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Banned Books Week 2023: Banned & Challenged Books 101

A guide to links and Banned Books Week resources on the web and home to the world famous UST Banned Book Trivia contest!

 Banned Books Week runs from October 1 - 7.  Suppressing books is a problem every week.

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. Most targeted books were by or about POC or members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Why books are being banned

Number of book challenges by year

Number of books banned in school classrooms and libraries in the United States from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022, by state


For Librarians, Banned Books Week Is a Chance To Discuss Censorship, Intellectual Freedom With Students

“I think we always have to bring the idea back to our constitutional rights,” says Mary Keeling, president of the American Association of School Librarians. “What’s important about this isn’t the sensationalism of a banned book; the importance is our freedom in a democratic society to listen to and read and think the ideas we want to think. That concept is essential to democratic discourse.”

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