Fight Censorship

Graphic of a shield with a flame in the middle of it.

With the unprecedented surge in local and statewide book challenges, ALA offers this clearinghouse of resources to assist library workers and advocates in responding to and supporting others facing those challenges.

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

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Polling Shows Voters Oppose Efforts to Remove Books from Libraries and Have Confidence in Libraries to Make Good Decisions About Their Collections

Read the full poll findings


Unite Against Book Bans logo
Unite Against Book Bans is a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. Share resources from the UABB Action Toolkit with your community and help defend the right to read for all Americans.

Spread the word and join the movement


Don't let censorship go unchecked in your community. Defend the public's freedoms and report challenges and bans of books and other materials or services to ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

 

Report Censorship


Challenge Preparedness

Below is a list of curated resources from ALA, its various offices and divisions, and outside organizations and publications to help library workers prepare for and respond to challenges to library books, materials, and services.

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


Supporting 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, programs, or curriculum.

2) Show up

for librarians and educators 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) Oppose

legislation in your state that would censor materials, programs, or curriculum. Engage respectfully with your elected officials via phone, email, and social media.

4) Educate

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

5) Write

an op-Ed or letter to the editor for your local newspaper or community newsletter. Find tips for writing your letter in the Unite Against Book Bans toolkit.

6) Join

the Freedom to Read Foundation, an organization that protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information.

Text graphic that reads "The Merritt Fund: Providing Assistance to Librarians Facing Discrimination or Defending Intellectual Freedom"

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 blog post and donate if you can, or submit a request for assistance if you need it.


State and Local Resources

State-based resources, including ALA state partner statements.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL
GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME
MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH
NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI
SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI
WY                  

State-based resources from school library partners:

Censorship Legislation

ALA works with state associations to support state legislative efforts and to address adverse legislation. Visit ALA's state legislative toolkit and sign up for advocacy alerts from ALA and your state's library association(s).


Books

Cover image for "Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library"
Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library
Kristin Pekoll and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

Cover image for "Books Under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books"
Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Second Edition
Pat R. Scales and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

Cover image for "Intellectual Freedom Manual: Tenth Edition"

Intellectual Freedom Manual, Tenth Edition
Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF); Martin Garnar, Editor; Trina Magi, Assistant Editor

Using a topical arrangement with easy-to-read summaries to help readers find information quickly, this manual offers valuable support to library workers as they continue the important work of safeguarding intellectual freedom.

 

Get Your Copy


Webinars


Social Media Tools

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 Librarians Stand Up for Your Right to Read
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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.

Because Students Need Challenging Books
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Illustration of a child looking at a gap in a bookshelf with text that reads "Every Book Banned Leaves A Hole In A Child's Learning."

Unite Against Book Bans social graphics
Available in the UABB Action Toolkit


Additional Resources

ALA Statements

The American Library Association condemns threats of violence in libraries

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

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

Opinion Pieces and Op-Eds

Parents should not be able to dictate what other parents’ children can read   (Miami Herald, November 24, 2021)

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.

 


Contact

Office for Intellectual Freedom
oif@ala.org

Members of the press, visit the press kit or contact:
Communications and Marketing Office
cmomedia@ala.org