Banned Books Week, an annual autumn event, is a time to consider and celebrate our freedom to read. This observance sheds light on the importance of intellectual freedom and the potential dangers of censorship. This year's theme is "Let Freedom Read."
Throughout history, countless books have been banned or challenged for various reasons, ranging from controversial content and explicit language to political and religious ideologies. According to the American Library Association, "The vast majority of challenges were to books written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community." Preliminary data for 2023 shows 695 attempts to censor books between January 1, 2023 to August 31, 2023. During this period there have been 3,923 titles challenged during those attempts.
Banned Books Week serves as a reminder that literature often tackles difficult and uncomfortable topics, pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo. Recognizing patterns in censorship attempts emphasizes the need to protect our right to access diverse ideas and perspectives.
During this week, libraries, schools, bookstores, and literary organizations come together to host events, discussions, and readings that promote open dialogue and the significance of unrestricted access to information. Banned Books Week encourages readers of all ages to explore the works that have faced censorship, as they often contain valuable insight, creativity, and diverse voices.
Celebrating Banned Books Week, we reinforce the idea that the freedom to read and the freedom to think are fundamental human rights. This week serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle against censorship, a battle that underscores the importance of promoting intellectual curiosity, tolerance, and the right to explore ideas, even those that might be considered controversial. So, pick up a banned book this week and join the conversation in support of freedom of expression and the diversity of thought.
Here's a short list of some titles available in our library:
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
Dear Martin Nic Stone
Saga Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
This Book is Gay Juno Dawson
Persepolis Marjane Satrapi
Remember, titles not included in our library catalog can always be requested through Interlibrary Loan.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Fri - Sat: 10am – 5pm
Pasadena, CA 91105
Sat – Sun: closed
South Campus hold pickup shelf available at 1111 Security