Banned Books Week is an annual awareness campaign that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books and highlights persecuted individuals. The United States campaign "stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them" and the requirement to keep material publicly available so that people can develop their own conclusions and opinions. The international campaign notes individuals "persecuted because of the writings that they produce, circulate or read."
The campaign was founded in 1982 by prominent First Amendment and library activist Judith Krug. It is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE),American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, National Association of College Stores, and endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.