Tag: intellectual freedom

Let Freedom Read: A Conversation On The Power Of Books

Join us for a panel discussion on books, censorship, and intellectual freedom with indie bookseller Nicole Sullivan and library director Dennis Quinn. This is a hybrid event; attend in-person at Arapahoe Community College Littleton Campus or virtually via Zoom at https://arapahoe-edu.zoom.us/j/82762544445

Nicole Sullivan is the owner of The Bookies bookstore and BookBar Press. She is also the President and founder of BookGiver, a non-profit providing Colorado individuals and organizations with gently used book donations.

Dennis Quinn is the Library Director for the Edwin A Bemis Public Library in Littleton, CO, where he has served since June 2023. Prior to this role, he was involved in public library administration in Texas for more than a decade. He holds an MS in Library Science from the University of North Texas.

A Conversation about Intellectual Freedom with NCTE Affiliates for Banned Books Week

For the second year in a row, NCTE is focusing on work that educators are doing across the country to stand up for students’ right to read and intellectual freedom in the classroom during Banned Books Week.

Join NCTE’s Standing Committee Against Censorship, members from across the country, and a host of state and regional affiliates for a timely and important conversation. This webinar will share more about the landscape of censorship challenges in the classroom, what resources are available from NCTE and at a local level, and uplifting ways to encourage students’ right to read and teachers’ freedom to teach. We will be featuring information and experiences from members of the Maine Council of Teachers of English (MCELA), Michigan Council of Teachers of English (MCTE), Michigan State University Student affiliate group, and the Texas Council of Teachers of Language Arts (TCTELA).

This event is open to NCTE members, NCTE affiliate members, and any interested literacy educator. Registration is free, but does require creating an account. Contact profdev@ncte.org with any questions.

Catch These Monday Events for Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is kicking off with events, events, and more events! The Banned Books Week Coalition is delighted to have Youth Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels leading a chat with other youth activists, and the members of the Coalition have some exciting things in store for today! Keep reading for look at what we’re up to today…

For a complete event listing, please visit our events calendar here.

Banned Books Week Coalition Events

The Kids Are Alright: Youth Activists on Fighting Censorship

Virtual Event, 6:00 p.m. EDT

What is it like to be the only teen protesting censorship at school board meetings? How do you go from being the only voice of opposition to leading the fight against censorship in your community – and inspiring others to do the same? In this program, Banned Books Week Youth Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels (they/them) … Read More

Featured Events

Gender Queer in Virginia Beach: A Case Study

Virtual Event, 12:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by CBLDF

Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: A Memoir achieved resounding victory in the Virginia courts. Join CBLDF for an inside look at the case from Maia’s legal representation in Virginia Beach, Jeff Trexler (CBLDF Interim Director) and Steven Emmert. Learn the roots of the case, its progression through the legal system, and why the case was dismissed. This event is a great … Read More

Free Expression for Young People

Virtual Event, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by ALA OIF

The books that are most frequently targeted for censorship are those that capture the attention of younger readers, which leaves many of them confused about the validity of their interests, their personal identities, and their First Amendment rights. This program will examine the censorship of content for young people and their rights from the perspective … Read More

Banned Books Instagram Live with George M. Johnson

Virtual Event, 4:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by Bookshop.org

Kick off Banned Books Week with a special IG Live discussion featuring author George M. Johnson and Little District Bookstore owner Patrick Kern. @bookshop_org @iamgmjohnson @littledistrictbooks

When Your Book Is Banned: The Author’s Perspective

Virtual Event, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by The Authors Guild

What is the impact on authors when their books are banned from schools, libraries, and elsewhere? What challenges do they face? Does it affect sales or marketing? Does it change what or how they write going forward, or impact their ability to sell their next book? Much of the public discourse focuses on the politics … Read More

Virtual Event: Banned Books, Fahrenheit 451, and the Division Censorship Creates

Virtual Event, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Organized by PEN America

Join PEN Across America, Mount Vernon Public Library, and Banned Book Week Chairs Alyssa Gómez Lawrence and Debbie Nabubwaya Chambers on Monday, September 19 at 7:00 PM for an online discussion of Ray Bradbury’s classic novel, Fahrenheit 451 and the issues the book raises around censorship and free expression. About Fahrenheit 451: Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the … Read More

It’s Your Right to Read!

Banned Books Week offers an opportunity for readers to voice censorship concerns, celebrate free expression and show their communities the importance of intellectual freedom. The Banned Books Week Coalition partnered with HarperCollins Childrens Books, Little Free Library, and Bookshop.org on resources to help people know their rights, report censorship, and get involved. Check them out the resources here.

Download a full PDF of the new resource here.

Don’t Miss These Banned Books Week Coalition Facebook Live Events!

Banned Books is almost here! Banned Books Week officially kicks off on Sunday, and we’re excited to have an amazing lineup of Facebook livestreams to mark the week! Check them out!

All events are free — simply join the Banned Books Week Facebook page at the appointed hour! These are a great opportunity to engage your students or patrons in Banned Books Week programming, and each event will feature a short Q&A.

