Skip to Main Content

Banned Books and Censorship

Information on events for Banned Books Week and resources on challenged and banned books in the U.S.

2023 Banned Books Week Events

Banned Books Week 2023 Read-aloud

Wednesday, October 5th, 5:30 pm


Guidelines for Preparing your Reading

Since the inception of Banned Books Week in 1982, libraries and bookstores throughout the country have staged local read-outs, continuous readings of banned and challenged books. This year, we will join the action by hosting a read-aloud of banned books, explaining their importance and sharing their words. Join us virtually or in-person on Thursday, October 5th at 5:30 pm downtown at the Rosenzweig Arts Center for a live read-aloud following the Banned Books art exhibit reception. You can share your reading live or submit a recorded reading.

Your words have power. Stand up to censorship and declare your literary freedoms by reading from a banned book and discussing its importance.


When: Thursday, October 5th, 4:00

Where: Rosenzweig Arts Center, or virtually via AthenaCommons

Why: To celebrate the freedom to read

How to participate: Join us to listen, choose an excerpt to read during the event, or record yourself reading and send it in. Guidelines and instructions for recording are at the top of the box.

Join us as we celebrate the freedom to read at MUW! This year Fant Library is partnering with the MUW Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy, the MUW Foundation, and the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library to offer a week of Banned Books programming. We hope to see you there!


Wednesday, October 4th at 4:00 pm, we will host a panel that features librarians, educators, and legal professionals who have been affected by book bans and challenges. Join us to hear from

  • Sarah Ballard, Teacher, Murrah High School
  • Sarah Schnaithman, Attorney
  • McKenna Raney-Gray, LGBTQ Justice Project Staff Attorney, ACLU of Mississippi
  • Dr. Ebony Lumumba, Associate Professor of English, Jackson State University
  • Dawn Zimmerer, Hinds Community College (Formerly Youth Services Director at Madison Public Library)

The reception will be recorded and live-streamed. Visit for the zoom link.

Pick up a Banned Books Week craft kit at the library desk anytime during Banned Books Week!


How to make a book charm 

  1. Pick out a laminated book cover 

  1. Fold down the front cover, then the back creating a spine 

  1. Use the hole punch to punch a hole in the top on the spine 

  1. Insert the string, ribbon, or earring hook in the hole before filling the book 

  1. a. For an open book with pages: Accordion fold strips of paper till you reach your desired thickness 

            b. For a closed book: Measure and cut a piece of foam core to the size of the front cover 

  1. Use glue to insert the book filling, secure it with a binder clip until it is dry. Trim any excess filling 


Book charm bookmark (Embroidery floss) 

  1. Gather stings together and thread one end through the hole in the book cover. Find the middle of the length of the string and tie a knot 
  2. Follow the instructions for the book charm  
  3. Separate your sting by colors 
  4. Starting with the string on the left, tie two forward knots
  5. Continue with the same string till it is on the rightmost side 
  6. Repeat with the next leftmost sting 
  7. Continue until you reach the desired length (most books are 8-9 in tall) 

About Banned Books Week

Save the Date banner to Banned Books Week: October 1-7, 2023

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. 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 express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Banned Books Week 2023 will be held October 1-7. The theme of this year’s event is “Let Freedom Read.”