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.
Library Safety and Preparedness Resources
Threats to libraries and library workers are on the rise. PLA and ALA have compiled an array of resources and knowledge to help library workers and patrons stay safe and prepared.
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.
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
Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit
Tips from Practitioners
Grassroots 101: How to Save your Library from Organized Censorship
Press Pause and Prepare: The Trend Toward Book Challenges
School Libraries and Controversial Books: Tips From the Front Lines
Up to the Challenge: Books to Navigate Threats to Intellectual Freedom
Collections under Fire: When the culture war comes for the school library
Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom: Managing all stages of the book challenge process
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
Supporting Library Workers
Here are some things that you can do now to support library workers and protect the freedom to read:
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 upfor 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.
legislation in your state that would censor materials, programs, or curriculum. Engage respectfully with your elected officials via phone, email, and social media.
friends, neighbors, and family members about censorship and how it harms communities. Share information from Banned Books Week.
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.
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.
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.
State-based resources from school library partners:
- California School Library Association: Intellectual Freedom Resources
- Illinois - Association of Illinois School Library Educators: Statement on Attempts to Censor or Remove Materials from School Libraries (PDF)
- Missouri Association of School Librarians: MASL Challenge Statement
- New Jersey Association of School Librarians: Position Statement on Censorship in our School Libraries
- Pennsylvania School Librarians Association: Challenge Resources page
- South Carolina Association of School Librarians: Statement on censorship, the Freedom to Read, and in support of School Librarians
- Virginia Association of School Librarians: Position Statement on Censorship of Books in Virginia School Libraries (PDF)
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).
Foundations of Intellectual Freedom
Emily J. M. Knox
Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library
Kristin Pekoll and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
Books under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and Challenged Children's Books, Second Edition
Pat R. Scales and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
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.
Intellectual Freedom Stories from a Shifting Landscape
Valerie Nye and Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)
True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries
Edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco
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
Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis
Social Media Tools
Because Librarians Stand Up for Your Right to Read
Facebook share | Instagram share | Twitter share
Because Students Need Challenging Books
Facebook share | Instagram share | Twitter share
Censorship by the Numbers
Available in the Banned Books Week toolkit
Unite Against Book Bans social graphics
Available in the UABB Action Toolkit
Polling Shows Voters Oppose Efforts to Remove Books from Libraries and Have Confidence in Libraries to Make Good Decisions About Their Collections
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
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
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)
Sign up for the OIF blog or the weekly digest of OIF news, and see below for recent news stories from across the nation.
Office for Intellectual Freedom
Members of the press, visit the press kit or contact:
Communications and Marketing Office