Banned Books Week, October 1–7, 2023
Since 1982, libraries across the United States have observed Banned Books Week, a time to highlight titles that have been targeted for removal from schools and libraries.
Unfortunately, over the past several years, there has been an alarming increase in book bans and challenges across the country. The American Library Association (ALA) reported that last year, the United States saw the highest number of attempted book bans since they started keeping records more than 20 years ago. Preliminary ALA data for 2023 shows we are again on track for a record number of censorship attempts, including a higher number of challenges to public libraries. The majority of the banned or challenged books are for young people and feature LGBTQ+ voices and people of color.
The New York Public Library observes Banned Books Week every year, taking the opportunity to elevate and amplify these stories, voices, and titles that censorship attempts to repress. Join us in this effort and show your support for the freedom to read: check out key highlights happening this October, plus how you can get involved all year long.
Stand with The New York Public Library all year long to protect the freedom to read! Discover all the Library has to offer, including our Teen Banned Book Club, unlimited access to book club titles on NYPL’s SimplyE app, our National Teen Writing Contest about the importance of reading freely, plus free programs and events, ways to get involved, and more for all ages.
As book bans and challenges rise across the country, NYC is standing against censorship. In honor of Banned Books Week, Mayor Adams has officially proclaimed October 4 as #FreedomToRead Day, and is encouraging all New Yorkers to join their public libraries in celebrating the power of books and reading.
Hear from author Judy Blume—whose books for young adult readers have faced bans and challenges—about what we can do to protect the freedom to read, and why it matters.
Photo by Marion Curtis/Starpix.
Join New York City Libraries on Wednesday, October 4, for a city-wide Day of Action to stand against censorship in all forms as part of Banned Books Week.
Join the Library for author talks, book discussion groups, and more as we unite against book bans.
Read with us! Throughout the year, The New York Public Library's Teen Banned Book Club is offering free, nationwide digital access to young adult titles that have been the subject of bans or challenges. Download the latest title on SimplyE now—then join the conversation at our book club events and author talks.
Why is the freedom to read important to you? At a time of rising book bans and censorship, The New York Public Library invites teens across the United States to enter our national writing contest exploring this essential right. One grand prize winner will be awarded $500 and 20 additional winners will receive $250 each—plus, we will publish all winning entries in a special edition of NYPL's Teen Voices magazine.
#UniteAgainstBookBans: Make Your Voice Heard
Share your support for the right to read freely on social media and email.
Looking for more information about book bans, censorship, and how you can take action against them to support the freedom to read? We’ve got you covered.
Check out this list of books for all ages, selected by our expert librarians, that have been banned or challenged in schools and libraries across the country. From classic titles like The Color Purple and Slaughterhouse-Five to more recent targets like Hurricane Child, discover voices and perspectives censorship threatens to erase.
Watch a Banned Books Week discussion with authors Ayad Akhtar and Imani Perry, moderated by Atlantic executive editor Adrienne LaFrance, about the dangers of book banning and limits on freedom of expression, how attempts to silence artists threaten democracy, and what we can do to fight back. This event was presented in partnership with The Atlantic.
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