for challenges to your instructional material? #NCTEchat [8:42 p.m.]

Q6: How do you plan to celebrate #BannedBooksWeek and the freedom to read with your students? #NCTEchat [8:50 p.m.]

We hope to see you there! Be sure to join us by using #NCTEchat.

Never participated in a Twitter chat before? Check out this guide to help you get started.

CBLDF: Virtual Event Safety

Ensure the safety of your patrons with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund‘s best practices guide, “Virtual Event Safety.” This simple visual reference helps retailers, educators, librarians, and creators protect themselves and the people joining their virtual events!

“Virtual Event Safety” provides tips on how to protect privacy, manage inappropriate behavior, and protect young people. It also has a helpful checklist and table to help you make decisions for hosting your event.”

You can view the resource here or download the Virtual Event Safety PDF

For more tips on hosting a great virtual event, check out CBLDF’s retailer resource: Tips on Hosting a Virtual Event for Your Store.


ABOUT THE BANNED BOOKS WEEK COALITION

The Banned Books Week Coalition is an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The Coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy, and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship. 

The Banned Books Week Coalition includes American Booksellers AssociationAmerican Library AssociationAmerican Society of Journalists and AuthorsAssociation of University PressesAuthors GuildComic Book Legal Defense FundFoundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)Freedom to Read FoundationIndex on CensorshipNational Coalition Against CensorshipNational Council of Teachers of EnglishPEN AmericaPeople For the American Way Foundation; and Project Censored. It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Banned Books Week also receives generous support from DKT Liberty Project and Penguin Random House.

Website: https://bannedbooksweek.org/

Twitter: @BannedBooksWeek 

Instagram: @banned_books_week

Facebook: @bannedbooksweekhttps://www.facebook.com/bannedbooksweek/

Events Spotlight: September 27

With just one day left of Banned Books Week, there’s no slowing down! We have webinars with Lilah Sturges (Lumberjanes) and David F. Walker (Bitter Root), trivia at the Kurt Vonnegut Library, screenprinting, cosplay, and so much more!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, 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!

Coalition Events

Webinar: Addressing Identity Censorship

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

Identity censorship is the most frequent form of intellectual freedom challenge in today’s environment.  From moral panic about Drag Queen Story Hour to frequent challenges to LGBTQ+ comics, books, and authors, this disturbing trend is gaining traction. CBLDF engages a panel of experts to help you identify and intelligently address this growing problem.  In the past year, CBLDF has participated in defending challenges and bans of books solely because they contain LGBTQ+ characters, curriculum rejected because it focused on LGBTQ+ titles, and community programs canceled solely because program participants identify as LGBTQ+.  In this webinar, we will speak with individuals who’ve been on the front lines of this issue to identify the contours of the problem and discuss strategies for managing it.  In addition to receiving CBLDF’s “Fighting Identity Censorship Toolkit,” all webinar participants are invited to share their own stories and receive face-to-face expert advice on managing identity censorship issues. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Access Issues: Privatization & Gatekeeping

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Ray James (IFRT Coalition Building Committee) about how privatization impacts access, particularly as it relates to prison libraries, as (most) US prisons are privatized and how this impacts inmate access to information. This discussion will also touch on how gatekeeping and biases (of librarians, prison staff, the public) affect access for this vulnerable population. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

DePaul University Library, Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

First Amendment Trivial Pursuit

Kurt Vonnegut Museum, Indianapolis, IN • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Win prizes by showing your freedom of speech and banned book knowledge at Trivia Night with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)! Find out more »

DALLAS: Banned Together

Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas, TX • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm CDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. The Dallas regional production will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts).

Banned Together, which takes place annually during PEN America’s Banned Books Week, is open to the public and free to attend. Reservations are encouraged, as we have limited capacity and this helps us anticipate audience size and plan accordingly. However, we may be able to accommodate those without an Eventbrite reservation on a first come, first served basis, pending remaining capacity and availability on the day. Find out more »

Other Events

Banned Books “Read Out” at Central Washington University
Central Washington University SURC, Ellensburg, WA • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm PDT

Free! Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books week.  Join in our Banned Books “read-out” and stop by our table at the SURC Pit to pick up information, bookmarks and buttons, provided by Brooks Library. Find out more »

Shirt and Patch Screenprinting
Pack Memorial Library, Asheville, NC • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm EDT

Come screenprint your own tee or patch to spotlight Banned Books Week! We’ll have fabric for patches, but BYOT (bring your own tee)! Ages 11+ Find out more »

Freedom to Read Week: Banned Books Jeopardy
Scaleybark Branch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, NC • 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm EDT

Come and join us for an evening of trivia, as we celebrate Freedom to Read Week! Test your knowledge of the most frequently challenged books. Then decorate a tote bag with your favorite quote from a banned book. Support Freedom of Expression and fashionably rock your reading uncensored! Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS COSPLAY and READ OUT
Mancos Public Library, Mancos, CO • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm MDT

Get creative and join us at the Mancos Public Library for a Banned Books Cosplay Event! Dress up as your favorite character from a banned or challenged book! Read aloud from your favorite banned or challenged book! Discuss your personal feelings about the books you read and why you feel it is important to be heard! Find out more »

Banned Books Reading 2019 – Phoenix
The Alwun House, Phoenix, AZ • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

The Arizona LGBT+ History Project will be hosting it’s 2nd annual Banned Books Reading on Friday, September 27, at the Alwun House 1204 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85006 This will be a very special Adult story time that focuses on the problem of book censorship, in conjunction with events like this happening across the country. Come participate in an evening of laughter while exercising our right of liberty and emancipation! Find out more »

Events Spotlight: September 24

Banned Books Week is rolling strong, and today’s events include webinars, comics as inspiration, readings, Salman Rushdie and Laila Lalami, and so. much. trivia!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, 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!

Coalition Events

Desert Island Books: Banned Books

Redland Library, Bristol, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST

The theme of the event is Banned Books and this is defined as books that have been banned, censored or challenged. In Desert Island Books, panel members select one or more books on the event theme plus a ‘wild card’, being a book that they have enjoyed and would recommend to others.

The panel comprises:

  • Philip Kent (Director of Library Services & University Librarian, University of Bristol)
  • Professor Madhu Krishnan (Professor of African, World & Comparative Literatures, University of Bristol)
  • Jari Moate (Writer & Founder of Bristol Festival of Literature)

The event starts at 7pm, with doors opening at 6:45pm. Find out more »

John Osborne’s Under Plain Cover

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

A reading and discussion of the 1962 play by John Osborne at the British Library in London, which miraculously avoided a ban at a time when attitudes towards sexual behaviour were just turning. How differently would the play’s themes of privacy and public morality be received today?This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, Booksellers Association, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and The Royal Society of Literature. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics.Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Back of the Yards Library, Chicago, IL  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

The Power to Inspire: Comics, Community & The Future of Intellectual Freedom

Robert S. Swanson Library & Learning Center, Menomonie, WI • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

In the intellectual freedom community, our job is to change the world one mind at a time. With identity censorship rampant and an increasingly polarized social climate, the core value of free speech is now being called into question. During Banned Books Week, CBLDF Executive Director and Banned Books Week Coalition Chair Charles Brownstein draws on his experiences defending comics and graphic novels to reflect on the role of free expression in creating a culture of empathy, respect, curiosity, and intellectual freedom. Find out more »

Webinar: Ask Me Anything About Censorship

Webinar • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

This Banned Books Week, join the conversation about access to information. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. During this presentation, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will explore the history of Banned Books Week and why it’s important today; current censorship trends (it’s not just books that are targeted!); and specific ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the program. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: SALMAN RUSHDIE AND LAILA LALAMI

All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

Salman Rushdie returns to Tulsa for a celebration of his new novel, Quichotte, a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family. PEN America, alongside Magic City Books, is thrilled to commemorate this release right in time for Banned Books Week!

