Banned Books Week: Our right to read, September 24-30, 2017


Explore the history of censorship and joys of unrestricted reading this Banned Books Week.

Every year, bookstores, libraries, universities and organizations host engaging programs that spotlight censorship. Select a state below to find out what events are taking place in your area.

To submit an event for Banned Books Week 2017, complete our event form.


  • San Francisco
    Phonochrome Presents: Banned Books Solidarity Concert
    Phonochrome is a critically acclaimed, Bay Area chamber ensemble that seeks to increase the relevance and impact of chamber music by performing concerts that contextualize music and relate to cultures of history, politics, social movements, and other art forms. This concert, curated in support of the annual event Banned Books Week, aims to raise awareness of the political oppression of artists, journalists, and musicians, as well as highlight the importance of our First Amendment rights and the ongoing work of organizations like the American Library Association and the Freedom to Read Foundation. This program is a diverse and compelling array of music that exemplifies various forms of political censorship. Cellist Natalie Raney opens the concert with the Catalonian folk song, “Song of the Birds,” made famous by cellist Pablo Casals during his self-imposed political exile from Spain. Numerous other works, such as Aaron Copland’s “As It Fell Upon A Day” and Claude Debussy’s “Chansons de Bilitis,” were censored in their home countries as well as in China during Mao Zedong’s infamous cultural revolution. Performances of Dorothy Parker’s “Songs of Perfect Propriety” and Maya Angelou’s “Calypso Songs” honor two outspoken literary women who were silenced for their work. Parker was investigated by the FBI and placed on the Hollywood Blacklist for her role in pre-WWII antifascist organizations, and Maya Angelou’s autobiography remains one of the most contested books in American literary history. Concluding the performance will be a contemporary arrangement of “Strange Fruit,” a song written by Jewish poet Abel Meerepol in protest of racist lynchings, and which later became an anthem for the American Civil Rights movement. Tickets available at the door or online at Doors at 11:30 for a pre-concert coffee reception provided by Ritual Coffee Roasters. Concert at 12:00 p.m. Post-concert book reception courtesy of The Green Arcade
    September 24, 2017
    Center for New Music
    55 Taylor Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Elizabeth Talbert
    (646) 932-0792


  • New Windsor
    You Gotta Fight for your Right to Read Banned Books!
    During this program, a panel of experts will discuss the joys and challenges of supporting teens' right to read freely. Learn why books in school and public library collections are often challenged, how to talk to those concerned about materials, how to encourage teens to defend their right to read, and why it's important for teens to have access to a diversity of ideas and viewpoints. The panel will include a local public library and school librarian, a YA author, a teen, and a parent of a teen! Check in begins at 1:30! We hope to see you there!
    September 28, 2017
    Carroll County Public Library Headquarters
    1100 Green Valley Rd
    New Windsor, MD 21776
    Nay Keppler


  • East Cleveland
    Your Right to Read
    Join Your Right to Read: A Conversation with Ann Rowlett, Deputy Director of ACLU of Ohio. The freedom to read is essential to democracy, but it is also constantly under attack by private groups and public authorities trying to limit access, label, and censor “controversial” reading materials.
    September 25, 2017
    East Cleveland Public Library
    14101 Euclid Avenue
    East Cleveland, OH 44112
    Dr. Hogan