Fight Censorship

Fight censorship web page graphic with illustration of book and hashtags #IntellectualFreedom and #FReadom.

 

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. Remember to report challenges to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, and let ALA know if you need assistance. 

Your support matters more now than ever. Donate now to help us fight this nationwide organized assault on the freedom to read.

 

The American Library Association opposes widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries. Read the statement from ALA's Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for ALA's Eight Divisions.

 

Preparing for and Responding to Challenges | Working with the Public | Library Bill of Rights and Interpretations | Graphics | Webinars | Statements | Opinion Pieces and Op-Eds |

Stay Informed | Support Library Workers | Censorship Legislation


Preparing for and Responding to ChallengesReport Censorship . Defend the Public's Freedoms. Red button links to report censorship web page.

When ALA knows more about what is being challenged, as well as why and where, we can use that data to draw national attention to the harms of censorship and highlight the value of free and open access to information and the freedom to read. The information allows ALA staff, member leaders, and volunteers to develop the best resources to defend library materials and to protect against challenges before they happen.

Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries (PDF)

How to respond to challenges and concerns about library resources

Resources for Trustees

Schools and Minors' rights

Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit

Tips from practitioners:

 

Working with the Public

Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

Questions about Youth and Access to Library Resources

Tips for addressing challenges during a public meeting

Working with community leaders

Working with media:

Intellectual freedom traditional and social media tips

Social media tips from ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Office

Tips on working with traditional media from ALA's Public Policy & Advocacy Office

 

Library Bill of Rights and Interpretations

Access to Library Resources and Services for Minors

Access to Library Resources and Services Regardless of Sex, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, or Sexual Orientation

Access to Resources and Services in the School Library

Challenged Resources

Diverse Collections

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

 

Graphics

Because Librarians Stand Up for Your Right to Read Facebook share | Instagram share | Twitter share

On top of a rectangular teal background is the text: Because librarians stand up for your right to read. On the bottom are the Libraries Transform and ALA logo. 

Because Students Need Challenging Books Facebook share | Instagram share | Twitter share

On top of a red background is the text: Because students need challenging books, not book challenges. Accompanying the text is the Libraries Transform and ALA logo.

Censorship Divides Us Logo

 On top of a purple globe, two hands hold onto a book. On the left hand is the word "Books." On the book is the word "Unite." On the right hand is the word "Us." Below these images is the text: Censorship Divides us.

 

Webinars

Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis (April 2020)

Censorship and Mental Health: Dealing with the Emotional Fallout of Book Challenges (December 2021 - Member Access)

Challenges & Crises: Preparing Your Board of Trustees, United for Libraries’ president’s program (June 2020)

#LibrariesStrong: State Ecosystems Mobilize to Defeat Censorship Legislation (May 2019)

 

Statements

The American Library Association opposes widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries

ALA Statement on Censorship of Information Addressing Racial Injustice, Black American History, and Diversity Education

Freedom to Read

Statements from ALA's State Partners:

 

Opinion Pieces and Op-Eds

Book banning is a trend that should be left in the old year (Observer-Reporter, January 1, 2022)

Book banning isn't about protecting children; it's adult political posturing (Times-Republican, December 16, 2021)

Professional Values, Jefferson's Bible, and Censorship (ACRL Insider, December 3, 2021)

Start banning controversial library books and soon you will be left with none (Star-Tribune, December 20, 2021)

 

Stay Informed

Sign up for the OIF blog or the weekly digest of OIF news, and see below for recent news stories from across the nation.

 

Support Library Workers

Here are some things that you can do now to support library workers and protect the freedom to read.

1) Follow news and social media in your community and state to keep apprised of organizations working to censor library or school materials.

2) Show up for library colleagues at school or library board meetings and speak as a library advocate and community stakeholder who supports a parent's right to restrict reading materials for their own child but not for ALL readers.

3) Educate friends, neighbors, and family members about censorship and how it harms communities. Share information from Banned Books Week 2021.

4) Join the Freedom to Read Foundation: https://www.ftrf.org

The LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund supports library workers whose employment is threatened due to their defense of intellectual freedom. Learn more about the fund in this recent blog post and donate if you can, or submit a request for assistance if you need it.

 

Censorship Legislation

ALA works with state associations to support state legislative efforts and to address adverse legislation.

 

 


Contact:
Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director
Office for Intellectual Freedom
kpekoll@ala.org

 

Members of the press, visit the press kit or contact:
Macey Morales, Deputy Director
Communications and Marketing Office
mmorales@ala.org