Rushdie, a former president of PEN America, will be joined in conversation by Pulitzer Prize finalist and PEN America Member Laila Lalami whose most recent and timely novel, The Other Americans, is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Join us to discuss a literary interpretation of a classic and the accompanying satirical commentary on our modern age of alternative facts. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: LITERATURE LOCKED UP BANNED BOOK READING AND PUBLIC DISCUSSION

Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Join Scuppernong Books on Tuesday, September 24 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 , the event will feature readings of banned books and involve the Scuppernong’s Young Adult Book Club, as well as the general public, with an educational component around PEN America’s Literature Locked Up campaign and provide an opportunity for participants to sign a petition calling for the right to read in American prisons. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Mount Prospect Library, Mount Prospect, IL • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Other Events

Banned Books Week: “Censorship by Fire; Book Burning as an Act of Cultural Violence”

Harvard Griswold Hall, Cambridge, MA • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT

Andras Riedlmayer, Bibliographer in Islamic Art and Architecture, Harvard Fine Arts Library and Radu Popa, Assistant Dean for Library Services & Director of the Law Library, NYU will share their stories, from testifying before the ITCY to fleeing communist Romania. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the ACLU at HLS, the Harvard Law School Rule of Law Society, the Law and Philosophy Society, and the International Human Rights Clinic. A non-pizza lunch will be served. Find out more »

Banned Books Read-In at Rock Island Library

Rock Island Public Library, Rock Island, IL • 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

Annual banned and challenged books “Read-In” presented by the Rock Island Public Library and the Midwest Writing Center. Find out more »

Banned Books Week Read Aloud

Woodford Co. Library, Versailles, KY • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT

(Adults and teens ages 15+) Join us in reading passages and sharing the history from your favorite banned or challenged books. Find out more »

Harry Potter Trivia

Community Library Network, Post Falls, ID • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm PDT

Calling all Muggles! Do you know to get to Diagon Alley? What are the seven ingredients needed for Polyjuice Potion? Prove your wizarding world knowledge at Harry Potter Trivia, where teams of up to 4 will compete for glory and prizes. Adults and teens 13+ welcome! Find out more »

Banned Books Week Trivia

515 Brewing Company, Clive, IA • 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT

Join the ACLU of Iowa and the Iowa Library Association in celebrating our First Amendment rights and freedom to information! The questions will include a wide range of topics, but you don’t need to be a censorship expert to join and win fun prizes. All proceeds benefit the ACLU of Iowa and the ILA in their work to protect free speech rights and bring raw attention to the harmful effects of censorship. Tickets are $10 per person. Find out more »

Banned Books Week: Know Your Rights

The First Amendment protects the freedom to read. Everyone is entitled to express their opinions about a book, but they don’t have the right to limit another person’s access to information. This kind of censorship is most effective when people don’t act to stop it. Here are some fundamentals to help protect your rights when it comes to freedom of speech and the right to read!

Educators

Teachers are the foundation of our free society. Their proximity to younger readers also puts them on the front lines in free expression battles. If you’re a teacher, you should understand that your rights can vary by school or school district, so be sure to get acquainted with your institution’s collection development and challenge policies. If your school lacks such policies, volunteer to help craft them. Reach out to NCAC or NCTE for guidance in drafting clear, effective policies. Public and private institutions have different First Amendment obligations. Government entities like public schools are bound by the First Amendment, but private schools can have a narrower set of guidelines.

Generally speaking, parents can object to assignments and request alternatives for their children, but they can’t make you remove content. A single complaint shouldn’t override the professional judgment of educators in shaping curriculum.

Librarians

Public libraries provide resources for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people in their community. The American Library Association provides a vast range of resources, policies, and best practices to help support your ability to serve the community. Among the principles articulated in ALA’s Library Bill of Rights:

  • Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  • Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  • Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access
    to ideas.

View the full Library Bill of Rights at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/librarybill

Retailers

The First Amendment protects the right to sell all kinds of material, including material for adults and mature readers. Key principles that ensure you and your staff are safe:

  • Establish good policies and follow them. By having some specific guidelines in place and making sure every member of your staff is on the same page, you can help defuse a First Amendment emergency.
  • Thoughtfully display content. Every community is different, so be deliberate in how you display material. It may be helpful to segregate material for younger readers into its own section, rack mature titles on a high shelf, or even keep some more adult material in its own section.
  • Talk to your customers and be involved in your community. It sounds like common sense, but if you’re well-established as part of the community, people are more likely to try to work out a solution one-on-one than to take an adversarial approach.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund recently released Selling Comics, a guide to comics retailing that also includes several chapters on the freedom to sell comics. Get a copy here. CBLDF’s Retailer Rights Workshops provide hands on information. If you are interested in hosting or participating, contact CBLDF at info@cbldf.org

The American Booksellers Association has created a number of tools to help retailers advocate for various causes, including free expression. Find out more at http://www.bookweb.org/abfe

Readers (AKA All of Us!)

Whether you’re age 7 or 107, the First Amendment protects your right to access information. Here are some ways you can help uphold that right:

Stay informed! Keep in touch with your local librarians and educators to find out about book challenges in your community. Subscribe to news publications dedicated to the First Amendment and free expression, such as email newsletters from the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition.

Report censorship! Reporting challenges when they happen helps free expression advocates gather necessary information about what materials are at risk. The members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are ready to help fight challenges in your community, but we need to hear about them first! The best way to fight censorship is to call it out when it occurs. Several members of the Coalition have resources for reporting censorship:

  • Report censorship to the American Library Association using this form. ALA also has a number of challenge support tools here.
  • Report censorship to the National Coalition Against Censorship by completing this form.
  • Report censorship to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund by calling 1-888-88-CBLDF or 971-266-8212 or emailing info@cbldf.org
  • Report censorship to the National Council of Teachers of English using this form or by emailing intellectualfreedom@ncte.org
  • Report censorship at colleges and universities to FIRE at www.thefire.org/resources/submit-a-case/

Speak up! Attempts to ban books rarely succeed when people speak out against them. Whether it is a school board, PTA, or library meeting or a public hearing, be there to speak up for the First Amendment and the right to read. Write letters to your local administrators, politicians, and newspapers supporting the right to read. Remind your fellow citizens and officials that no one has the right to restrict access to books, and be prepared to stand up for all books, even those you may not like. Any successful book ban opens the door to more censorship.

Source: CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook 2017, http://cbldf.org/librarian-tools/cbldf-banned-books-week-handbook/

Webinars, Dear Banned Author, and Other Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week Online!

If you can’t find a Banned Books Week event near you, are tied to a desk, or you’re stuck at home, you can still find a way to join the celebration! The Banned Books Week Coalition has webinars, Dear Banned Author, and more online opportunities to join the party!

Keep an eye on the Banned Books Week Twitter feed (@bannedbooksweek) for the latest news!

