In an era where information is readily available at our fingertips, libraries stand as guardians of intellectual freedom. Banned Books Week (October 1–7, 2023) celebrates the value of free and open access to information and brings people together in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas.

This nation-wide annual event spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools, and explores the harms of censorship. “The purpose of the week is to shed light on the fact that bans and challenges do still exist and that libraries choose to remain true to your intellectual freedom needs,” says Technical Services Manager Emily O’Neal. “It’s fundamental to our institution to protect the First Amendment right of all of all library users.”

As book challenges become more prevalent, there are checks and balances to ensure materials remain available to all who seek them. Deschutes Public Library’s Collection Development Policy aids library staff in selecting, acquiring, and maintaining—within a limited budget—a well-rounded collection of materials. A collection development plan also informs the public about the principles and processes upon which material selections and de-selections are made.

Celebrate your right to read by staying informed and taking a stand against censorship. Stop by your library starting October 1 to pick up free limited-edition stickers and book bags—while supplies last.

Visit our Intellectual Freedom page to learn more about free speech and access to information; and browse the 13 most challenged books of 2022 as reported by the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.

For more information, please visit the library’s website at