Uncensored DC: The Library takes a creative approach to Banned Books Week

(photo: Farrah Sheiky/Dim Sum Media)

Censorship is never acceptable in a democracy, which is why the DC Public Library is celebrating Banned Books Week with a creative campaign called #UNCENSOREDDC. The theme this year is “Texts Against Tyranny,” and the Library is doing a scavenger hunt and hiding books that have been censored at one time or another across the District, along with a cool fundraiser in the Dupont Underground. Banned Books week is September 24-30th.

600 books have been hidden around DC in over 50 locations including all local DCPL branches, public spaces, and community businesses like Compass Coffee, Politics & Prose, Proper Topper, East City Books, Anacostia Arts Center, and many more.

The six titles hidden throughout the city are:

Each hidden book is wrapped in a special cover featuring a notable quote (see photo above). If all six titles in the scavenger hunt are found and put together, the spines will reveal a special image!

This year, the banned books scavenger hunt expands, with more locations, more books, and two new contest components:

  1. Find a hidden banned book and share on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) with the hashtag #UNCENSOREDDC for a chance to win prizes from partner businesses, including a gift certificate from Columbia Room, Zaytinya, Upshur Street Books and Petworth Citizen; expedited entry to the Game of Thrones pop-up bar; a basket of banned books from Politics & Prose; tickets to the Newseum and much more!

  2. Or, find one of 15 “golden ticket” books and share it on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) with the hashtag #UNCENSOREDDC and automatically win a pair of tickets to UNCENSORED Underground, DCPLF’s annual fundraising event to celebrate Banned Books Week on September 30th at Dupont Underground (the event is 21+).

DC Public Library staff have created clever clues that will be distributed each weekday morning in September on WAMU Morning Edition (88.5 FM). Scavenger hunt participants can also find clues shared on social media (Twitter: @dcpl_literati and @dcpl , Instagram: @dcpl_literati and @dcplpubliclibrary , Facebook: @dclibrary) .

Saturday, September 30; 7-10pm.

UNCENSORED Underground, DCPLF’s annual fundraising event, will be held on Saturday, September 30th at Dupont Underground (19 Dupont Cir NW). The evening will feature signature cocktails inspired by favorite banned books from some of the city’s best bartenders, live music from local bands, art from Robin Bell, a pop-up market featuring exclusive items curated by style guru and event chair Jennifer Barger and many other fun activities. Other event chairs include Derek Brown, DC Brau, Dupont Underground, Anna Fuhrman, Svetlana Legetic, Paul Ruppert, and Morgan Hungerford West .

More info can be found at dclibrary.org/bannedbooks and at ala.org/bbooks.

WAMU is participating in by offering a "clue of the day" posted to WAMU.org/books every day of the hunt. 

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.

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