Webinars

September 23

Webinar: Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship

Webinar • 8:00 am – 9:00 am CDT

What can librarians and educators do to help combat censorship? For public, school, and academic libraries, censorship is never a simple issue to navigate, especially when it involves parents, a board, or a fellow colleague. This year’s Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) theme is “Censorship leaves us in the dark. Keep the light on.” In a webinar hosted by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, Index on Censorship magazine, and SAGE Publishing, three librarians, one from each type of library, will share tips for navigating censorship issues. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Historical Voices

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Andre R. Frattino (SIMON SAYS) and Sanford Green (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Dr. Katie Monnin (Author of 8 books on teaching graphic novels, Why so serious? Productions Founder) about banned voices throughout history. Topics covered will also include the use of censorship as a mode of suppression, the erasure of dissenting voices from the historical narrative of our nation and others, and the legacy of those erasures as they affect current events.Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

September 24

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics.Find out more »

Webinar: Ask Me Anything About Censorship

Webinar • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

This Banned Books Week, join the conversation about access to information. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. During this presentation, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will explore the history of Banned Books Week and why it’s important today; current censorship trends (it’s not just books that are targeted!); and specific ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the program. Find out more »

September 25

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned Books & Civil Rights

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Ronald Wimberly (BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS) and Nate Powell (MARCH) in conversation with Scott Bonner (IFRT, Ferguson Municipal Public Library Director) about banned and challenged books, the role of censorship in civil rights movements, and how their work in comics has addressed legacies of erasure. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books 101

Webinar • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Did you know that hundreds of books are banned and challenged every year? In fact, you probably have some banned books on your own bookshelf! In this Banned Books Week webinar: discover why some popular titles have been banned; learn about the different ways a book can be censored; hear stories about students who stood up for the freedom to read; and find out how YOU can celebrate Banned Books Week. At the end of the program, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Interim Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll can answer your questions about banned books, censorship, and libraries. Find out more »

September 26

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — LGBTQ Challenges

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Michelle Perez (THE PERVERT) and Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK) in conversation with Moni Barrette (GNCRT Board, Chula Vista Public Library Principal Librarian) about the disproportionately high incidence of bans and challenges levied against LGBTQ+ books in libraries and schools. This discussion will also touch on the recent increase in challenges and cancellations of Drag Storytimes in libraries across the nation. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

September 27

Webinar: Addressing Identity Censorship

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

Identity censorship is the most frequent form of intellectual freedom challenge in today’s environment.  From moral panic about Drag Queen Story Hour to frequent challenges to LGBTQ+ comics, books, and authors, this disturbing trend is gaining traction. CBLDF engages a panel of experts to help you identify and intelligently address this growing problem.  In the past year, CBLDF has participated in defending challenges and bans of books solely because they contain LGBTQ+ characters, curriculum rejected because it focused on LGBTQ+ titles, and community programs canceled solely because program participants identify as LGBTQ+.  In this webinar, we will speak with individuals who’ve been on the front lines of this issue to identify the contours of the problem and discuss strategies for managing it.  In addition to receiving CBLDF’s “Fighting Identity Censorship Toolkit,” all webinar participants are invited to share their own stories and receive face-to-face expert advice on managing identity censorship issues. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Access Issues: Privatization & Gatekeeping

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Ray James (IFRT Coalition Building Committee) about how privatization impacts access, particularly as it relates to prison libraries, as (most) US prisons are privatized and how this impacts inmate access to information. This discussion will also touch on how gatekeeping and biases (of librarians, prison staff, the public) affect access for this vulnerable population. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 22-28), readers are encouraged to write (or tweet) to 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.

Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. This webpage includes resources and ideas on participating in the Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign and hosting letter-writing programs.

Get Involved

  • Write a letter to a banned and challenged author, telling them about a favorite title or how their words have impacted you. Use these Banned & Challenged Author Addresses.
  • Host a letter-writing program at your library or school, bringing writing supplies and a list of author addresses. Use these Tips for Hosting Programs.
  • Reach out to a favorite banned or challenged author by tagging them on Twitter and sharing your story using #DearBannedAuthor. Use these Tips for Tweeting.
  • Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter for a chance to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Learn more about the Dear Banned Author Drawing and read the Official Rules before entering.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

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.

Project Censored

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, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

#BannedTogether with Penguin Random House

This Banned Books Week, Penguin Random House is thrilled to #BannedTogether.

Read to fight censorship! For every Penguin Random House book you purchase during Banned Books week, PRH will donate $1 to the American Booksellers Association for Freedom of Expression Fund (up to $20,000 donation).

To participate, simply purchase a PRH book during Banned Books Week (9/22-9/28) and log your purchase into your Reader Rewards account. Not a member yet? Join free here.

While the book must be purchased from 9/22-9/28 to count towards a donation, you have until 9/30 to log your purchase. If your purchase is not eligible for Reader Rewards, we will still count it towards the donation. Email readerrewards@penguinrandomhouse.com and we’ll take care of you.

 

It’s Here: Celebrate Banned Books Week with These Coalition Events!

Banned Books Week is here! Events celebrating the right to read are taking place all over the world, and the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are proud to present performances like Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret and Drag Queen Story Hour, talks, webinars, Dear Banned Author, and more to keep the light on!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, 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 the members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are celebrating this week…

Weeklong Events

Dear Banned Author Letter Writing Campaign

Dear Banned Author is a letter-writing campaign hosted by the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. During Banned Books Week (September 22-28), readers are encouraged to write (or tweet) to 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.

Speaking out for banned and challenged books is vital in the fight against censorship. This webpage includes resources and ideas on participating in the Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign and hosting letter-writing programs.

Get Involved

  • Write a letter to a banned and challenged author, telling them about a favorite title or how their words have impacted you. Use these Banned & Challenged Author Addresses.
  • Host a letter-writing program at your library or school, bringing writing supplies and a list of author addresses. Use these Tips for Hosting Programs.
  • Reach out to a favorite banned or challenged author by tagging them on Twitter and sharing your story using #DearBannedAuthor. Use these Tips for Tweeting.
  • Share your #DearBannedAuthor story on Twitter for a chance to win Banned Books Week merchandise! Learn more about the Dear Banned Author Drawing and read the Official Rules before entering.

ALA OIF has a number of tools to facilitate programming around the Dear Banned Author Letter-Writing Campaign at http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

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.

Project Censored

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, https://projectcensored.org/, during Banned Books Week.

#BannedTogether with Penguin Random House

This Banned Books Week, Penguin Random House is thrilled to #BannedTogether.

Read to fight censorship! For every Penguin Random House book you purchase during Banned Books week, PRH will donate $1 to the American Booksellers Association for Freedom of Expression Fund (up to $20,000 donation).

To participate, simply purchase a PRH book during Banned Books Week (9/22-9/28) and log your purchase into your Reader Rewards account. Not a member yet? Join free here.

While the book must be purchased from 9/22-9/28 to count towards a donation, you have until 9/30 to log your purchase. If your purchase is not eligible for Reader Rewards, we will still count it towards the donation. Email readerrewards@penguinrandomhouse.com and we’ll take care of you.

September 22

Books on the Chopping Block

Sulzer Library, Chicago,IL • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic reading by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 23

Webinar: Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship

Webinar • 8:00 am – 9:00 am CDT

What can librarians and educators do to help combat censorship? For public, school, and academic libraries, censorship is never a simple issue to navigate, especially when it involves parents, a board, or a fellow colleague. This year’s Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) theme is “Censorship leaves us in the dark. Keep the light on.” In a webinar hosted by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, Index on Censorship magazine, and SAGE Publishing, three librarians, one from each type of library, will share tips for navigating censorship issues. Find out more »

Walled In

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

Writers consider walls in literature and in our lives. 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, writers consider walls in literature and in our lives. With the resurgence of interest in the boundaries and borders of nations across the world, is the symbol of that wall still potent in 2019? Do walls and censorship go hand-in-hand? And are there places where a wall could mean safety rather than segregation? With David Hare and Ben Okri. Find out more »

Banned Books Week: “Cancel Culture: Can Free Speech in Cultural Institutions Survive the Onslaught of Moral Outrage?”

