For immediate release | June 30, 2024

American Library Association Council strongly reaffirms freedom for all to read freely

SAN DIEGO – With more than 13,000 people attending the American Library Association’s annual conference in San Diego, the association’s elected Council delivered a strong message opposing censors and those who are trying to remove hundreds of books at a time targeting LGBTQ+ and people of color from library shelves.

Several library workers attending the council meeting spoke in favor of the resolution, saying it would make a difference to those facing challenges throughout the country. The council passed the resolution unanimously.

“You would think that in the United States of America, we wouldn’t have to spell out how important it is for people to be able to read freely, but in this climate where library workers face thousands of book challenges every year and even threats to our safety, we want to speak loudly with one voice: Let people read what they want to read,” ALA President Emily Drabinski said. “The founders of our country knew that a democracy could only thrive with an educated electorate. Nefarious forces want to tear down our First Amendment rights. Well, you’re going to have to go through us first.”

Specifically, the council:

-Strongly condemned efforts to remove materials from library shelves, and efforts to prevent minors from accessing developmentally relevant library materials;

-Strongly condemned threats to the physical safety of library workers;

-Decried the removal and undermining of professional standards by state and local governments and efforts to restrict membership in a legally established professional trade association.

"We want to thank the tireless work of library workers, supportive elected officials, advocates and library supporters for working to uphold the First Amendment,” Drabinski said. “People everywhere, we call on you to join us in this important battle. Petition your elected officials to protect, preserve and defend people’s right to read freely.”

Check out the resources on the Unite Against Book Bans website to learn more about how to help:

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


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