As anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeps the nation, our schools, libraries, and other story-telling spaces are being attacked on the basis of “protecting the children.” Countless books have been banned as a result, attempting to block—and thereby, extinguish—any mention of LGBTQ+ experiences and identities.
But these books go beyond LGBTQ+ narratives—they’re glowing messages of love and role models for living life as your best, most authentic self.
In what world should these messages be censored?
On October 5, from 6-7 pm ET, we’re sharing these messages of love through the voices of our most vivacious, glamorous, and fearless community members: drag artists. Bringing these stories to life are local drag talent Coco Sho-Nell, Emi Grate, Mister Max, and Nancy Nogood, whose authenticity in themselves mirrors the authenticity in these stories.
The Reading with Love Live broadcast is a family-friendly read aloud geared towards children ages 5-8, with topics including the gender binary, trans children, parents of the same gender, and the history of the Gay Pride flag.
Let’s come together and help our kids see a bright and loving future.
We will be highlighting banned books during our monthly Art Walk on October 7. We will have books available for purchase and will have some giveaways for those who answer some Banned Books Trivia!
The Downers Grove Public Library Foundation (DGPLF) will host a Celebrate the Freedom to Read: A Banned Books Masquerade fundraiser event on Tuesday, October 3, from 7:00 -10:00 p.m. at Skeleton Key Brewery (8102 Lemont Rd.), celebrating Banned Books Week (October 1 – 7) as well as the passing of anti-book ban legislation in Illinois. Guests will experience food and drink, a DJ and live band, photo booth, raffle and silent auction, guest speakers and more! All funds raised from the event support the Downers Grove Public Library.
Come out and celebrate the Freedom to Read! All week long we will be promoting and celebrating books that others deem unworthy for all because they didn’t like it.
We will be hosting a Read Out from 12-2 pm. What is a banned read out? It’s a gathering of people who stand with the banned books, during which passages are shared aloud from our favorite banned books! Censorship is out of control in our country, and this is a way to friendly protest and show solidarity!
Vendors will be available on-site to provide a unique experience, including local Pitbull Rescue, Dirt Roads Mutt Rescue.
The American Library Association has announced the theme for Banned Books Week 2023: “Let Freedom Read!” Banned Books Week will take place October 1 – 7, 2023.
“As we’ve seen throughout National Library Week, as long as there are libraries, Americans’ right to read will not be overcome by censorship,” says Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada. “Our 2023 Banned Books Week theme – ‘Let Freedom Read’ – captures what’s at stake for our democracy: that the safety of our right to speak and think freely is directly in proportion to our right to read. ALA encourages libraries in every context to mark Banned Books Week by inviting other groups within their communities to celebrate and take action to protect our freedom to read all year long.”
ALA offers a variety of “Let Freedom Read” downloads and materials, including posters, bookmarks, stickers, and buttons, as well as print-on-demand items such as apparel and drinkware. Evergreen assets without Banned Books Week dates and branding are available to encourage use and community engagement throughout the year.
Grants are available for libraries, schools and nonprofit groups planning Banned Books Week events in their communities. The Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund Programming Grant from the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) awards $1,000 to support Banned Books Week programs. The application deadline is May 19, 2023. Information about the grant, including past recipients and their projects, is available on the FTRF website.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. ALA is one of the founders of Banned Books Week and a member of the Banned Books Week Coalition, an international alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to raise awareness about intellectual freedom issues and to celebrating and defending the right to read during Banned Books Week and beyond.
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.