Reading is essential for democracy and intellectual freedom is essential for a creative society.
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week 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.
How can you fight censorship?
1. Attend our 5th Annual Banned Books Trading Card Reveal Party on Friday, September 23.
2. Collect all 7 2016 Banned Book Trading Cards at the Welcome Desk—a new one revealed each day from 9/25–10/1!
3. Explore these recently challenged books from 2015:
Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
We are asking Lawrence artists of all skill levels and ages to create works of art based on their favorite banned or challenged book. Of course, we want you to pick a book that speaks to you artistically, but we’d like submissions to focus on books that have been challenged because they offer insight into the lives of marginalized characters or populations. Check out ALA’s Banned Books Week page for inspiration and a list of frequently banned or challenged books. We Need Diverse Books is also an excellent resource!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see past year’s selections.
The nuts and bolts of submission:
Create a 5”x7” original artwork based on a book that has been banned or challenged. If the piece is a copy of your original artwork, it will be scaled to 5”x7’ for uniformity.
Include its title, author, and a few sentences about how the piece represents the book.
Include your name, address, phone, and email.
Submissions may be in either landscape or portrait orientation.
For digital submissions: Save file in PNG or JPG format at 300 dpi minimum.
Submission deadline is Sep 1.
Banned Book Trading Card Unveiling is Friday, September 23rd at 5pm in the Library Auditorium.
Find out what pieces were selected to become Banned Book Trading Cards!
During Banned Books Week, we’ll display all submissions at the library. A panel of judges will select seven works to be printed and distributed as banned book trading cards. We’ll hand out a different card each day of the Banned Books Week.
Drop off, or mail entries to:
Lawrence Public Library
707 Vermont Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
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.
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
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!