Pasadena Public Library Celebrates Banned Books Week

PASADENA, CA — Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. Observed annually, this year it is celebrated Oct. 1 – 7, 2023.

Since 1982, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, teachers, booksellers, publishers, writers, journalists, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. 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.

The American Library Association’s (ALA) theme for Banned Books Week 2023 is "Let Freedom Read." When we ban books, readers are denied access to people, places, and perspectives. But when we stand up for stories, we unleash the power that lies inside every book and liberate the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen.

This Banned Books Week, Pasadena Public Library is celebrating the freedom to read with two weeklong programs highlighting the connective power of continued access to diverse voices in literature.

Make & Take: Banned Book Trading Cards

Celebrate the importance of intellectual freedom at Hill Avenue Branch Library with a DIY trading card event. We'll have trading cards featuring art inspired by banned and challenged books, as well as blank cards and art supplies you can use to create your own. Make, take, trade, or let us display your art during Banned Books Week. Supplies provided each day until 5 p.m. through Saturday, October 7.

Monday, Oct. 2 – Saturday Oct. 7, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Hill Avenue Branch Library, 55 S. Hill Ave.


Banned Books Scavenger Hunt & Storywalk

Take a walk with a banned book! During Banned Books Week, you can learn the astounding reasons why some books have been banned in our outdoor Storywalk at Jefferson Branch Library. Then, come inside and complete a Banned Books Scavenger Hunt for a prize!

Tuesday, Oct. 3 & Thursday, Oct 5, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Saturday Oct. 7, 2 – 6 p.m., Jefferson Branch Library, 1500 E. Villa St.


In 2022 the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, most were by or about LGBTQIA+ persons and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

While books have been and continue to be challenged across the country, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. Banned Books Week is in part a celebration of the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

To learn more about Banned Books Week, visit https://ALA.Org/Advocacy/BBooks/Banned. For more information about Pasadena Public Library, visit https://PasadenaPublicLibrary.Net/