Celebrate Your Freedom to Read! Banned Books Week (Sept. 18-24, 2022)

Graphic shows text: "Books bring us together, censorship divides us" and figures holding up an open bookDid you know more books were challenged or removed from U.S. libraries this year than any other since the American Library Association (ALA) started tracking book censorship more than 20 years ago? Each September, libraries across the country recognize Banned Books Week to both celebrate each person’s freedom to choose what they want to read and share information about censorship.

Our library serves everyone in the community and we celebrate the different interests, views, and tastes of our patrons. Not every book in our collection will appeal to everyone in our community, but we pride ourselves on connecting each person with the right book for them. During Banned Books Week (Sept. 18-24), we’ll have fun activities and giveaways celebrating your Freedom to Read and highlighting the diversity of our collections. Come find out more about why books are being challenged and how a librarian can help you find the book that’s right for you.

Activities planned:

  • Join us in Children's Services for a special book cover scavenger hunt, as well as a display about banned and challenged books.
  • In Adult Services and Teen Services, play our "Guess the Book" game. Can you figure out the title using 1-star and 5-star reviews of the book? Do the reviews surprise you?
  • Visit the Creative Studio to make a tote bag (no registration required):
    • Mon., Sept. 19  3:00-6:00
    • Tues., Sept. 20  10:00-12:00
    • Weds., Sept. 21  5:00-7:00
    • Thurs., Sept. 22  10:00-12:00
    • Fri., Sept. 23  1:00-4:00

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to have freedom to read?

Having the freedom to read means having the opportunity to choose which books are right for you. Freedom to read also includes parents being able to choose which books their children should or should not read based on their age. When books are banned, you aren’t able to access them, which means you have less freedom to choose what you read.

What is a book challenge or ban?

A book challenge is an attempt to remove materials or restrict access to materials based on objections to the book’s content or themes. A book ban happens when challenged items are removed from libraries, schools, or bookstores.

How does the library decide which books are included in the collection?

Our Material Selection policy explains how the library selects materials for the collection. When adding materials to the library’s collection, our staff follow professional selection standards, ensure materials do not provide false information, and consider relevance to the Addison community.

All Addison patrons are able to request new items for the library’s collection or request an item be removed. Addison residents who want the library to reconsider an item’s inclusion in the collection must first read our Material Selection policy, then they may ask library staff for a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials packet, which includes information on our review process and a form to complete.

How can I find a book that’s right for me?

We understand that each person and family is unique and will want to find library materials that appeal to them. One person may want a book that includes specific themes, and another may want a book that avoids specific themes. Other patrons may want to select books based on their intended age group while others select books based on topic alone.

Library staff are always happy to help you find the right book! You can ask us for recommendations that include or avoid certain topics. You can also use the search filters in our catalog to find books by age group, Accelerated Reader or Lexile levels, and subject. Be sure to visit the library during Banned Books Week for more tips!

How can I learn more or help protect the freedom to read?