Harvard Law School • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT

Harvard Law School Library Presents: Banned Books Week Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs at the National Coalition Against Censorship and a literary scholar and public commentator will present a talk on the effects contemporary moral outrage has on the arts and culture. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Library, the ACLU at HLS, the Harvard Law School Rule of Law Society, the Law and Philosophy Society, and the Harvard Federalist Society. A non-pizza lunch will be served. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Historical Voices

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Andre R. Frattino (SIMON SAYS) and Sanford Green (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Dr. Katie Monnin (Author of 8 books on teaching graphic novels, Why so serious? Productions Founder) about banned voices throughout history. Topics covered will also include the use of censorship as a mode of suppression, the erasure of dissenting voices from the historical narrative of our nation and others, and the legacy of those erasures as they affect current events.Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

ALA Headquarters-Chicago, Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Bridgeport Library, Chicago, IL • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Frankfort Public Library, Frankfort, IL • 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret + Banned Next? Love v. Death, A New Chamber Opera

The Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg, FL • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. Sponsored by the Dramatists Guild and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, performances are taking place across the country during Banned Books Week, September 22-28.This Florida performance is directed by The Studio@620’s Bob Devin Jones and is a 50-minute mix of scenes and songs from plays and musicals producers have objected to, including The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Rent, Fun Home, An Octoroon, Kleptocracy, Chicago, and Cabaret. Find out more »

Banned Together! A Philadelphia Premiere!

Parkway Central Library, PA • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is back for its fourth year in a row and appearing for the first time in Philadelphia! The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (DLDF) created Banned Together as a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theater. The performances will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), An Octoroon and Calendar Girls, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). Find out more »

BOSTON: Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret

Central Library in Copely Square, Boston, MA • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, presents Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret, a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages; Banned Together was created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. Previous performances have featured selections from CabaretChicagoFun HomeRent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with contextual commentary by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins). Find out more »

HOUSTON: Banned Together

Alley Theatre’s Hubbard Stage, Houston, TX • 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm CDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund (“DLDF”) in partnership with PEN America is pleased to present the Fourth annual Banned Together as a part of Banned Books Week (September 22nd-28th), the annual celebration of the freedom to read. Our Houston performance is Monday, September 23, 7:30pm at the Alley Theatre, Hubbard Stage. Banned Together is a celebration of scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, and was created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression. Find out more »

CHICAGO: Banned Together

Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL • 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. This is the fourth year that Banned Together will be presented in Chicago. In previous years, Banned Together has been presented in over twenty-five cities across the U.S., and will be presented in multiple cities again this year, as a part of Banned Books Week.The Chicago performance will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, Fun Home, Rent, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). Find out more »

September 24

Desert Island Books: Banned Books

Redland Library, Bristol, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST

The theme of the event is Banned Books and this is defined as books that have been banned, censored or challenged. In Desert Island Books, panel members select one or more books on the event theme plus a ‘wild card’, being a book that they have enjoyed and would recommend to others.

The panel comprises:

  • Philip Kent (Director of Library Services & University Librarian, University of Bristol)
  • Professor Madhu Krishnan (Professor of African, World & Comparative Literatures, University of Bristol)
  • Jari Moate (Writer & Founder of Bristol Festival of Literature)

The event starts at 7pm, with doors opening at 6:45pm. Find out more »

John Osborne’s Under Plain Cover

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

A reading and discussion of the 1962 play by John Osborne at the British Library in London, which miraculously avoided a ban at a time when attitudes towards sexual behaviour were just turning. How differently would the play’s themes of privacy and public morality be received today?This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, Booksellers Association, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and The Royal Society of Literature. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned People & Post-Colonial Narratives

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Sloane Leong (PRISM STALKER) and Henry Barajas (VOZ DE M.A.Y.O. TATA RAMBO) in conversation with Alea Perez (GNCRT President-Elect) about banned people, the legacy of colonialism in literature and popular culture, and the rise of post-colonial voices as a challenge to systems which under-represent/under-acquire authors/artists of color. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics.Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Back of the Yards Library, Chicago, IL  • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

The Power to Inspire: Comics, Community & The Future of Intellectual Freedom

Robert S. Swanson Library & Learning Center, Menomonie, WI • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

In the intellectual freedom community, our job is to change the world one mind at a time. With identity censorship rampant and an increasingly polarized social climate, the core value of free speech is now being called into question. During Banned Books Week, CBLDF Executive Director and Banned Books Week Coalition Chair Charles Brownstein draws on his experiences defending comics and graphic novels to reflect on the role of free expression in creating a culture of empathy, respect, curiosity, and intellectual freedom. Find out more »

Webinar: Ask Me Anything About Censorship

Webinar • 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm CDT

This Banned Books Week, join the conversation about access to information. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and draws attention to the harms of censorship. During this presentation, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will explore the history of Banned Books Week and why it’s important today; current censorship trends (it’s not just books that are targeted!); and specific ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the program. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: SALMAN RUSHDIE AND LAILA LALAMI

All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa, OK • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

Salman Rushdie returns to Tulsa for a celebration of his new novel, Quichotte, a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family. PEN America, alongside Magic City Books, is thrilled to commemorate this release right in time for Banned Books Week!

Rushdie, a former president of PEN America, will be joined in conversation by Pulitzer Prize finalist and PEN America Member Laila Lalami whose most recent and timely novel, The Other Americans, is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Join us to discuss a literary interpretation of a classic and the accompanying satirical commentary on our modern age of alternative facts. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: LITERATURE LOCKED UP BANNED BOOK READING AND PUBLIC DISCUSSION

Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT

Join Scuppernong Books on Tuesday, September 24 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 , the event will feature readings of banned books and involve the Scuppernong’s Young Adult Book Club, as well as the general public, with an educational component around PEN America’s Literature Locked Up campaign and provide an opportunity for participants to sign a petition calling for the right to read in American prisons. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Mount Prospect Library, Mount Prospect, IL • 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 25

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Banned Books & Civil Rights

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Ronald Wimberly (BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS) and Nate Powell (MARCH) in conversation with Scott Bonner (IFRT, Ferguson Municipal Public Library Director) about banned and challenged books, the role of censorship in civil rights movements, and how their work in comics has addressed legacies of erasure. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books 101

Webinar • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Did you know that hundreds of books are banned and challenged every year? In fact, you probably have some banned books on your own bookshelf! In this Banned Books Week webinar: discover why some popular titles have been banned; learn about the different ways a book can be censored; hear stories about students who stood up for the freedom to read; and find out how YOU can celebrate Banned Books Week. At the end of the program, ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Interim Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll can answer your questions about banned books, censorship, and libraries. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Hall Branch – Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL • 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Budlong Woods Branch, Chicago, IL • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Banned Books Bash

Spider House Ballroom, Austin, TX • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CDT

A slightly raucous variety show celebrating the right to read whatever we please! In conjunction with the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, and presented with PEN America, the Banned Books Bash is a fun, nerdy reminder that books need champions, and libraries feed democracy. Hosted by the marvelous Evan Narcisse, writer for Marvel’s Black Panther series. Also featuring an homage to Toni Morrison with Dr. Jennifer Wilks,Drag Queen Storytime with Ms. Anne Thrope,
Comics Code & Teen Delinquency with Michael Conrad, and
a toast to rabble rouser Molly Ivins with The Texas Observer. Find out more »

GEORGIA: Banned Together

Merely Players Presents, Doraville, GA • 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm EDT

A celebration of songs and scenes from censored plays in honor of Banned Books Week! Performed by Atlanta artists in association with the Atlanta Regional Dramatists Guild, Dramatists Guild Legal Fund and PEN America and brought to you by Merely Players Presents and Kalliope Studios, Doraville. Find out more »

September 26

Write & Shine: Radical & Rebellious Writing Workshop

The Cafe at Waterstones, London, United Kingdom • 9:00 am – 10:45 am BST

Write & Shine runs a programme of morning writing events in peaceful London locations. As part of Banned Books Week, we’ll host a session about writing that takes a stand. We’ll create subversive stories, consider rebellious writers & think about books that have changed the way we look at the world. RADICAL & REBELLIOUS Workshop, £19 – part of Banned Books Week. Find out more »

