What is banned books week?
According to the official website, Banned Books Week is an annual event that celebrates our freedom to read. Banned Books Week began in 1982 as a response to increased challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Banned Books Week is all about supporting free and open access to information. The book community – Librarians, booksellers, publishers, readers, teachers, etc. – all come together during this week (typically the last week in September) in support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. Each year the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) releases a list of the top ten book challenges from across the country. Those lists can be found by clicking here, it’s very interesting to see what has been challenged over the years.
The theme for the 2022 Banned Books Week is “Books Unite Us, Censorship Divides Us.” According to ALA, “books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers; censorship, on the hand, creates barriers.”
Here’s a wonderful article from the American Libraries magazine in 2017 documenting the history of Banned Books Week and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.