Since 1982, Banned Books Week has rallied librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, teachers, and readers of all types to celebrate and defend the freedom to read.
Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information. It brings together the entire community of book enthusiasts in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas — even those that some may consider unorthodox or unpopular.
Among the books once banned or challenged are several works which today are considered classics: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut; The Color Purple by Alice Walker; Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and many more.
While scores of books have been, and continue to be, banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, these books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of those who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Author’s Guild; Freedom to Read Foundation; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; People for the American Way; PEN America, Project Censored and others. Banned Books Week is officially endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.