Back to Top

banned books week

Lawrence Reads Banned Books!

Books have the power to change lives on the individual and societal level. They’re portals to magical lands and guides for navigating life’s most gruesome struggles. Because of this, the freedom to access information through books has been highly contested since the birth of the written word. The American Library’s Association (ALA) has reported that it tracked roughly 500 requests to challenge or ban books from schools and libraries each year. Thus, Banned Books Week was created. The first Banned Books week began in 1982 as a celebration that called attention to the dangers of stifling creative expression and access to books.  Banned Books Week focuses on readers’ freedom and open access to information, and also acts as a Thank You to the librarians, teachers, students, and community members who have fought for these freedoms.

Read More..

Battle of the Banned… Books!

Welcome to our 4th annual Banned Book Trading Cards Competition!

Banned books week celebrates the freedom to read and the importance of open access to information by highlighting the attempted or actual banning of books in the US.

During banned books week, we’ll display all submissions at the Library. A panel of judges will select seven submissions for printing and distribution and we’ll hand out a different selection each day of the week.

For inspiration, here’s a list of frequently challenged books compiled by The American Libraries Association.

Requirements: Submit original artwork only. A brief artist’s statement
about the work must accompany each entry. Include the name of the banned
or challenged book, author that inspired the piece, and 1-2 paragraphs
about how the piece represents the book or author. Please include name, address,
phone number, and email address. Selected pieces will be scanned on a
flatbed scanner for printing. At the conclusion of Banned Books Week, all artwork
will be returned to the artists, with the option of donating their original art to the


Medium: paper
Size: 5” x 7” + 300dpi high resolution
Due by: August 31st
Where to submit: Drop off entries or mail to -
Lawrence Public Library, attn: Kristin Soper
700 New Hampshire Street
Lawrence, KS 66044


Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out: “The Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling

Read by TAB member, Meredith S.

Thanks for participating in Banned Books Week, Meredith!


Banned Books Virtual Read-Out: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

Read by TAB member, Tehreem C. 

Thanks for participating in Banned Books Week, Tehreem!

Banned Books Virtual Read-Out:”Just Listen” by Sarah Dessen

Read by TAB member, Lauren B. 

Thanks for participating in Banned Books Week, Lauren!

Celebrate the Freedom to Read

It’s Banned Books Week and we’re holding a virtual read -out all week long to recognize the importance of the freedom of information.  Choose an excerpt from your favorite banned or challenged book, come to the Teen Zone, and be recorded reading your excerpt. We’ll share your reading on the American Library Association’s dedicated YouTube channel as well as on our website.

Please limit your reading to two minutes. You will need to bring a photo/video consent form signed by your parent/guardian with you to the library.

You can also collect seven banned book trading cards designed by local artists, and of course, pick up a challenged book and celebrate your freedom to read!