Banned Books Week (September 18-24, 2022) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. It spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community - librarians, booksellers, publishers, teachers, authors, and readers - in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some condier unorthodox or unpopular.
In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.
The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.