CWU News

CWU Libraries Awarded Grant to Support Banned Books Week Events

Central Washington University Libraries has received a $1,000 grant from the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) to develop programming for Banned Books Week, taking place now through Saturday. CWU’s efforts were further recognized by being featured in the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom blog.

CWU was one of six nonprofit organizations around the country — and the only higher education institution — to receive grants this year from the Judith Krug Fund. The FTRF distributes funding every year to nonprofit organizations to support activities that help raise awareness about intellectual freedom and censorship issues. 

CWU Libraries’ programming, which started Monday, is dedicated to highlighting LGBTQIA+ voices and stories in literature. The libraries are working with campus and community partners to develop and offer programming around LGBTQIA+ literature, including a moderated panel discussion featuring librarians, students, and community members; an author talk; a book club discussion; displays; and book giveaways. Visit the CWU Library calendar for a list of events. 

The committee noted that a large number of recent book challenges cite sexuality, sexual behavior, and sexually explicit content as objectionable. CWU’s programming will focus on books challenged for LGBTQIA+ issues, and greater issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community. 

“When we looked at the American Library Association’s Ten Most Challenged Books of 2019 and saw that eight of the 10 most banned books were challenged for LGBTQIA+ themes, we knew that we should center these themes in our programming,” CWU assistant professor Jessica Krill said during an interview with the Intellectual Freedom blog, published last week. 

“We have such a vibrant LGBTQIA+ community on campus, so I am excited to be working on this project to bring our campus community together with our other partners,” Krill added. 

Krill moderated a panel discussion Tuesday night for Ellensburg School District employees, public librarians, and CWU students. The staff will also host a book discussion on October 14 and will host Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All the Best, on October 21.

CWU Libraries celebrates Banned Books Week every year with an exhibit in the Brooks Library main floor display case. The department also presents a “Freedom to Read” table at the downtown farmers market, along with interactive activities in the SURC. 

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,, 509-963-1518.