For immediate release | September 14, 2023

ALA condemns threats of violence to Chicago-area libraries

CHICAGO - In response to the recent threats of violence to Chicago-area public libraries, the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released the following statement:

The American Library Association (ALA) vehemently condemns the violence, threats of violence and other acts of intimidation that are increasingly taking place in America’s libraries, including the recent bomb threats to Chicago-area public libraries, putting the lives of our communities, families, and library workers in danger.

Libraries are meant to be a safe haven for our communities, welcoming of people everywhere who believe in the peaceful exchange of ideas. These ongoing and rising attacks on America’s libraries pose an existential threat to the cornerstone of our democracy. Libraries are committed to upholding and defending the core values of inclusion and free and equal access to ideas and information, which are essential to an informed democratic society. The freedom to read is a constitutionally protected right, and reading choices must be left to the reader, and in case of children, their parents. Threats of physical harm and harassment are not, and never have been, protected speech.

ALA continues to call upon community leaders and elected officials to stand with libraries and others who promote the free and democratic exchange of ideas and to denounce those who would undermine it.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit


Raymond Garcia

Communications Specialist

Communications and Marketing Office