Banned Books Week & the Freedom To Read

Banned Books Week is October 1-7.

Every year, libraries across the country participate in Banned Books Week to shine a light on what it means to have free, open access to information and to bring together the reading community in celebration. This year, you’ll notice that Ohrstrom Library has more than the typical amount of information posted about Banned Books Week.


2022 saw the highest number of attempts to ban books in twenty years, when the American Library Association first began tracking the data. And so far this year, the numbers show a twenty percent increase in book challenges. The rise is due to a surge in organized groups seeking to censor youth’s access to materials they deem inappropriate. Here’s a look at the numbers from January 1 to August 31, 2023, provided by the ALA:


  • 695 attempts to ban or restrict access to library materials and programs
  • 1,915 unique titles challenged
  • 3,923 total titles targeted
  • Book bans took place in a total of 220 school libraries and 208 public libraries
  • The ALA has estimated that as many as 97% of book challenges and bans never get reported

But what does it all mean? Follow our blog this week, participate in a library Banned Books Week program, and read the information posted around the library to find out!


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