Get Ready for Banned Books Week

Banned books week 2018
It is less than a month until 2018 Banned Books Week, September 23 – 29. For educators, librarians, and parents, it falls at a hectic time of year, getting kids back into the routine of homework, school, not to mention all of the extracurriculars the students and the adults take part in. So look no further than CBLDF to give you some ideas to make this year’s Banned Books Week the best one yet!

Make a Display

  • Whether a table or an endcap, fill a display up with all your favorite banned and challenged books and comics. Wrap caution tape around the display to warn passerby’s that there is dangerously good reading available!
  • Wrap banned and challenged books in plain brown paper and only write the reasons they were challenged on the front. Ont he back list the book and author to demonstrate how out of proportion some of the complaints can be.
  • Design a bulletin board to look like a comic book page. Each panel is just a rectangle where you can feature a favorite challenged or banned comic, with a word bubble explaining the reason behind the challenge.

Banned Books Read Out

  • Organize a performance of selections from favorite banned and challenged works. Get help from the drama department or local community theater to make the readings as fun and dramatic as possible.
  • Organize a Read-a-thon! Plan for 12 – 24 hours where everyone gets together takes turns reading banned books. Put aside time after each reading for people to discuss the passage read and their thoughts on why it inspired challenges and how they feel about it. If you’re going for the 24 hour one, maybe turn it into a big sleepover in the library!
  • Join the virtual Read Out! Record yourself, or your class, or your kids, reading parts of your favorite banned books and submit it to where people from all over the country contribute videos of reading banned books!

Workshops & Author Talks

  • Set up a workshop to make comics together! Get a local comic book creator, illustrator, or art teacher to demonstrate anything from telling a story visually to DIY bookmaking. Utilize people in your community to help work with patrons and students to make and share their own stories and art.
  • If you have writers or creators who are comfortable talking rather than drawing and crafting, set up a lecture! You can do it in person, or just have them Skype in to chat about their work and answer questions from the audience. Make sure to display any copies of their work you might already have for interested attendees.


What once would have been for the younger readers, now seems to be an all ages activity. Have patrons or students dress up as a character from a beloved banned or challenged book! Have a costume contest or a costume party to encourage people to participate. For added points have people read aloud their favorite part of the book they chose.

Art Exhibit

If you have some time and lots of artistic friends and colleagues, put together an art exhibit designed around the idea of Banning Books Silences Stories – 2018’s Banned Books Week Theme, or capturing famous scenes from banned and challenged books. Whether you hang the exhibit for September, or host an opening gala, art is a great way to open up conversations about tough topics like censorship.

Mini Comic Convention

Why choose just one idea? So many adults and kids alike wish they could attend massive comic conventions like San Diego Comic Con, but geography and price often makes that unrealistic. So why not put all your best programming ideas together and throw your own comic book convention? Work with local comic creators, and your neighborhood comic shop, to help you take your convention to the next level.

Help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work in 2018 by visiting the Rewards Zone, making a donation, or becoming a member of CBLDF!