Banned Books Week is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness about censorship and the right to read. There’s tons of great banned books activities and displays out there, but many of them work best in-person. Since the pandemic has most schools meeting either virtually or in a hybrid model, students likely won’t be able to see or interact with our library spaces as much as normal. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t find other ways to celebrate Banned Books Week in 2020. Here are a fifteen ways you can celebrate virtually:
15+ Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week Virtually
- Using Flipgrid, have students record a quick talk about their favorite banned books.
- Bonus: Have students use Flipgrid to record videos about their thoughts on censoring what someone else can read.
- Use Instagram to feature various banned books:
- Post images of the book cover – obscured at first, then revealed (paper bags anyone? Or blur using Canva)
- Create short book talk videos about a banned book (this could work well in Stories or in the Feed)
- Feature Banned Books you have available as eBooks
- Banned Book Quotes – Share the quote from the book on the first image, reveal the book cover on the second one.
- Quotes from people banning books – Find some great quotes from people saying why they banned a book (there’s some pretty ridiculous ones out there). Then share an image of the cover in the second pic.
- Create a Banned Books curated collection in Sora
- Use Destiny collections to curate banned books and resources
- Create a Padlet sharing various banned books and resources (invite students and teachers to contribute)
- Share free downloads from ALA on social media channels
- Share some resources from BannedBooksWeek.org
- Write an article for your school newsletter or blog about the importance of Banned Books Week and fighting censorship (this is a great way to reach out to parents).
- If your school has a LGBTQ+ Ally club, collaborate with them. Many books banned in recent years feature LGBTQ+ characters (8 out of the top 10 books banned in 2019 were banned at least in part due to LBGTQ+ content).
- Host a virtual town hall discussing the history of banned books. Bonus if you can get some authors to join who’ve had their books challenged.
This is only a sampling of ideas, but I hope that they can help to get you started on planning a Banned Books Week Virtual Edition. Just because we can’t see our students in person the way that we normally do doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to raise awareness and promote a love of reading.