Banned Books week is October 1-7, 2023

Let Freedom Read”  – When we ban books, we’re closing off readers to people, places, and perspectives. But when we stand up for stories, we unleash the power that lies inside every book. We liberate the array of voices that need to be heard and the scenes that need to be seen. Let freedom read! 

Check out a banned book

Circulation matters! Checking out banned books or books about topics that are frequently targeted for censorship proves that the community is interested in reading them. Library staff can use circulation data to support keeping the books on shelves when they are challenged and to justify ordering more books by the same authors or on the same topic.

What is a Book Ban?

PEN America Defines a school book ban as any action taken against a book based on its content and as a result of parent or community challenges, administrative decisions, or in response to direct or threatened action by lawmakers or other governmental officials, that leads to a previously accessible book being either completely removed from availability to students, or where access to a book is restricted or diminished.

It is important to recognize that books available in schools, whether in a school or classroom library, or as part of a curriculum, were selected by librarians and educators as part of the education offerings to students. Book bans occur when those choices are overridden by school boards, administrators, teachers, or even politicians, on the basis of a particular book’s content.

School book bans take varied forms, and can include prohibitions on books in libraries or classrooms, as well as a range of other restrictions, some of which may be temporary. Book removals that follow established processes may still improperly target books on the basis of content pertaining to race, gender, or sexual orientation, invoking concerns of equal protection in education. For more details, please see the first edition of Banned in the USA (April 2022).

 “2023 Banned Books Update: Banned in the USA.” PEN America, 21 Aug. 2023,


Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022

BBW Censorship by the Numbers

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.