March 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Getting Ready for Banned Books Week? Check Out SLJ’s Updated Pinterest Board

Teacher librarian Kathy Burnette has updated SLJ’s Banned Books Week Pinterest board with new, eye-catching, and inspiring ideas to kick off the annual celebration of censored books and the freedom to read, whose sponsors include the American Library Association (ALA), the National Coalition Against Censorship, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Taking place from September 24 to September 30 this year, Banned Books Week  “brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers—in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular,” according to ALA’s website.

In addition to this year’s ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament Toolkit, which includes website banners, printable bookmarks, a coloring sheet, and suggested hashtags, Burnette has pinned infographics, book recommendations, interactive book displays, and a Banned Books Week crossword.

The Brain Lair” blogger continues the work that Lawrence Public Library, KS, collection development librarian Molly Wetta began two years ago.  ALA announced the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 earlier this year, and the majority of the titles were books for young people, including This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (First Second), Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic), and George written by Alex Gino (Scholastic).

If your library is doing fun, innovating programming and displays to commemorate the freedom to read, share in the comments section below.

Kathy M. Burnette (aka The Brain Lair) is a K–8 teacher librarian at a small, independent school in South Bend, Indiana. She is currently serving on the 2018 ALA Printz Committee. Kathy is working on opening her own teen-centered bookstore with a focus on diverse books! Follow her on twitter @thebrainlair and send lots of hugs and coffee. Kidding about the hugs, she just wants the coffee.

See also:

New Resources for Banned Books Week

SLJ Controversial Book Survey: Data and Findings

Banned Books Are Often Diverse Books. Check the Stats.

Librarian Molly Wetta Curates SLJ’s Banned Books Pinterest Board





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Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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  1. For Banned Books Week our library in London, UK, had an Open Mic where students were encouraged to read passages from banned books both past and present. They were also given the chance to perform their own original material on the theme of freedom. Students had their “mug shots” taken with banned books and through the magic of photoshop we were able to convert the images to black and white except for the books and the “Banned Books” logo. Pics can be seen on the link below. Through passive programming we are asking students to tell us what book they would be willing to go to prison to defend. Lots of fun!

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