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.
Confidential challenge support from ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom for libraries and library workers undergoing censorship attempts, including one-on-one guidance, letters of support, and more.
The Freedom to Read Foundation, a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with ALA, protects and defends libraries' right to collect — and individuals' right to access — information.
Library workers whose employment is threatened or are facing termination due to their defense of intellectual freedom can apply for financial support through the LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund.
Guidelines for library security, policy examples, wellness resources, and more from ALA and its divisions to support library worker safety and preparation.
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.
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.
Tips from Practitioners
Working with Media
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.
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.
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 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)
Advocacy for Your Library During a Crisis
Censorship by the Numbers
Available in the Banned Books Week toolkit
Unite Against Book Bans social graphics
Available in the UABB Action Toolkit
Library Bill of Rights and Interpretations
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)
Office for Intellectual Freedom