CAMPUS AT A CROSSROADS: FREE SPEECH, TRUTH, AND DEMOCRACY IN AN ELECTION YEAR

NYU Cantor Film Center, New York, NY • 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EDT

With the 2020 election season picking up steam, debates over free speech, truth, and the university are of increasing relevance to the health of American democracy. But in an era of deepening polarization, many see these issues through partisan eyes, shouting into fractured echo chambers. Campuses seem to be at a cross-roads—can they restore a common understanding of facts, and of the rules of engagement and disagreement? Or are they in danger of buckling under the weight of our current culture war? Find out more »

Truly Uncensored? LGBTQ+ Young Adult Literature

Knowledge Centre, The British Library, London, United Kingdom • 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm BST

The UK has no official censorship – but does that fact make us too complacent? As part of Banned Book Week 2019, we explore the challenges facing LGBTQ+ Young Adult literature with Dean Atta, Fen Coles and Robin Stevens, chaired by Erica Gillingham. What are the invisible barriers to expression and publication? And how do editors, publishers, teachers, librarians, parents or even authors contribute to unofficial censorship around LGBTQ+ issues? Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — LGBTQ Challenges

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

Michelle Perez (THE PERVERT) and Grace Ellis (MOONSTRUCK) in conversation with Moni Barrette (GNCRT Board, Chula Vista Public Library Principal Librarian) about the disproportionately high incidence of bans and challenges levied against LGBTQ+ books in libraries and schools. This discussion will also touch on the recent increase in challenges and cancellations of Drag Storytimes in libraries across the nation. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Edgewater Branch, Chicago, IL • 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Lincoln-Belmont Branch, Chicago, IL • 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

September 27

Webinar: Addressing Identity Censorship

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm PDT

Identity censorship is the most frequent form of intellectual freedom challenge in today’s environment.  From moral panic about Drag Queen Story Hour to frequent challenges to LGBTQ+ comics, books, and authors, this disturbing trend is gaining traction. CBLDF engages a panel of experts to help you identify and intelligently address this growing problem.  In the past year, CBLDF has participated in defending challenges and bans of books solely because they contain LGBTQ+ characters, curriculum rejected because it focused on LGBTQ+ titles, and community programs canceled solely because program participants identify as LGBTQ+.  In this webinar, we will speak with individuals who’ve been on the front lines of this issue to identify the contours of the problem and discuss strategies for managing it.  In addition to receiving CBLDF’s “Fighting Identity Censorship Toolkit,” all webinar participants are invited to share their own stories and receive face-to-face expert advice on managing identity censorship issues. Find out more »

Webinar: Banned Books Week Library Livestream — Access Issues: Privatization & Gatekeeping

Webinar • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CDT

David F. Walker (BITTER ROOT) in conversation with Ray James (IFRT Coalition Building Committee) about how privatization impacts access, particularly as it relates to prison libraries, as (most) US prisons are privatized and how this impacts inmate access to information. This discussion will also touch on how gatekeeping and biases (of librarians, prison staff, the public) affect access for this vulnerable population. Brought to you by ALA’s Graphic Novel Comics Round Table and Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and Image Comics. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

DePaul University Library, Chicago, IL • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

First Amendment Trivial Pursuit

Kurt Vonnegut Museum, Indianapolis, IN • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Win prizes by showing your freedom of speech and banned book knowledge at Trivia Night with the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE)! Find out more »

DALLAS: Banned Together

Bishop Arts Theatre Center, Dallas, TX • 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm CDT

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre. The Dallas regional production will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts).

Banned Together, which takes place annually during PEN America’s Banned Books Week, is open to the public and free to attend. Reservations are encouraged, as we have limited capacity and this helps us anticipate audience size and plan accordingly. However, we may be able to accommodate those without an Eventbrite reservation on a first come, first served basis, pending remaining capacity and availability on the day. Find out more »

September 28

1984 at 70: How Has Orwell’s Vision Aged?

Wigtown Book Festival, Wigtown, Scotland, United Kingdom • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm BST

It is 70 years since George Orwell published 1984. So how do our political and personal landscapes today compare to Orwell’s dystopia? And can the book shed light on today’s data-driven security and surveillance society? Our panel: Dorian Lynskey, author of The Ministry of Truth, an acclaimed new biography of 1984; award-winning foreign affairs writer David Pratt; and Julia Farrington of Index on Censorship. Chaired by Magnus Linklater.This is a Banned Books Week event in partnership with the British Library, Booksellers Association, English PEN, Free Word, Hachette UK, Index on Censorship, Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, Libraries Connected, The Publishers Association and The Royal Society of Literature. Find out more »

Banned Books Story Hour 2019

Bookmans Mesa, Messa, AZ • 10:00 am – 11:00 am MST

Something banned this way comes! Join Drag Story Hour- Arizona at Bookmans Mesa for a story hour hosted by Felicia Minor and Freddy Prinze Charming. Let’s love all banned books and celebrate the growth of Drag Queen Story Hours in the face of challenge. Find out more »

Books on the Chopping Block

Bezazian Branch, Chicago, IL • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm CDT

Free dramatic readings by City Lit Theater from the Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books in America, as compiled by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  The program lasts approximately 50 minutes. Find out more »

Forbidden Tales: Censorship and Society

Asia Society, New York, NY • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Through Fire (Books that Survived the Anti-Japanese War of Resistance at Tsinghua University No.2), 2017. Oil on canvas. H. 48 x W. 74 in. (122 x 188 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Art. Photograph courtesy of the artist

Xiaoze Xie will discuss his research into the history of censorship in China that inspired the current exhibition Xiaoze Xie: Objects of Evidence. The artist will be joined by noted experts on the subject of censorship Martin Heijdra, Princeton University, and James Tager, PEN America in a panel led by Michelle Yun, Asia Society Museum Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

The program is organized in conjunction with Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2019.

The program is free and registration is required. Register here. Find out more »

CRNI and the Current Free-Speech Situation Facing the World

Columbus Metropolitan Library, Main Library (Auditorium), Columbus, OH • 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

Over the years CRNI has become a fixture at the annual conventions of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC), which this year takes place as part of the Cartoon Crossroads Columbus Festival (CXC). We are enormously grateful to the organizers from both events for an opportunity to highlight issues facing cartoonists around the world with a panel discussion open to the public. Our panelists are:

  • Terry Anderson (UK), Deputy Executive Director, CRNI
  • Charles Brownstein (USA), Executive Director, CBLDF
  • Ritu Gairola Khanduri (India/USA), Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, University of Texas and Board of Directors, CRNI
  • PX Molina (Nicaragua), cartoonist, CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award-winner 2018
  • Ann Telnaes (Norway/USA), cartoonist, former AAEC President, CRNI advisor
  • Zunar (Malaysia), cartoonist, CRNI Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award-winner 2011

Find out more »

Drag Queen Story Hour Celebrates Banned Books Week

St John’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EDT

Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real. Find out more »

Banned Books Week x Drag Queen Story Hour in San Francisco!

