Banned Books Week 2022: Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.

by | Sep 20, 2022

Washoe County Library System will join in the national celebration of the freedom to read during Banned Books Week from September 18 through September 24, 2022. This year’s Banned Books Week theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”  

Banned Books Week provides an opportunity to bring awareness to historical and ongoing attempts to remove or restrict materials on the shelves in libraries, schools, and bookstores. Launched in 1982, this annual event highlights the freedom to seek and to express ideas and emphasizes the importance of the fight against censorship. Washoe County Library plans to mark the celebration by featuring frequently challenged titles on display and available for check-out throughout the library system. 

Collection Manager Debi Stears explains, “at Washoe County Library we staunchly defend your right to read. We actively curate a collection of materials that reflects both the needs and interests of our wonderfully diverse community. As you browse through our collection of materials, you’ll notice a wide variety of viewpoints and experiences, some reflecting experiences like your own and others that reflect a new idea or perspective. ” 

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracks attempts to ban or restrict access to books across the United States. In 2021, the ALA tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services. Their list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 includes titles with LGBTQIA+ content and books that address racism and racial justice. This year the ALA has already documented 681 attempts to ban or restrict library materials. Total book challenges in 2022 are expected to exceed the 2021 record. 

More information about local and nationwide efforts to combat censorship are available at any Washoe County Library location and at Visit for library locations and hours and for online access to downloadable copies of frequently challenged titles.