Let’s Celebrate Banned Books!

This week is Banned Book Week! What does that mean, you might ask? Well, here’s the description from the American Library Association. I can’t state it any better than they can.

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”

The deal is that some people, in different libraries and at different points in time, want to ban books for one reason or another. I get why some people don’t want to read certain books and don’t want their kids to read them. But really? One person’s opinion shouldn’t decide what everyone else reads.

Here are some of my favorite banned (or challenged) books: The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hunger Games, Little House on the Prairie, A Wrinkle in Time, Harry Potter, and The Giver. To see what other books have been banned, click here.

This is my first Banned Book Week to celebrate as a librarian, so I’m pretty enthusiastic. At my library, we’ve actually been celebrating banned books all month! Following are a few of the displays we’ve set up, and most of the ideas we found on Pinterest because Pinterest is a librarian’s best friend.


Shred-It Contest

This idea is from the blog, Book, Line, and Sinker. People just have to guess which book (or copy of a book) has been shredded and enter their guess into a contest. Love it!



“Victim of Attempted Censorship” Display

This is from the blog by Tabatha Yeatts. To create it, we traced someone on cardboard and covered the cardboard figure with prints of banned book covers. And then, look what we did below. 🙂



Banned Book Posters

This idea came from Lauren Gibaldi’s blog, and–originally–they weren’t posters. They were bookmarks! We just loved the designs, so we made them huge and designed about 15 different versions for different books. Here are just a few:

IMG_20140924_104818 IMG_20140924_104801 IMG_20140924_104741

Just look at Scarlett O’Hara in that picture. She’s bad and proud of it.


“Forbidden” Sign

This is bold, huge, easy-to-make, and I love it!



All of these displays have been great conversation starters, so any librarians out there should definitely think about using them. Just be prepared to answer lots of questions about banned books. 🙂


  1. Oh I LOVE everything you did! (And i’m so happy my bookmarks served as inspiration!) The posters you made are fantastic; I didn’t even think of making them into posters! We did the shredded book too (ours currently is Hunger Games..shhhhhh), and the body outline is fantastic. So happy you got to have that much fun, and hope it all got tons of amazing support! 🙂

  2. Banned Book Week is one of my favorite weeks in the year! As an elementary librarian, I have really gotten the students into celebrating the week as well. So fun!!! Some of my favorite banned books are: The Catcher in the Rye and Looking For Alaska!

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