Get Ready for Banned Books Week!

It’s Labor Day, a celebration of America’s workers and the unofficial end of the summer and start of the school year. It also means we’re only three weeks way from the annual celebration of the right to read, Banned Books Week! Join the fun September 25 – October 1, 2016, at libraries, schools, and stores around the country!

This year, Banned Books Week celebrates diversity. According to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, more than half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities. Why are so many diverse books banned? Banned Books Week is a great opportunity to engage your community in this discussion!

CBLDF is an official sponsor of Banned Books Week. Below are some of CBLDF’s resources for Banned Books Week. Next week, the CBLDF Banned Books Week handbook hits stands and will be available digitally for free here on the CBLDF website! We’re also adding resources, so be sure to check back for the handbook, posters, and more to help you make a celebration of diverse banned books!

If you are hosting an event or Banned Books Week display, let us know about it! Register your event with Banned Books Week at events and send an email to


Banned Books Week 101

For an introduction to banned books and Banned Books Week, visit CBLDF’s FAQ: Banned Books Week 101.

CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook

The CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook is a free resource that gives you the scoop about what comics are banned, how to report and fight censorship, and how to make a celebration of Banned Books Week in your community! CBLDF’s Banned Books Week Handbook is an essential tool to assist librarians, educators, and retailers in planning their Banned Books Week celebrations, while also being a vital reference to help readers everywhere fight censorship. View or download the 2014 and 2015 editions here.

The 2016 edition of the CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook is now available! View it here.

CBLDF Comics Connector

The CBLDF Comics Connector is a free a resource that lists comics creators and industry professionals who are able to provide lectures and workshops for schools and libraries. The CBLDF Comics Connector is organized by country, followed by state or province, and entries in each state are alphabetical by creator’s last name. Currently, the CBLDF Comics Connector includes dozens of creators from 22 US states and three Canadian provinces. Odds are good you’ll be able to find someone who will participate in your Banned Books Week events!

Check out the CBLDF Comics Connector here. If you are a creator or industry professional who would like to be listed in the CBLDF Comics Connector, please fill out this Google Form, and we’ll add you to the list! Educators and librarians, if you have suggestions to improve this resource, please contact us at

CBLDF Posters and Shelf Talkers

First up, we have a poster adapting Raina Telgemeier’s amazing cover for the 2015 edition of the CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook! We’re also delighted to offer a poster featuring characters from banned and challenged comics courtesy of Jonathan Hill and First Second Books. Finally, we have Jeff Smith’s Bone, waving a flag for the freedom to read!

Feel free to use these great posters in your Banned Books Week displays and to advertise your events celebrating the freedom to read! Click on the links below to download high-res versions of each:

We’re also delighted to offer shelf talkers for stores, libraries, and classrooms! Featuring “Fighting Words” about censorship from some of the biggest names in comics, you can use these shelf talkers to call attention to banned books, as part of your Banned Books Week displays, on bulletin boards, and more! Featuring quotes from Neil Gaiman, Jeff Smith, Marjane Satrapi, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Alison Bechdel, and Ariel Schrag, this who’s who of challenged creators will inspire your Banned Books Week celebration!

We have two formats: An 11″ by 17″ spread that features all of the quotes or a version that you can cut apart into individual blurbs to customize your shelves and displays. Click on the links below to dowload high-res versions of each:


Banner Ads

Looking for something to decorate your website? Download the official Banned Books Week banner ads here.


Raising A Reader: How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love to Read!

Raising a ReaderWith more than 80,000 copies in print, Raising a Reader! How Comics & Graphic Novels Can Help Your Kids Love To Read! answers the questions parents and educators bring to using comics: What skills do graphic novels offer kids? How do you teach reading with a comics page? How do comics promote a love of reading? It’s an indispensable tool for showcasing the value of graphic novels, and chock full of reading suggestions and title recommendations to get kids engaged with this exciting medium! Check it out here.

Using Graphic Novels in Education

Using Graphic Novels in Education is an ongoing feature from CBLDF that is designed to allay confusion around the content of graphic novels and to help parents and teachers raise readers. In this column, we examine graphic novels, including those that have been targeted by censors, and provide teaching and discussion suggestions for the use of such books in classrooms. Check out the columns here.

Adding Graphic Novels to Your Library or Classroom Collection

This ongoing feature from CBLDF provides specific resources for librarians and educators who may need to justify and defend the inclusion of the book in library and classroom collections. Each column provides specific information about a book, including a summary of challenges it has faced, reviews, praise, awards and other recognitions, and additional CBLDF resources that educators and librarians can provide to their administrators when they want to add the book to their collections. Check out the series here.

CBLDF Discussion Guides

Given their visual nature, comics are easy targets for would-be censors. CBLDF’s Discussion Guides are tools that can be used to lead conversations about challenged graphic novels and to help allay misconceptions about comics. Click through to download the guides.

CBLDF Banned Comics Case Studies

Collecting case studies about specific comics that have been challenged or banned, this series has details on which comics were attacked, why, and what CBLDF did to help defend them. Read all about it here.

CBLDF Defender

CBLDF Defender is our free quarterly news magazine coming to you from the front lines of the fight for free speech! You can find it at comic book stores across the nation, on comiXology, and right here at! Each issue of CBLDF Defender will bring engaging creator interviews, detailed analysis of current censorship news, and in-depth features that tell the story of the people fighting for the freedom to read! Click through to check out CBLDF Defender!

Comic Book Club Handbook

CBLDF_BookClub_cover_webLearn how to start and make the most of book clubs for comics and graphic novels with the Comic Book Club Handbook, a resource produced by Comic Book Legal Defense Fund in collaboration with Comic-Con International! Designed for librarians, retailers, and individuals alike, the Comic Book Club Handbook goes inside the how’s and why’s of creating a graphic novel book club. The handbook provides proven strategies for getting started, selecting books, engaging your community, managing discussions, and much more, including a helpful table of books to get you started!

This publication is the latest in the ongoing education collaboration between Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Comic-Con International, who co-produced the handbook with the assistance of Erwin Magbanua of the San Diego Public Library. The Comic Book Club Handbook is illustrated throughout by legendary cartoonist Rick Geary! Read it here.

Manga Book Club Handbook

MangaBookClubHandbook_frontcoverThe Manga Book Club Handbook is invaluable resource, created in partnership with VIZ Media, that will help you start and make the most of book clubs for manga! The Manga Book Club Handbook lays out the basics of manga and provides the tools you need to start a book club for manga, including suggested readings to get you started!

Read a digital copy of the handbook here

Download a PDF of the Manga Book Club Handbook here.

Hardcopies of the Manga Book Club Handbook are available in the CBLDF Rewards Zone here

Working With Libraries! A Handbook For Comics Creators

Working With Libraries! provides comics creators with a valuable insider’s perspective on the library world and the systems librarians have to navigate to bring comics to their patrons. The handbook details the basics of public, school, and academic libraries, explains the collection development process, and offers suggestions for ways creators can collaborate with libraries in developing events and programs. View it here