Books encourage boundless exploration and allow readers to spread their wings. Stories give flight to new ideas and perspectives. Reading—especially books that set us free—expands our worldview. Censorship, on the other hand, locks away our freedom and divides us from humanity in our own cages.
The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. 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.