National Library Week: Right to Read Day

National Library Week is April 23-29, 2023, a time celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions, and promote library use and support. This year’s theme is There’s More to the Story.

Today is Right to Read Day, a call to action to fight back against censorship to defend, protect, and celebrate your right to read freely.

Right to Read Day: Protect Your Right to Read, April 24, 2023

The American Library Association has also released its most challenged books of 2022 as part of its State of American Libraries 2022 report [link to webpage containing pdf]. ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago and nearly doubling the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. While other instances of book challenges or removals may have occurred, these are the ones reported to the ALA.

In 2022, 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship.

Removing a book from a collection due to inaccuracies, age, or condition (something libraries often do in order to provide the best resources to their users) is different than banning or requesting to ban a book– most books that are challenged because they represent marginalized communities, have “profane” or “offensive” language or content, or disagree with someone’s political, religious, or social viewpoint. In 2022, books containing LGBTQIA+ content were the top challenged materials. Self-selection and choosing to not read a book because you disagree with it is different than requesting to remove it from a collection so no one can read it.

Keep reading for ways that you can advocate for libraries, including how to read some of 2022’s most challenged books and decide for yourself.

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Banned Books Week: 2022

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has stood as an an important week of awareness and advocacy against library and book censorship.

Celebrate Banned Books Week, September 18-24, 2022. American Library Association

2021 and 2022 have seen an unprecedented rise in attempted book bans across schools and libraries in America piloted by advocacy groups, some having taken place in nearby counties. Started in the 1980s as an awareness campaign by the cooperation of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom and the publishing community, Banned Books Week seeks to advocate for freedom by drawing attention to books that have been challenged for removal in library and school collections. It also reminds us of historical banning or removal of texts.

Celebrating Banned Books Week reminds us of the power of words. 

Click through to read more about Banned Books Week, including the books that were most frequently challenged in 2021.

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Banned Books Week Sept. 22-29, 2019

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and open access to information for all. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or censorship in libraries and schools. 

lightulb with text reading: Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark.  Keep the Light On!

Image courtesy of

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles lists of challenged books in order to bring awareness of censorship that affect libraries and schools. 

Stop by our banned books display on the lower level of Main library and pick up a bookmark, sticker, or coloring sheet at the library’s desk to celebrate your freedom to read.

red book wrapped in yellow caution tape that reads Banned Books Week
Image courtesy of

Celebrate Banned Books Week Sept. 24-30

Banned Books Week is an annual event which celebrates the freedom to read and highlights the importance of open access to information for all. Banned Books Week brings awareness to issues of censorship in libraries and schools.

Banned Books Week poster

Image from ALA: American Library Association

According to the American Library Association, “A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.”

To see a list of the most frequently challenged, books visit:

Visit our banned books display on the lower level of the library and pick up a bookmark at the library’s desk to celebrate the power of words and the freedom to read.

banned books display