Your Guide to Reporting Censorship

Report Censorship

“Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” — Article 3, Library Bill of Rights

Most librarians are aware of Banned Books Week and the Top Ten Most Challenged Books. But how does ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compile the information? 

From You!

We rely on librarians and educators, and even the public to report censorship and book challenges in libraries, schools and academia. To that end, we've redesigned our reporting form to make it less cumbersome and less timely to tell us about what happened in your institution. 

The new form simplifies the reporting process by reducing the number of questions by more than 60 percent. Librarians can now upload documents and receive an emailed copy of their report. The redesigned form includes a hate crime category. This free webinar will walk participants through the new OIF reporting form and outline the support available for challenges of all types, big and small. 

This archived webinar was originally presented January 12, 2017. You can view the recording and share for free.

Learning Outcomes

  • Define a challenge, a ban, intellectual freedom, and censorship
  • Identify censorship and violations of the First Amendment
  • Walk through each question on the challenge report form with an explanation of why OIF collects that information
  • Understand the scope of incidents that are tracked
  • Recognize the importance of challenging censorship
  • Locate support

Who Should Attend

  • Librarians: public, K-12 school, academic
  • Teachers 
  • Administration: directors, systems, superintendents, principals
  • Library and information science educators
  • Library boards and school boards
  • State library associations and intellectual freedom advocates
  • Banned Books Week participants


Office for Intellectual Freedom

Jamie LaRueJamie LaRue is the Director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Author of The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges, he has given countless keynotes, webinars, and workshops on intellectual freedom, advocacy, building community engagement, and other topics. Prior to his work for OIF, Jamie was a public library director for many years in Douglas County, Colorado.

Photo of Kristin Pekoll

Kristin Pekoll is Assistant Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). She is part of a five person team dedicated to promoting the right to read and providing education about the First Amendment. Kristin communicates with state library associations on current book challenges and publications that deal with censorship, privacy, ethics, and internet filtering. She organizes online education and training on the freedom to read and how to navigate reconsideration requests and media relations. 

Deborah Caldwell Stone

Deborah Caldwell-Stone is Deputy Director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, where she works on initiatives defending the First Amendment freedom to read. An attorney by training, she now works closely with librarians, teachers, and library trustees on a wide range of intellectual freedom issues, including book challenges, Internet filtering, meeting room policies, and the impact of new technologies and the USA PATRIOT Act on library privacy and confidentiality. She has served on the faculty of the ALA-sponsored Lawyers for Libraries and Law for Librarians workshops and speaks frequently to library groups around the country.  Before she joined ALA in 2000, Deborah practiced appellate law before the state and federal courts in Chicago, Illinois. 





How to Register

You can view the recording and share for free.

Tech Requirements

You’ll need a stable internet connection and working headphones/speakers.


Questions about content should be directed to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom: or 312-280-4221.

Questions regarding registration and recordings should be directed to ALA’s Membership and Customer Service department at 1-800-545-2433 ext. 5 or

Subscribe to future issues of Intellectual Freedom News, a free biweekly compilation of news delivered to your email by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom including

  • Current book challenges in libraries and schools
  • Articles about privacy, internet filtering and censorship
  • ALA activities, conferences and institutes, products, online learning opportunities, awards and grants, international exchanges, and more
  • How to get involved and make the most of what ALA offers

You can also find the Office for Intellectual Freedom on , and online, or email the office at

Intellectual Freedom eLearning