American Library Association Highlights Rise in Censorship Attempts During Banned Books Week Programming | Company


Libraries nationwide will join the American Library Association in highlighting increased book censorship this year Banned Books Weekwhich will take place September 18-24, 2022. The American Library Association (ALA), Unite Against Banned Books (UABB) and the Banned Books Week Coalition are planning extensive programming during the week, bringing together authors, librarians and scholars to share their views on censorship.

Thousands of schools, bookstores and libraries across the country will sponsor local events during the 40th Banned Books Week with a particular focus on the recent surge in book bans. In 2021, the ALA recorded 1,597 individual book challenges or removals — the highest number of attempted book bans since the ALA began tracking more than 20 years ago. The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is “Books Unite Us. Censorship divides us.

The Dear Banned Author the campaign encourages readers to write, tweet or email banned or challenged authors, sharing what their stories mean to them, raising awareness of censorship and supporting the power of words and those who write them

Readers can participate in the “Unite Against Book Ban” initiative #ASKingAboutBans Banned Books Week Contestto win a signed copy of AS King’s Attack of the Black Rectangles by recording a short video telling how they experienced censorship or spoke out against it.

monday september 19

Free expression for young people1 p.m. ET

Authors who have written or advocated for intellectual freedom will look at censorship of children’s books and discuss young people’s freedom to read:

  • Jarrett Dapierlibrarian and author of the next publication Wake up now in the fire
  • Ryan Estradgraphic novel co-author Book club banned
  • Varian Johnsonauthor of Play the cards dealt to you and The Parker Legacy
  • Donald Milleraward-winning educator and reading advocate

Tuesday, September 20, National Voter Registration Day:

With freedom to read on the November ballot, #UniteAgainstBookBans urges voters to register, find out who and what is on their ballot and find out where the candidates stand. Resources on voter registration and engaging with candidates on freedom to read are available at

A conversation with author Jennifer Niven, 6 p.m. ET

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Niven discusses the implications of censorship for teens and their communities when book bans occur. Many of Niven’s books have been targeted for deletion and censorship in multiple places.

Wednesday, September 21

Breaking the Bans: A Celebration of Contested Books, 2 p.m. ET

Authors and historians who have experienced first-hand censorship of their works will share their experiences with censorship, how their books have changed the lives of individual readers in schools and libraries, and how librarians and communities can retaliate. dr.Emily Knoxeditor of Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy and author of Foundations of intellectual freedom (ALA Neal-Schuman), will moderate the conversation.

  • Nikole Hannah Jonesauthor of The 1619 Project
  • Renee Watsonauthor of The 1619 project: born on the water
  • Kim Johnsonauthor of This is my America
  • Kyle Lukoffauthor of Different types of fruit

How to fight book bans in your community2:30 p.m. ET

Experienced activists who have championed the right to read in their communities talk about community organizing and how you can fight book bans in your community.

  • Cameron Samuels, Honorary Youth Chair of Banned Books Week, student activist from Katy, Texas
  • Jen Cousins and Stephane Ferrel, co-founders of the Florida Freedom to Read Project
  • Caroline Foote, co-founder of Freedom Fighters

Thursday September 22

What is the role of the higher education community in supporting intellectual freedom?11 a.m. ET

ALA and SAGE Publishing bring together intellectual freedom experts to explore the rising prohibitions and restrictions and the role members of the academic community can (and should) play as censorship becomes more institutionalized:

  • Aaisha Haykal, College of Charleston Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture
  • Emily Knox, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy
  • John BurgessUniversity of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies
  • Shannon OltmanUniversity of Kentucky

Practical strategies for defending the books in your library1 p.m. ET

Drawing on censorship challenges from headlines, four experienced library workers will provide practical strategies and resources that library workers can use to defend contested materials:

  • Moni BarrettePresident, ALA Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table
  • Jamie GregoryHigh School Librarian, Christ Church Episcopal School
  • Val NyeLibrary Director, Santa Fe Community College
  • jack phoenixHead of Collections Development and Technical Services at Cuyahoga Falls Library and Brodart Graphic Novel Selector

Freedom to read: fighting against book bans and censorship in our libraries7 p.m. ET

The Hartford, Conn. Public Library and the Mark Twain Home and Museum will host a discussion of book banning trends since the 1885 publication of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finnwhich was immediately banned from some public libraries when released to the public.

  • Deborah CaldwellStoneexecutive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation and the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom,
  • Brigitte QuinnHartford Public Library CEO

Intellectual Freedom and You: A Banned Books Week webinar for library supporters7 p.m. ET

Memorial Hall, Tewksbury and other Massachusetts libraries will host a webinar on how library users can effectively support libraries, library workers and free speech, featuring Martin Garnar, Library Director of Amherst College and editor of Handbook of Intellectual Freedom. tenth edition (ALA Editions).

A public list of local National Banned Books Week events is available at

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the leading national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the role of the library in improving learning and access to information for all. Visit for more information.

About Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden increase in the number of book challenges in schools, bookstores and libraries. It 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 common support for freedom to research and express ideas, even those considered unorthodox or unpopular.

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CONTACT: Dani Leopold

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SOURCE: American Library Association

Copyright BusinessWire 2022.

PUBLISHED: 09/15/2022 12:20 PM / DISK: 09/15/2022 12:21 PM

Colin L. Johnson