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Public Library

Banned Books Week

Let Freedom Read: October 1-7, 2023

Celebrate Banned Books - Let Freedom Read

Join the San Diego Public Library in Let Freedom Read! Throughout the week, SDPL will highlight the recent wave of book challenges and outright bans of books in the United States—from children’s picture books to classics to award-winning literature. Various library locations will present live Banned Books Week events, show movies of banned books that have been adapted for the screen, and feature displays of books, media, and more that have been challenged or banned.

San Diego Public Library affirms your right to information and celebrates your freedom to read!

Banned Books Week @ the Library (October 1-7, 2023)
"Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlighting current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For 40 years, the annual event has brought 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 books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship."

  • Infographic for who initiates book challenges.

  • Infographic for number of unique titles challenged by year.

  • Infographic for where book challenges take place.

  • Infographic for challenges beyond books.

Join the Banned


Why banned books?

San Diego Public Library staff share their favorite banned reads and why.

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison with staff testimonial"Beloved" by Toni Morrison
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker with staff testimonial"The Color Purple" by Alice Walker
  • Conan the Avenger by Robert E. Howard with staff testimonial"Conan the Avenger" by Robert E. Howard
  • Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury with staff testimonial"Farenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman with staff testimonial"His Dark Materials" by Philip Pullman
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou with staff testimonial"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
  • Night by Elie Wiesel with staff testimonial"Night" by Elie Wiesel

Books Unbanned

Books Unbanned text with black marker lines

Can you believe that some of America's youth are denied the right to read? Yeah, we couldn’t either! So, guess what we are going to do about it? We believe in your right to read what you want, discover yourself and form your own opinions. Now, teens and young adults ages 12 to 26 living anywhere in the U.S. can access San Diego Public Library’s online collection of banned or restricted eBooks and eAudiobooks for FREE.

Listener's Advisory: The San Diego Public Library Podcast

Listeners’ Advisory is the San Diego Public Library podcast

Bonus episode on Banned Books Week 2023

Listen to the episode here.

Season 1, Episode 10: Banned Books Week and Our Favorite Banned Books

Listen to the episode here.



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

“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials. Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs.”

- Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom