Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings 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. Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.
Books are still being banned and challenged today. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
In observance of Banned Books Week, we invite you to visit the Hillside Library and participate in an interactive book display, Tear Me If You Dare. You’ll find challenged books wrapped in butcher paper. Select a book, tear the wrapping, and check it out! We also welcome students to enter a raffle to win one of two most challenged books of 2018: George and A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. Winners will be contacted on Monday, September 30.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Fri – Sat: 9:30am – 5pm
Pasadena, CA 91105
Fri: 9:30am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: closed