Celebrating Banned Books Week

It’s my favorite time of year. Soup and sweater weather. Leaves turning. Banned Book Week.

Things have been crazy. Last week we wrapped up Read Across Lawrence at the library, complete with two author visits (one in person, one virtual) that I’m planning to write about later. This week we’ve got Banned Book Week, Star Wars Read Day, and the annual Zombie walk.

So, it’s been very busy. But not too busy for me to celebrate banned book week! My library was one of eight selected for a grant to fund banned books week programming.

The library partnered with the arts center to sponsor a call for banned book trading cards. Artists submitted works on paper that honored a challenged or banned title. Out of 50 submissions, a panel selected seven to be made into cards that people can collect and trade. In the Teen Zone, we’re videotaping teens reading from their favorite banned books to share. It’s just tons of fun.

I threw together a banned book display today.

Labeling books by the reason they have been banned or challenged, often for things like cursing, violence, and sex, is a great way to get books to circulate. So many teens asked what’s up with banned books as I was putting up the display, and they couldn’t believe people really wanted to take Harry Potter out of libraries because it was satanic.

Getting on the banned book list is almost sure to increase the readership of a book in a way that is deliciously ironic. Almost all of my favorite books are routinely challenged. Animal Farm, Slaughterhouse Five, 1984, Brave New World, Clockwork Orange...it’s a list of all the books I read as a young adult and loved.

Banned Books Week is a great way to connect teens with books that will challenge the way they think and what they believe. I can’t think of anything cooler than that, but then again, I’ve always been a subversive at heart.

To read more on banned books, check out Katy Upperman’s post on fighting censorship and Lauren Gibaldi’s awesome banned book bookmarks. What’s your favorite banned book? What does your library (or bookshop) do to celebrate banned books week? 

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5 thoughts on “Celebrating Banned Books Week

  1. Sounds like fun activities. I like your trading cards, too. It’s no surprise that labeling a book as banned would increase circulation. I wonder why people who seek to censor this material haven’t figured that out yet?

  2. I LOVE your images, especially the first. Gorgeous! And thanks for linking to my Banned Books post… A topic near and dear to my heart. :-) My favorite banned book is TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Such a classic!

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