Under the guidance of the CA Department of Public Health and San Diego County’s Public Health Officer, the San Diego Public Library will be closed until further noticeOnline library servicesContactless Holds Pickup, and most book drops are available to the public. Find specific information on operations.


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Commemorate Banned Books Week with the San Diego Public Library! Throughout the week, library staff from the Central Library and Branches will share excerpts from books that have been challenged or banned in the United States—from children’s picture books to classics to award-winning literature.
"Banned Books Week (September 27 - October 3, 2020) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It 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."
  • Infographic for who intiates book challenges.
  • Infographic for book challenge reasons.
  • Infographic for where book challenges take place.
  • Infographic for challenges beyond books.
  • Infographic for challenges beyond books.

Stand up, speak out, learn more, and celebrate your freedom to read!

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, and illustrated by EG Keller, has once again appeared on ALA's Top 10 Banned Books list (#3). Check out this video from 2019, when Marlon Bundo visited five of our San Diego Public Library locations!
Dracula by Bram Stoker, read by Christina Wainwright
Did you know that this classic novel, published in 1897, was removed from a high school's required reading list as recently as 1994? Enjoy this spooky excerpt and find out more about this banned book!
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, read by Wendy Ensor
This beloved picture book, published in 1969, won the Caldecott Medal in 1970. That same year, it was challenged and/or removed from bookshelves across the country because the police officers are represented as pigs (all of the characters in the book are animals).
Read with permission by Simon & Schuster. Thank you for letting us share this picture book!
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, read by Lydia Bringerud
Published in 1865, this book has been challenged and banned throughout the decades--for featuring talking animals, allegedly promoting drug use, and allegedly promoting sexual fantasies.
And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole. Read by Bijan Nowroozian
And Tango Makes Three has been challenged and banned repeatedly since its publication in 2005. It appears frequently on the top 10 banned books list, including in 2019, for "LGBTQIA + content."
Read with permission by Simon & Schuster. Thank you for letting us share this picture book!
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, read by Matt Beatty
Published in 1961, this satirical novel set during World War II was challenged in school districts in the 1970s for reasons including its use of derogatory terminology for women.
Thank you to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for permission to read this book!
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko, presented by Marika Jeffery
The Paper Bag Princess was published in 1980 and faced both pre- and post-publication criticism. Some parents felt it was "anti-family."
Check out this version of The Paper Bag Princess with a twist, presented by Ms. Marika!

Banned Books Bundle

When you pick up your holds, ask for a Banned Book Bundle (also known as Grab & Go Reads) at one of these Contactless Pickup Locations!
Bundles include a selection of titles that have been challenged or banned in the United States. Check out something new and celebrate your freedom to read!
Photo of bundles of banned books


Discover Banned Books Week facts, check out virtual author events, and much more from the American Library Association:
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