Bookstores that received a Banned Books Week promotional kit from the American Booksellers Association last year will receive the 2020 kit in the September Box mailing. This year, the Banned Books Week celebration will be held September 27 to October 3 and will feature the theme “Censorship Is a Dead End.”
Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read that brings together the entire book community, including booksellers, librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers.
According to the American Library Association (ALA), eight of the 10 most challenged books of 2019 were challenged or banned because of LGBTQIA+ content. In 2019, the ALA tracked 377 attempts to censor library, school, and university materials and services, encompassing 566 books that were challenged or banned. The list includes George by Alex Gino (Scholastic); Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth (Triangle Square); and Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix).
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the kit has been slightly modified from past years with the understanding that many bookstores are open in limited capacity. This year, the kit will include:
- A Banned Books Week poster courtesy of Ingram Content Group
- A 3 percent discount on banned books from Ingram
- A Banned Books 2019 Field Report from the American Library Association (ALA)
- A 10 percent off coupon for the ALA store’s Banned Books Week products
- A Banned Books Week Handbook from the Banned Books Week Coalition
ABA members can also download a 8.5x11 Banned Books Week poster to print as a counter card or use on social media under the “Marketing Assets” section on BookWeb.org. Booksellers can choose from one of two designs, with a black or white background.
Booksellers can take advantage of Ingram’s 3 percent discount on banned, challenged, and relocated titles in advance of Banned Books Week. The promotion is running from August 1 to October 4. Place your orders from a list of 2020 banned and challenged titles on ipage®. No promotional code is needed.
The American Libraries Association has also created a list of 40 virtual program ideas for Banned Books Week. Ideas include story time or Q&A with a banned author, a partnership with a local LGBTQIA+ group to address why LGBTQIA+ stories are overwhelmingly censored, an online bingo based on banned book titles, and a partnership with an organization that centers on Black voices to discuss racism and the continuing challenges books about racism and police brutality face.
As you prepare for the upcoming Banned Books Week, booksellers are encouraged to share their plans and photos of their displays by tagging ABA and using #BannedBooksWeek on social media or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
The full list of hashtags associated with this year’s event are: #BannedBooksWeek, #bannedbooks, #FirstAmendment, #freespeech, #censorship, #intellectualfreedom, #bannedbookslist, #freespeechfighter.