The Bindery, San Francisco, CA • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm PDT

What better way to celebrate Banned Books Week than with Drag Queen Story Hour! The Banned Books Week Coalition presents this special event on September 28 at The Bindery (1727 Haight Street, San Francisco), The Booksmith’s multi-purpose events space. Join some of San Francisco’s most glamorous drag queens as they read challenged and banned picture books to entertain children of all ages! Doors will open at 2:00 p.m., with the reading to start at 2:30 p.m.The event is free and open to the public, but priority will be given to parents with their children. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: BANNED BOOKS WEEK(END) AT DEEP VELLUM

Deep Vellum Books, Dallas, TX • 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm CDT

Join Deep Vellum Publishing and Books on Saturday, September 28 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. This event will feature literary karaoke of banned titles, including The Poetry Project’s BREAK OUT reading by an incarcerated writer, a screening of Phoneme Media’s short film Kilómetro Cero about the persecuted Equitorial Guinean writer Marcelo Ensemo Nsang, literary crafts, and a giveaway featuring challenged books from Deep Vellum and Phoneme’s catalog. Find out more »

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2019: BANNED BOOKS WEEK OPEN MIC

BookBar, Denver, CO • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm MDT

Join BookBar on Saturday, September 28 to celebrate banned and challenged books from around the world. In honor of Banned Books Week 2019, the event will feature an open mic for readings of banned books. Bring your favorite banned book or pick one up and read a 2-3 minute passage! This event is free and open to the public. Find out more »

September 29

TENNESSEE: Banned Together

Darkhorse Theater, Nashville, TN • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund, in partnership with PEN America, is proud to present the Tennessee production of “Banned Together.” Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret is a celebration of songs and scenes from shows that have been censored or challenged on America’s stages, created to raise awareness around issues of censorship and free expression in the theatre.The Nashville regional production will feature selections from Cabaret, Chicago, and Angels in America, among other notable works, with a libretto by DLDF president John Weidman (Assassins) and J.T. Rogers (Oslo, Blood and Gifts). This performance will be produced byActors Bridge Ensemble, performed by Lipscomb theatre students, and directed by Abby Charles. Find out more »

October 1

More Speech Panel Discussion

Harold Washington Library, Chicago, IL • 6:15 pm – 7:30 pm CDT

For more than 200 years, the First Amendment has impacted art and civic life through freedom of expression. Political cartoons, controversial speech, the culture wars, and images posted on social media platforms are just some of the kinds of expression that have challenged—or been challenged by—First Amendment freedoms. But what speech gets protected in the United States, and who gets to speak? Why do we restrict speech in some places more than others?What challenges do libraries face in being the custodians for a variety of speech acts? How does art shape our First Amendment freedoms? Find out more »

Project Censored: The Freedom to Read and Learn

 

In observance of Banned-Books Week (September 22 – 28, 2019), the latest Project Censored Show covers some of the obstacles placed in the way of Americans’ freedom to read and learn, notably efforts to keep unfavored books out of school libraries — or even to cancel authors’ speaking engagements.

Project Censored host Mickey Huff is joined in the conversation by Charles Brownstein, Executive Director of the Comic Book Legal Fund; Jackie Farmer, Outreach Officer for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Abena Hutchful, Youth Free Expression Program Coordinator for the National Coalition Against Censorship; and Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Interim Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Listen to the full broadcast below, download it at the Project Censored website, or listen on iTunes and Spotify

The Project Censored Show airs on 40 stations and is available on iTunes and Patreon. The show was started in 2010 by Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips and the program is an extension of the work Project Censored began in 1976 celebrating independent journalism while fighting media censorship.

Banned Spotlight: September 28

There’s only two days left in Banned Books Week! How are you celebrating the right to read? Here are a few suggestions for events around the country!

Be sure to visit the Banned Books Week event page at https://bannedbooksweek.org/events/, 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

Censorship with English PEN & Royal Court Theatre
September 28 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm BST
Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Sloane Square, Chelsea
London, SW1W 8AS United Kingdom

In 1968, the Royal Court Theatre helped bring about the abolition of the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship powers. But even today, 50 years later, we continue to be challenged by the complexities of freedom of political expression and self-censorship.

This panel discussion explores how artists and programmers continue to reconcile truth-telling with genuine political jeopardy and contemporary cultural politics, both nationally and internationally.

Panellists will include Anthony Burton (chair, Royal Court Theatre), Anthony Neilson (playwright and director) and Anna Wakulik (playwright). The event will be chaired by Ritula Shah.

The event, co-hosted by The Royal Court Theatre, is part of this year’s Banned Books Week UK, a week long celebration of the freedom to read. More info…

Beyond Censorship: Power, Silencing and Resistance
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm BST
Lady Violet Room, National Liberal Club, 1 Whitehall Place, Westminster
London, SW1A 2HE United Kingdom

Please join the Authors’ Club, Media Diversified, the Jhalak Prize and Index on Censorship for a discussion of the ways in which dissenting voices are structurally silenced and the many ways of resistance. A distinguished panel of writers will share their own experiences and works on how institutions and structures operate in subtle legal ways to silence voices that are considered discomfiting, challenging and dangerous as well as ways in which contemporary writing and publishing continues to find ways of resisting such unofficial forms of censorship. More info…

A Talk With James Tager, HLS ’13
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT
Harvard Law School WCC 1010, 1585 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138 United States

James Tager, HLS ’13 and Deputy Director, Free Expression Research and Policy at PEN America, will speak about contemporary issues related to banning books. Lunch will be available first come, first served; no RSVP necessary.

Image Comics Livestream: Charles Soule
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 https://www.twitch.tv/imagecomics. 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—Dallas, Texas
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. CT

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). A provocative cabaret-style performance showcasing excerpts from Tony Award-winning plays and musicals such as Rent, Cabaret, Fun Home, and Angels in America, these productions are widely challenged by those who desire to censor the literary community due to the content and/or language of works. However, they will find their voices again on the Bishop Arts Theatre Center stage. Working with the TNT (Teenagers And Theatre) Apprenticeship program, Banned Together educates teen and adult audiences of how theatre and the arts can inspire conversations, activism, and challenge our mindsets. Directed by Korey Parker.

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banned-together-2018-dallas-tickets-48878347453

Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret—Atlanta, Georgia
Out Front Theater Company, 8:00 -10:00 p.m. ET

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.

Tickets: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?e=b69f4f04b5cec4a060a9a4ffd2b9bf25&t=tix&vqitq=02bf18a3-b1b5-4f93-9f47-f1596721936e&vqitp=8349b7d9-9b91-48d9-b960-579fb194ea34&vqitts=1536412162&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=a9679f9cd65ff

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 http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/dear-banned-author

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, https://projectcensored.org/, 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

Banned Book Buttons
September 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:30 pm EDT
The Connection Branch Library, 2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202 United States

Make a button from a variety of designs or from your favorite banned book. Supplies will be provided, until we run out. Kids in grade 5 and younger must have adult supervision to use the button maker. More info…

Indy Celebrates the Freedom to Read!
September 28 @ 12:00 pm – October 3 @ 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! More info…

Books on the Chopping Block
September 28 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm CDT

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:

Friday 9/28, 1:00PM – DePaul
2350 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL

More info…

Banned Books Battle
September 28 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm EDT
Roger B. Francis Branch Library, 52655 N. Ironwood Rd.
South Bend, IN 46635 United States

Wrap up Banned Books Week by testing your knowledge of America’s most frequently challenged books at the Francis branch (52655 N. Ironwood Rd. South Bend, IN). Pizza provided! Teams of 4-7 recommended. Individuals are welcome and will be assigned to a group. Prizes awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. More info…

Annual Banned Books Read Aloud
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Foggy Pine Books, 471 W. King St
Boone, NC 28607

Every year we gather together to discuss the past year’s most banned books and books that received backlash in our own community. We also invite community members to sign up to read a selection from a favorite banned book. Each reader discusses why their book was important to them and how they would’ve been affected if they’d never been allowed to read it. More info…

Saboteurs Café a Pub Trivia Night: Literary Rebels
September 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm EDT
Brick and Mortar Brewing Company, 212 E Washington St
Suffolk, VA 23434 United States

On this date, we bring you a Pub Trivia Night for adults focused on banned books and literary rebels. Teams will compete in this literary themed trivia, as well as have the opportunity to enter a costume contest for the best dressed banned book character or author. Prizes awarded for trivia winners and best dressed! Limit 6 players per team. More info…

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle Style With the Forbidden Books Bundle

Celebrate Banned Books Week in Humble Bundle style with the new Forbidden Books Bundle, a collection of banned and challenged books by some of the world’s most influential authors!

