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Celebrate Banned Books Week October 1-7

Sep 21, 2023
Madison Public Library is celebrating Banned Books Week with Beyond the Page by hosting events as part of a local Banned Books Con

Madison Public Library is celebrating Banned Books Week October 1-7, 2023 with events, resources and book displays in our libraries! Banned Books Week is an annual event, originally launched in 1982, that focuses on celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week highlights the value of free and open access to information and brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. 

This year, we're joining with Beyond the Page as part of a Banned Books Con happening in Dane County Public Libraries throughout the week. There are several events planned (in person and virtual), including banned book clubs, author visits, a panel discussion and freedom to read celebrations. 

Banned Books Week Events: 

at Madison Public Library

Author Talk & Book Signing with Ellen Hopkins

Thursday, October 5, 6-8pm | Sequoya Library

Ellen Hopkins Author Talk and Book Signing at Sequoya LibraryJoin us for this live talk and book signing by Ellen Hopkins!

Ellen Hopkins is the award-winning author of fourteen NY Times bestselling young adult novels-in-verse, two middle grade novels-in-verse, and four novels for adult readers. She currently holds the not so enviable title of "Most Banned Author in the US."

This event is part of Banned Books Con, a celebration of the freedom to read during Banned Books Week: October 1st-7th. This series was made possible by a collaborative grant from Beyond the Page, with the support of Madison Community Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Doors will open at 5:45pm.

Banned Books Open Mic

Saturday, October 7, 3-4:30pm | Alicia Ashman Library

Celebrate the freedom to read by sharing an excerpt from your favorite banned book with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Bring you own book to read from or borrow one we will have onsite. To participate, sign up in person for a 2-3 min. time slot day of the event at the door. Snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are welcome.

This event is for all ages but please be advised, material may be of an adult and/or sensitive nature.

Freedom to Read Celebrations: Banned Book Buttons and Blackout Poetry

Saturday, October 7, 10am - 12pm | Sequoya Library

Kids of all ages (and adults!) are invited to join Bubbler Artist Rita Salm in this creative celebration of our freedom to read! We'll have a display of commonly challenged children's books on hand to inspire you, as well as lots of button-making and sharpie poetry materials.

Banned Books Week events at other regional libraries

Panel Discussion: Intellectual Freedom in the Face of Censorship

Sunday, October 1, 2-3:30pm | Sun Prairie Library

Intellectual Freedom in the Face of Censorship Banned Books Con Panel DiscussionModerator:

  • Bianca Martin, Host of City Cast Madison


  • Dr. Ashley White, Asst. Prof. at UW-Madison and Education Fellow for the NAACP
  • Erick Plumb, Director of Waunakee Public Library
  • Brittany Gitzlaff, Children's Librarian at Waunakee Public Library
  • Teresa Voss, School Librarian at Verona Area School District

Mike Curato Author Talk & Book Signing

Monday, October 2, 6:30-8pm | Waunakee Public Library

Mike Curato Flamer Banned Books Con Event at Waunakee Public LibraryMike Curato is the award-winning author/illustrator of the wildly popular Little Elliot picture books. His debut young adult graphic novel, Flamer, received critical acclaim and earned several awards including the Lambda Literary Award for Young Adult. It was also the #1 most challenged book in Wisconsin last year. Curato will talk about his journey to publish Flamer, and what has happened since.

Global Livestream: Books and Beyond with Jacqueline Woodson

Tuesday, October 3, 12-1pm | Fitchburg, Deerfield and Oregon Libraries

Celebrate the power of books with National Book Award-winner and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Jacqueline Woodson. Woodson is one of the nation’s most acclaimed authors writing for children, adolescents, and adults. Weaving together lyrical language and powerful imagery to create rich and emotional stories, her work explores the complex intersections of race, class, gender, family, and American history. Join Woodson for a livestream global conversation around stories and books that connect us to one another.

Banned Book Clubs

Banned Book Clubs during Banned Books Con at Dane County LibrariesFlamer by Mike Curato

  • Wednesday, October 4, 6pm | Fitchburg Public Library

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

  • Wednesday, October 4, 10:30am | Oregon Public Library
  • Thursday, October 5, 6pm | Rosemary Garfoot Public Library

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

  • Wednesday, October 4, 5:30pm | Deerfield Public Library

Get Involved!

Join the conversation on social media! Share a banned book selfie or a reflection on why you support the freedom to read using #BannedBooksCon