Banned Books Week (September 26-October 2, 2021) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Usually held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. The whole of the book community - librarians, booksellers, journalists, publishers, teachers, and readers - coalesce to actively support the freedom to find, disseminate, and express ideas and information, even if those ideas and information are thought of by some as offensive, unorthodox, or unpopular.
The theme for 2021 is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us," which strives to impart the importance of sharing stories as a way of sharing parts of ourselves, as well as to illustrate how books transcend boundaries and build bridges and connections among and between readers. Censorship and the suppression of intellectual freedom and freedom of expression, on the other hand, create barriers and seek to divide.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been singled out for attempted removal or restriction in schools and libraries. Banned Books Week illuminates efforts around the country to remove, restrict, or limit access to books, media, and other information. By doing this, the damage that censorship can cause comes into focus.
SCCLD acknowledges Banned Books week by creating in-library displays of books and other materials, as well as curating booklists that feature challenged books and provide information on censorship. You can view 2020's most challenged books here, opens a new window and go here to see some of SCCLD's resources on censorship, opens a new window.
To learn more about Banned Books Week 2021, visit the American Library Association's Banned & Challenged Books, opens a new window page.