From The Color Purple to Saga, Lauren Myracle to Neil Gaiman, even kids classics from And Tango Makes Three to Bone, some of the most popular books in the world are targets for censorship. Humble’s Forbidden Books Bundle fights censorship and helps you celebrate the freedom to read by providing an incredible library of banned and challenged books to benefit the Banned Books Week efforts of the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF).

The Humble Book Bundle: Forbidden Books supporting Banned Books Week 2018 will run from September 19 through September 24 at 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Customers can pay just $1 or more for:

  • Kramer Vs Kramer by Avery Corman
  • Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Zone of the Interior by Clancy Sigal
  • Essays in Humanism by Albert Einstein
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • BONUS Read Banned Books: A Guide to Banned, Challenged, and Controversial Comics and Graphic Novels
  • BONUS Censorship Toolkit

Customers who pay $8 or more will also get:

  • Free Speeches by Neil Gaiman
  • Barefoot Gen Vol. 1 by Keiji Nakazawa
  • Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaugh, Fiona Staples
  • Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon
  • The Bastard by John Jakes
  • Intensely Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • ttyl: 10th Anniversary Edition by Lauren Myracle

Those who pay $15 or more will receive all of that plus:

  • Bone Vol. 1 by Jeff Smith
  • A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  • Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez
  • Heartbreak Soup by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
  • Gods & Tulips by Neil Gaiman

Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition (BBWC) and Executive Director of CBLDF says, “Sharing the stories others want to repress is one of the best ways to fight censorship. We’re grateful to Humble Bundle and all the authors and publishers who participated in the Forbidden Books Bundle for helping all of us share these powerful stories and to empower readers everywhere to add their own voice to the celebration of the freedom to read!”

Abena Hutchful, coordinator of NCAC’s Youth Free Expression Program and Kids’ Right to Read Project says, “Banned Books Week gives everyone a chance to celebrate their story and to see the world through the eyes of other people. We encourage everyone to use this bundle as a starting point in their Banned Books Week celebration, and to get get more involved by participating in community Banned Books events, posting online about the freedom to read, and talking about the banned books they read!”

Kelley L. Allen, Director of Books at Humble Bundle says, “We hope that our customers enjoy this curated selection of superb books that were either banned, challenged, sued, censored, or even burned. I have been working with our dedicated and hardworking friends over at NCAC and CBLDF on this promotion for the better part of a year, along with some of my personal favorite book and comic publishers including Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Cartoon Books, Open Road Media, Fantagraphics, Last Gasp, and Image Comics.”

Proceeds from this bundle benefit the work of the National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, partners in the Banned Books Week Coalition and Kids’ Right to Read Project. Together, the NCAC and CBLDF help respond to bans and challenges of books with expert advice, letters of support, and legal expertise. They also collaborate to produce valuable resources to protect Free Expression, such as Be Heard!, a free comic book to protect student rights released earlier this year.

About the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)
NCAC’s mission is to promote freedom of thought, inquiry and expression and oppose censorship in all its forms. The Coalition formed in response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. California, which narrowed First Amendment protections for sexual expression and opened the door to obscenity prosecutions.

Over 40 years, as an alliance of more than 50 national non-profits, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups, we have engaged in direct advocacy and education to support First Amendment principles. NCAC is unique in that we are national in scope, but often local in our approach. We work with community members to resolve censorship controversies without the need for litigation. For more info, check out ncac.org.

About the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF)
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Our work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, and educators who face the threat of censorship. We monitor legislation and challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. We create resources that promote understanding of comics and the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day we publish news and information about censorship events as they happen. We are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project and Banned Books Week. Our expert legal team is available to respond to First Amendment emergencies at a moment’s notice. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights on which our community depends. For more information, visit www.cbldf.org.

About Humble Bundle
Humble Bundle sells games, ebooks, software, and other digital content through pay-what-you-want bundle promotions, the Humble Store, and the Humble Monthly curated subscription service. When buying a bundle, customers not only choose how much to pay, but also how their payment is divided between the content creators, charity, and Humble Bundle. Purchases from the Humble Store and subscriptions to Humble Monthly also help support charity. In 2017, Humble Bundle announced the launch of a multi-platform funding and creative initiative to publish games “Presented by Humble Bundle.” Since the company’s launch in 2010, Humble Bundle and its community have raised more than $132 million for a wide range of charities across the world. To see more, visit https://www.humblebundle.com.

Banned Spotlight: Censored Comics

Comics are challenged for all of the same reasons that other books are challenged, but they are uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of their visual nature. Because comics thrive on the power of the static image, a single page or panel can be the impetus for a challenge in a way that’s different from a passage in a book. Some people still believe that comics are low value speech or are made exclusively for children, and object to comics in the library because of these misconceptions.

Here’s a sampling of the most common reasons comics are challenged:

  • Profanity/offensive language
  • Sex or nudity
  • Violence and horror
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Politically/socially/racially offensive
  • Offensive to religious beliefs

Banned Books Week Coalition member Comic Book Legal Defense Fund specializes in the defense of comics and graphic novels and the First Amendment rights of the comics community. A few of the comics they have defended over the years follow.

CBLDF is partnering with Image Comics and the ALA Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table on a series of livestreams with comics creators during Banned Books Week. Find out more…

Amazing Spider-Man: Revelations by J. Michael Straczynski, John Romita, Jr., and Scott Hanna

  • Location of key challenge: A middle-school library in Millard, Nebraska
  • Reason challenged: Sexual overtones

The parent of a 6-year-old who checked out the book filed a complaint and took the story to the media; the parent also withheld the book for the duration of the review process rather than returning it per library policy. More…

Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa 

  • Location of key challenge: Japan
  • Reason challenged: Violence, discrimination

Keiji Nakazawa’s internationally renowned manga Barefoot Gen, which depicts wartime atrocities from the perspective of the seven-year-old protagonist, has fallen victim to several challenges in its home country of Japan. More…

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

  • Location of key challenge: Stark County District Library in Canton, Ohio
  • Reason challenged: Sexism, offensive language, and unsuited to age group

Despite the challenge, the library retained the book and now holds two copies, which are shelved in the Teen section. More…

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Boland

  • Location of key challenge: Columbus, Nebraska, Public Library
  • Reason challenged: Advocates rape and violence

In May 2013, a patron of the public library in Columbus, Nebraska requested that the book be removed from the collection, claiming that it “advocates rape and violence.” More…

Blankets by Craig Thompson

  • Location of key challenge: The public library in Marshall, Missouri
  • Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Blankets and Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. More…

Bone by Jeff Smith

  • Location of key challenge: Independent School District 196 in Rosemount, Minnesota
  • Reason challenged: Promotion of smoking and drinking

A letter from Jeff Smith decrying the attempted ban of his book was read aloud at the library review committee’s hearing, and the challenge was ultimately rejected by a 10-1 vote, to the praise of Smith and the CBLDFMore…

The Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner

  • Location of key challenge: Undisclosed
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Artist and comics creator Phoebe Gloeckner has never been afraid to show the raw and gritty bits of reality in her work. For that reason, Gloekner’s work is a frequent target of censors. In 2015, CBLDF was involved in a confidential challenge against the graphic novel over its sexual content, and our efforts kept the book on shelves. More…

Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama

  • Location of key challenge: All public school libraries in Wicomico County, Maryland
  • Reason challenged: Violence and nudity

The library review committee recommended that the books in the Dragon Ball series, which were recommended by the publisher for ages 13+, be removed from the entire public school library system, including at the high school level. More…

