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UB Libraries Celebrate Banned Books Week 2023

Wednesday, September 27th, 2023

Catcher in the Rye… To Kill a Mockingbird… Harry Potter… What’s your favorite book?  Chances are good that someone has tried to ban it!

Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read, was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Each year the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.

Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and celebrates the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. According to the American Library Association, more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982.

This year the Libraries will feature a Read-Out and a book discussion to mark this annual event.

UB Libraries Banned Books Read-Out

Wednesday, October 4 at 2pm

Lockwood Library, 2nd Floor Lobby

Sign up to read a short selection from your favorite banned or challenged book at a Read-Out in recognition of American Library Association’s Banned Books Week 2023.  Everyone is welcome!

Register in advance or visit Lockwood Library Lobby on Oct. 4th at 2pm and sign up the same day.

Banned Book Talk

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Wednesday, November 1 at 11am

Talbert Hall, Room 107

Please join us to discuss the banned and challenged book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This young adult novel addresses issues of racism and police violence as witnessed by Starr, a 16-year-old girl who navigates between her poverty-stricken neighborhood and the wealthy suburban prep school she attends. Things change for Starr when she witnesses the fatal shooting of a friend by a police officer. The Hate U Give has been the target of being challenged since its publication in 2017.

UB students – Sign up today to receive a free copy of the book in advance!

Please note that registration is limited.

With thanks to Jared Strohl PhD, assistant teaching professor, Criminology MS Director, UB Department of Sociology.

For more information, contact

For a selection of books that have been banned or challenged over the years visit our Banned Books Collection Spotlight  or view the  ALA list of books which have been challenged or banned.