American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE) is asking booksellers to help plan next year’s Banned Books Week by filling out a short survey on their experiences during this year’s event, which ended on Saturday, October 1. More than 500 bookstores mounted displays of banned and challenged titles this year, and seven stores participated in the joint event “A Night of Silenced Voices,” which was held on the second day of Banned Books Week.
“We always want to be trying new things, and the bookseller feedback we get from our surveys always provides input and suggestions that make Banned Books Week more successful,” ABFE Director Chris Finan said.
A Night of Silenced Voices was the first time that bookstores in different parts of the country have coordinated a Banned Books Week event on the same night. The evening involved a series of readings and panel discussions about books that are being banned or challenged because they feature characters from groups that are minorities in American society because of their race, ethnicity, sexuality, or other characteristics. The events were held in New York, Washington, Miami, Chicago, Denver, Portland, and Los Angeles.
Finan said the survey would explore interest in expanding the idea of joint programming next year, evaluate the promotional kit that ABFE distributes to participating stores, and seek other suggestions for improving Banned Books Week.