Banned Books Week

September 26 – October 2, 2021

“Books Unite Us. Censorship Divide Us.”

Read the Banned Books Week 2021 announcement press release here.

What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It frequently honors books identified by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom as the “Most Challenged Works” during the past year. See the most recent list. Often these works are intended primarily for children and young adult readers, individuals whose reading is most under the control of others—teachers, parents, librarians, school board members, bookstore owners, and other community members.

AUPresses has proudly sponsored Banned Books Week since 2015. Why?

Intellectual freedom is one of our core values as an Association. As mission-driven scholarly publishers, AUPresses members around the world are committed to the discovery, cultivation, and distribution of research-based scholarship, the product of intellectual freedom at the highest level. And that freedom’s components—unencumbered thought, rigorous inquiry and research, free expression and discussion—are all nourished by the freedom to read.

While books for young readers are often the focus of Banned Books Week but only a small portion of the works published by AUPresses members, many of those contested works touch on subject matter—such as race, gender, sexuality, politics, religion—that university press-published scholars routinely explore, demystify, and seek to understand.

How can AUPresses Members and Individuals Support Banned Books Week?

Tweet out support for #bannedbooksweek as well as stories of any of your press’s titles that have faced challenges and bans in the US or elsewhere.

Feature challenged books or works exploring freedom of expression and inquiry on your website or blog.

Host an event—a live reading, an online exploration of a challenged title, a sale—celebrating the freedom to read. Submit details of any event to the Banned Books Week Calendar.

Join the American Library Association’s Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign, on paper or online using the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor. Downloadable postcards, graphics, and tips for writing letters—along with information on how to add your own author(s) of challenged or banned work to the ALA’s contact list—are all available online.

Need more ideas? Visit the Banned Books Week Coalition website or consult the free Banned Books Week Handbook. The Coalition makes customized digital assets available each year as well.

Finally, please share information about any of your challenged or banned titles, along with any planned Banned Books Week activities, with Annette Windhorn,  awindhorn@aupresses.org.

and…Read Banned Books! 

מיר פֿירן אַריבער די עיקרדיקע ראָלע פֿון אַ גלאָבאַלער געמיינשאַפֿט פֿון פֿאַרלעגערס, װאָס זייער מיסיע איז פֿאַרזיכערן אַקאַדעמישע אויסגעצייכנקייט און קולטוװירן דאָס װיסן. 

— AUPresses Mission Statement in Yiddish