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!


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.


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