Did you know that September 27-October 3 is Banned Books Week?
Banned Books Week is an annual event hosted by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, who define the event as follows:
Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information. Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view.
Luckily, DePaul University Library is making it easy to celebrate by reading banned books and participating in discussions with the DePaul community. Read on for more details!
Read Diverse Banned Books
The majority of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 were challenged because they contain LGBTQIA+ content. Unfortunately, this is a recurring theme over the years: books by or about people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are frequently the target of censorship. Book challenges are most likely to take place in schools and public libraries, institutions that young people in particular rely on for access to information.
It is vital for all of us to see our identities and experiences reflected in literature. At the same time, literature provides a crucial touchstone for building solidarity across differences and learning about the world beyond our own experience.
This year, we’re inviting the DePaul community to join us in reading diverse banned books. We cross-referenced ALA’s list of Frequently Challenged Books with Diverse Content and found all of the titles available at the library. Explore the Banned Books Week Resource Guide and pick out a book today — it’s a good study break! Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, young adult literature, or children’s books, there is a title on the list for you.
Not sure how to request a book? Click here for more information on how to request and retrieve a library book via contactless pick-up.
Banned Books Week Events
Ready to celebrate Banned Books Week with us? We’ve got you covered!
This year, the DePaul University Library has partnered with City Lit Theater Company, the University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL) and the Office of Student Involvement for a series of events to bring the DePaul community together to celebrate our freedom to read.
On Wednesday, September 30th at 1:00pm, join the Library and City Lit Theater for a virtual performance of Books on the Chopping Block, a series of dramatic readings from the most frequently banned and challenged books of 2019. A Q&A will follow the performance and DePaul students that attend will be entered into a raffle to win a bookstore gift card. Click here for more information about Books on the Chopping Block.
Later on Wednesday, September 30th at 6:00pm, join the Office of Student Involvement for Lessons in Leadership from Banned Books, a panel discussion where DePaul student leaders, faculty, and staff will reflect on the lessons they’ve learned by reading banned books. Tune in for the livestream on the OSI Facebook page at facebook.com/DPUStudentInvolvement or check out the recording later in the week.
On Thursday, October 1st at 3:00pm, drop by the UCWBL’s Zoom Social for an informal discussion about reading and identity and the importance of seeing your experiences reflected in literature. Feel free to bring a favorite book or passage to share. Click here for more information about the Zoom social.
However you celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, we hope you take a few minutes this week to reflect on the impact that access to books has had on you and your communities.