With Banned Books Week just a few weeks away, booksellers are encouraged to take advantage of both Ingram’s discount on banned, challenged, and relocated titles and the American Libraries Association’s virtual programming ideas. This year’s Banned Books Week is a great opportunity, especially as school districts are doing virtual or hybrid learning, to market your bookstore to the community and drive customers to your store.
Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, will be held September 27 to October 3 and will feature the theme “Censorship Is a Dead End.”
As part of the Banned Books Week celebration, Ingram is offering a 3 percent discount on banned, challenged, and relocated titles. 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.
American Libraries Association has 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.
The ALA’s program ideas in part reflect the books on ALA’s most challenged books of 2019. 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).
Bookstores that received a Banned Books Week promotional kit from the American Booksellers Association last year should be on the lookout for the 2020 kit in the September Box mailing.
All ABA members can download an 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.
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, and #bannedbookslist.