Youth Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels Leads a Conversation on Youth Activism

Monday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. EDT

What is it like to be the only teen protesting censorship at school board meetings? How do you go from being the only voice of opposition to leading the fight against censorship in your community – and inspiring others to do the same? In this program, Banned Books Week Honorary Chair Cameron Samuels (they/them) will lead a conversation with youth activists from around the United States. These inspiring young leaders will talk about their experiences and share their ideas for how others can get involved! More info…

Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson’s Moment in the Spotlight

Tuesday, September 20, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Join Banned Books Week Honorary Chair George M. Johnson for an intimate conversation about censorship and how it impacts readers, especially young adults. Johnson will discuss the censorship of their critically acclaimed bestselling novel All Boys Aren’t Blue, which was the third title on the American Library Association’s Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021, and the ongoing attacks on books and information related to LGBTQ+ identity. This one-on-one conversation will be led by Freedom to Read Foundation President and librarian Peter Coyl and include a short Q&A. More info…

Angie Thomas and Jerry Craft Get Real About Censorship

Wednesday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. EDT

Join New York Times bestselling authors Angie Thomas (The Hate U GiveOn the Come UpConcrete Rose) and Jerry Craft (New KidClass Act) for a conversation about the censorship of books dealing with racial identity and racism. The authors will discuss the censorship of their work and the implications for readers, authors, and the community. They will be joined by Jeremy C. Young, Senior Manager of Free Expression and Education at PEN America, who will offer perspective on how legislation is impacting and even fueling censorship. The program will be moderated by Amber Payne Co-Editor in Chief for The Emancipator, a digital commentary platform born from a collaboration between The Boston Globe and Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research.

Event made possible with the support of HarperCollins Publishers. More info…

Maia Kobabe and Mike Curato Explain Why LGBTQ+ Comics Belong in Schools and Libraries

Thursday, September 22, 5:00 p.m. EDT

Comic books have been targeted by censors for decades, from 1954 Senate subcommittee hearings about their alleged link to juvenile delinquency, to the implementation of a content code that nearly destroyed the industry, to today’s widespread attacks on comics, especially those that share the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals. Join the creators of two of today’s most acclaimed and frequently censored graphic novels — Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer) and Mike Curato (Flamer) — for a conversation about the attempts to censor their work and LGBTQ+ stories. Greg Rokisky, Senior Manager of Digital Strategy at PFLAG National, and Jordan Smith, Digital Editor at Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will lead the conversation. More info…

Can’t make it live? We have you covered! All events will be recorded and released on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel after Banned Books Week.

The individual members of the Banned Books Week Coalition are also hosting events throughout the week! We’ll have a rundown for you before it kicks off, and you can find them in the Banned Books Week events calendar here. (Hint: Look for the Featured events!)

Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The event is sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression, including American Booksellers for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Amnesty International USA, Association of University Presses, Authors Guild, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Freedom to Read Foundation, GLAAD, Index on Censorship, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, PEN America, People For the American Way Foundation, PFLAG, 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 HarperCollins Publishers and Penguin Random House.

ALA Helps Libraries ‘Keep the Light On’ During Banned Books Week

Don’t be left in the dark this Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28, 2019). The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) offers several resources and activities for libraries and readers that highlight the Banned Books Week 2019 theme “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On.”


The Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to reach out to banned or challenged authors via letters, emails, and tweets. The program aims to raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and ignite discussions about the essential access to a variety of library materials. Authors have also shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

Libraries are invited to host letter-writing programs. Printable postcards and author mailing addresses can be found on the Dear Banned Author webpage. Eligible tweets to or about banned and challenged authors with the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor will be entered into a drawing to win Banned Books Week materials. Learn more and read the Official Rules before entering.

Readers and libraries can also support the power of words onscreen. 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.


OIF staff will explore censorship themes with two free webinars designed for libraries and schools to stream as programs during Banned Books Week celebrations. Anyone is welcome to register and attend.

  • Ask Me Anything About Censorship
    • Streaming: Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. CST
    • OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will briefly explore banned book and censorship history, along with ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the discussion.

  • Banned Books 101
    • Streaming: Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. CST
    • With a suggested audience of students grades 6-12 and young adults, the webinar will review recent challenges to titles, the ways a book can be censored, and stories of students who stood up for the freedom to read. The webinar is led by OIF Interim Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Pekoll.

Library workers are invited to join the free webinar “Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship” on Monday, Sept. 23, hosted by SAGE Publishing, Index on Censorship magazine, and OIF. During the webinar, librarians will share their experiences and tips with navigating censorship. The webinar will also highlight how contested books can engage readers in constructive conversations.

Promotional Materials

There are several places to find materials to celebrate Banned Books Week. Digital posters, glow-in-the-dark buttons, bookmarks, stickers, and more are available on the ALA Store. OIF’s Free Downloads webpage offers social media shareables, coloring sheets, and videos.

In celebration of Banned Books Week, banned book T-shirts on the ALA Store will be marked down to $7 starting Sept. 20.


The Celebrating Banned Books Week Facebook group offers a space for readers, library workers, educators, and booksellers to share programming, promotion, and display ideas. Members can also highlight how their community is celebrating the freedom to read. Facebook pages and Facebook users are invited to join the group by answering two questions.

Those celebrating Banned Books Week can also submit their program information to be displayed on Banned Books Week Coalition Events Calendar. The calendar allows readers to search for events in their local area.