Drama by Raina Telgemeier

  • Location of key challenge: Chapel Hill Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Texas
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Although most readers of all ages found Drama to be just as endearing and authentic as Telgemeier’s other books Smile and Sisters, a small but vocal minority have objected to the inclusion of two gay characters. More…

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Nudity, sexual content, and unsuited to age group

When the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom released their list of the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2011, the second-most challenged book on that list was The Color of Earth, the first book of a critically-acclaimed Korean manwha, or comic book, series. More…

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel 

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Obscene images

CBLDF wrote a letter to the Marshall library on behalf of Fun Home and Craig Thompson’s Blankets, playing a key role in keeping both books on shelves. In 2014, the book faced a greater challenge in South Carolina, where the state legislature debated punitive budget cuts against the College of Charleston because it incorporated Fun Home into a voluntary summer reading program for incoming freshman. More…

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell

  • Location of key challenge: Undisclosed
  • Reason challenged: Violent imagery

In February 2015, CBLDF was confidentially involved the defense of the graphic novel edition of The Graveyard Book, which was challenged in an undisclosed middle school library for violent imagery. More…

Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes

  • Location of key challenge: A high school in Guilford, Connecticut
  • Reason challenged: Profanity, course language, and brief non-sexual nudity

A high school teacher was forced to resign from his job after a parent filed both a complaint with the school and a police complaint against the teacher for lending a high school freshman a copy of Eightball #22, which was later published as the graphic novel Ice HavenMore…

In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Nudity

In the Night Kitchen was not often removed from shelves; instead, librarians censored it by painting underwear or diapers over the genitals of the main character, a precocious child named Mickey. More…

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill

  • Location of key challenge: Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky
  • Reason challenged: Sex scenes

Two employees of the Jessamine County Public Library in Kentucky were fired after they took it upon themselves to withhold the library’s copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier from circulation because they felt it was pornographic. More…

Maus by Art Spiegelman

  • Location of key challenge: Pasadena Public Library in Pasadena, California
  • Reason challenged: Anti-ethnic and unsuited for age group

Nick Smith of the Pasadena Public Library describes the challenge as being “made by a Polish-American who is very proud of his heritage, and who had made other suggestions about adding books on Polish history… The thing is, Maus made him uncomfortable, so he didn’t want other people to read it. That is censorship, as opposed to parental guidance.” More…

Neonomicon by Alan Moore and Jacen Burrows

  • Location of key challenge: Greenville, South Carolina, public library
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite giving her 14-year-old daughter permission to check out the book, which was appropriately shelved in the adult section of the library, a mother filed a complaint, claiming the book was “pornographic.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, but it remains out of circulation pending review. More…

Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez

  • Location of key challenge: Rio Rancho, New Mexico
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, child pornography

In early 2015, the critically acclaimed comic collection Palomar by Gilbert Hernandez was called “child porn” by the mother of a high school student in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. More…

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Profanity, violent content

Furor erupted in 2013 when Chicago Public Schools sent an email to local principals, directing them to remove all copies of Marjane Satrapi’s award-winning graphic novel Persepolis. CPS backpedaled on the initial email, but the book was removed from Grade 7 classrooms and use in Grade 8 -10 classrooms now requires additional teacher training. Possibly as a result of publicity from the 2013 CPS ban, Persepolis faced three more school challenges in 2014, landing it the #2 spot on the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books for that year. More…

Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

Despite receiving high praise from the ALA and Booklist and featuring a cast consisting of animals, the book has been challenged at libraries for sexual content. More…

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

  • Location of Challenge: Apple iOS (2013), Oregon (2014)
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, anti-family, nudity, offensive language, and unsuited for age group.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples sci-fi epic adventure, Saga, has not only become one of the bestselling and most critically acclaimed comic series since its debut in March 2012, but it has also become one of the most controversial comics. More…

Sandman by Neil Gaiman and various artists

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Anti-family themes, offensive language, and unsuited for age group

When asked about how he felt when Sandman was labelled unsuitable for teens, Gaiman responded, “I suspect that having a reputation as adult material that’s unsuitable for teens will probably do more to get teens to read Sandmanthan having the books ready and waiting on the YA shelves would ever do.” More…

SideScrollers by Matthew Loux

  • Location of key challenge: Enfield, Connecticut, public school district
  • Reason challenged: Profanity and sexual references

The school district removed the book from non-compulsory summer reading lists, possibly violating its own review policy, which states in part that “no parent nor group of parents has the right to negate the use of educational resources for students other than his/her own child.” CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book and is still awaiting a response from the school board. More…

Stuck in the Middle, edited by Ariel Schrag

  • Location of key challenge: Dixfield, Maine, public school system
  • Reason challenged: Language, sexual content, and drug references

CBLDF wrote a letter in support of the book, and the school board voted to leave the book on library shelves with the caveat the students must have parental permission to check out the book. “While we’re pleased to see the book retained in the library’s collection, we’re very disappointed that it is retained with restrictions,” said Executive Director Charles Brownstein. More…

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse

  • Location of key challenge: Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Texas
  • Reason challenged: Depiction of homosexuality

The book was challenged alongside 15 other young adult books with gay positive themes. The book was ultimately retained in the Montgomery County system, but was reclassified from Young Adult to Adult. More…

Tank Girl by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett

  • Location of key challenge: Hammond Public Library in Hammond, Indiana
  • Reason challenged: Nudity and violence

The Tank Girl books are meant to entertain an adult audience, frequently depicting violence, flatulence, vomiting, sex, and drug use. After the 2009 challenge, the Hammond Public Library chose to retain the book, and it remains on shelves today. More…

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content, unsuited to age group

Graphic novel This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki broke boundaries by becoming the first graphic novel to make the short list for the Caldecott Medal. Unfortunately, the Caldecott honor yielded an unforeseen negative outcome: Since the announcement of the Caldecott honor, CBLDF has been confidentially involved in monitoring challenges to This One Summer in various communities. More…

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

  • Location of key challenge: Various
  • Reason challenged: Unsuited to age group

Watchmen received a Hugo Award in 1988 and was instrumental in garnering more respect and shelf space for comics and graphic novels in libraries and mainstream bookstores. The inclusion of Watchmen in school library collections has been challenged by parents at least twice, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual FreedomMore…

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra

  • Location of key challenge: Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California
  • Reason challenged: Sexual content

In June 2015, Y: The Last Man was one of four graphic novels that a 20-year-old college student and her parents said should be “eradicated from the system” at Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California. After completing an English course on graphic novels, Tara Shultz publicly raised objections to PersepolisFun HomeY: The Last Man Vol. 1, and The Sandman Vol. 2: The Doll’s House as “pornography” and “garbage.” More…

Originally posted by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

Local Pastors Attempt to Ban Books from Banned Books Display at Maine Public Library

Banned books display at Rumford Public Library (via Twitter user Katje Fae @katjefae)

A group of pastors in Rumford, Maine are attempting to have LGBTQ books banned from the Rumford Public Library’s display of banned books. The library is holding a board meeting today, where the controversy will be discussed. The National Coalition Against Censorship and Comic Book Legal Defense Fund support Rumford Public Library’s display and freedom to choose how best to serve their community. NCAC and CBLDF oppose efforts to limit a whole community’s access to books based on the personal viewpoints or religious beliefs of some groups or individuals in that community. As public institutions, libraries are obligated not to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint or sexual orientation.

The display coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, highlighting books that often draw challenges in schools and libraries. Half of the books on this year’s American Library Association Top 10 Banned Books list tell stories of LGBTQ characters. Books representing a wide variety of experiences and voices allow readers, particularly children, to find connection, safely explore unfamiliar ideas, and broaden their understanding of the world.

This article was originally posted by the National Coalition Against Censorship. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has posted additional information and a statement from Executive Director Charles Brownstein here.