During Banned Books Week, join us for an online discussion about banned and challenged books from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., on Monday, Sept. 19, featuring local authors Jewell Parker Rhodes (“Ghost Boys”) and Jonathan Evison (“Lawn Boy”), and librarians Deb Sica (Alameda County Library) and Soraya Silverman-Montano (The Seattle Public Library). It will be moderated by Folio librarian Lillian Dabney.

The event, titled “Banned: Intellectual Censorship and Intellectual Freedom,” is presented in partnership with Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum. The panel will share first-hand accounts from challenged authors about their experiences and offer the audience an opportunity to share and gain insights into their own attitudes towards censorship. 

Register for the event at Folio Seattle’s website.


About the Speakers:

  • Dr. Jewell Parker Rhodes is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning educator and writer for both youth and adults. She is the Virginia G. Piper Endowed Chair at Arizona State University and the Founding Director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.
  • Jonathan Evison is the author of the novels “All About Lulu,” “West of Here,” “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving,” “This Is Your Life,” “Harriet Chance!,” “Lawn Boy,” and “Legends of the North Cascades.” He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.
  • Deb Sica has been in the field of research, education and libraries since 1993. She has been an archivist, an academic, and a researcher, and now serves as deputy county librarian for Alameda County Library. She has spent the last decade-plus in public libraries working to transform dated, discordant practices and policies into socially just campaigns for full inclusion.
  • Soraya Silverman-Montano is the Youth and Family Learning Manager for The Seattle Public Library. She has worked for public libraries for over 20 years in various public-facing positions at major library systems across the country, including Multnomah County Library and the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. Over the last decade, Soraya has been a leader at the local, state and national levels, where equity, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of all aspects of her work.

The event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. This event will be recorded, captioned and then posted on the Library's YouTube channel after the event.

Banned Books Week (September 18 - 24, 2022) is an annual event by the American Libraries Association celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.



The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community. 

Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at www.spl.org/Ask. Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information.