Banned Books Week 2023: Defend Your Freedom to Read

Join the DePaul University Library in celebrating Banned Books Week, October 1-7, 2023.

Unfortunately, 2022 was another banner year for book bans and challenges across the United States. The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association reported a record 1,269 attempts to remove or censor library, school, and university materials in 2022.

This represents a 68% increase in the number of challenges from 2021 and the highest number of documented attempts at censorship since the OIF began tracking book challenge data in the 1980s. As in recent years, challenges primarily target narratives representing the lives of LGBTQIA+ and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) people.1

These challenges are not isolated phenomena, but the result of a highly orchestrated attempt by right wing pressure groups to remove materials from library shelves and school curricula and to intimidate teachers and librarians nationwide.2

In the face of this pressure, libraries across the country are continuing a decades-old tradition of advocating for everybody’s right to choose what they read by celebrating Banned Books Week. The DePaul University Library is no exception.

Join us this week for two events highlighting banned and challenged books or stop by the John T. Richardson Library anytime this week to pick up a copy of OIF’s Field Report 2022: Banned & Challenged Books or check out a banned book.

  • DePaul Activities Board Banned Books Trivia, featuring a “blind date with a banned book” pop up library | Tuesday, October 2, 2023 | 6-8 pm in the Student Center Atrium
  • City Lit Theater Presents Books On the Chopping Block, dramatic readings from the most frequently banned and challenged books of 2022 | Friday, October 6, 2023 | 1-2:30 pm in John T. Richardson Library, room 103 or streamed via Zoom (register here)

To learn more about Banned Books Week (or to find a banned book for your reading list), check out our Banned Books Week Guide.

We hope to see you there and to meaningfully engage with the DePaul University community on this important question of access to reading materials and the importance of diverse stories all year round.

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1Office of Intellectual Freedom, Field Report 2022: Banned & Challenged Books (Chicago: American Library Association, 2023).
2Office of Intellectual Freedom, 2023.

 

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