Resources for Book Challenges

Unite Against Book Bans
Unite Against Book Bans is a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.

ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: Challenge Support
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom provides confidential support during censorship challenges to library materials, services, and programs. Anyone can report censorship, even if they do not require assistance. Report censorship by filling out this online form, or contacting OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll at 800-545-2433, ext. 4221, or via email: kpekoll@ala.org

ALA Fight Censorship Clearninghouse
With the severe uptick in local and statewide book challenges, ALA offers this clearinghouse of resources to assist library workers and library advocates in responding to and supporting others facing those challenges.

The Freedom to Read Foundation
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with ALA. FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information.

LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund 
Devoted to the support, maintenance, medical care, and welfare of librarians who, in the Trustees’ opinion, are:

  • Denied employment rights or discriminated against on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, age, disability, or place of national origin; or
  • Denied employment rights because of defense of intellectual freedom; that is, threatened with loss of employment or discharged because of their stand for the cause of intellectual freedom, including promotion of freedom of the press, freedom of speech, the freedom of librarians to select items for their collections from all the world’s written and recorded information, and defense of privacy rights.

ALA Opposes Widespread Efforts to Censor Books in U.S. Schools and Libraries
Due to a dramatic uptick in book challenges and outright removal of books from libraries, ALA's Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA's eight divisions released a joint statement regarding attempts to remove materials that focus on LGBTQIA+ issues and books by Black authors or that document the Black experience or the experiences of other BIPOC individuals.


AASL Position Statements & Guides

Position Statement on the Role of the School Library
The school library provides access to a wide array of resources and an environment in which teaching and learning are the primary emphases. The school library provides a space and place for personalized learner success; learners are encouraged to explore questions of personal and academic relevance.

Position Statement on School Librarian's Role in Reading
The school librarian’s role in reading development includes selecting reading materials and resources in a wide variety of formats that reflect diverse and inclusive points of view and contribute to each learner’s ability to read for informational needs and for personal enjoyment.

Position Statement on Labeling Practices
School library collections are places where learners can explore interests safely and without restrictions; they are not merely extensions of classroom book collections or classroom teaching methods. A minor’s right to access resources freely and without restriction has long been and continues to be the position of ALA and AASL.

Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries
This guide, infographic, and applied framework provides support for school librarians in addressing challenges related to censorship and patron privacy issues, particularly with LGBTQ+ materials. This guide is more than a collection of resources; it uses the AASL Standards framework as scaffolding to help users explore LGBTQ+ materials and needs in their own communities.

Developing Critical Curators Seeking Diverse Perspectives
This activity guide, applied framework, and infographic contains a collectionof activities and web resources. School librarians can use these materials to reflect and be inspired by as they collaborate with other educators and to design school libraries that are places of information access and knowledge sharing. An acticity in the guide walks school librarians through creating a book challenge toolkit checklist curated to meet the needs of their school library in the event of a book challenge. (pgs 54-55)


AASL Community & Professional Development

AASL Town Hall: Book Challenges
During the December 8. 2021, AASL Town Hall, AASL President Jennisen Lucas and OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll facilitate a discussion on the current rise of book challenges. Explore how school librarians can keep their school libraries safe havens reflective of the school community.

Conversations on Censorship, Book Challenges and the FReadom to Read (SPVS Webinar)
As part of the Supervisors Section (SPVS) Winter Meeting & Learning Event, a panel of school librarians including Becky Calzada, Miranda Doyle, Carolyn Foote, and Nancy Jo Lambert held a thoughtful discussion around censorship, book challenges, and the FReadom to read.

Why Collection Development is Important, Knowledge Quest Volume 50, No.4
This issue of Knowledge Quest shares the tools, training, and tips essential to reaffirm the role of school librarians as experts in book and material selection. Considering specific collections such as LGBTQ-Inclusive, and Manga, as well as answers from the field, this issue is essential for all school librarians who understand that collection development is a constant process that is never complete.

Why Intellectual Freedom and Equitable Access Are Even More Important Today, Knowledge Quest Volume 49, No.1
Intellectual freedom and equitable access are core values of the library profession. The belief that these values are even more important today serves as the foundation of the articles in this issue of Knowledge Quest. Contributing authors in this issue demonstrate how school librarians are still finding new and innovative ways to defend intellectual freedom, privacy, and uninhibited intellectual inquiry.

Intellectual Freedom Blogs on the Knowledge Quest Website


State Initiatives & Statements

Alphabetical by State

Freedom to Read Georgia

Georgia Library Media Association

Iowa Library Association & Iowa Association for School Librarians Statement on Book Challenges across the State

Banned/Challenged Materials Resource List from the Iowa Library Association, Iowa Association for School Librarians, and State Library of Iowa

Missouri Association of School Librarians Book Challenge Statement

New Jersey Association of School Libraries

Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

South Carolina Association of School Librarians Position on Censorship

Texans for the Right to Read

Virginia Association of School Librarians Position Statement on Censorship of Books in Virginia School Libraries

Washington Library Association: Intellectual Freedom and the Freedom to Read

Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association Statement in Support of School Libraries and Librarians