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Freedom to Read: Book Challenges and Bans in the U.S.

This guide provides an overview of current efforts to challenge or ban books in the U.S. and includes information about Banned Books Week and how to fight library censorship.

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlighting 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. 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.

The theme for Banned Books Week 2023 is "Let Freedom Read." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities. (ALA Banned Books Week)

For more information about Banned Books Week: ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023)

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