OIF Seeks Censorship Information from 2018

For Immediate Release
Wed, 11/28/2018


Eleanor Diaz

Program Officer

Office for Intellectual Freedom


The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is seeking information on challenges and censorship incidents that occurred in 2018 in libraries, schools and universities. Library workers, educators and community members are encouraged to submit reports to OIF by Dec. 31, 2018.

OIF tracks challenges throughout the year and provides confidential support to educators facing censorship attempts. Reporting challenges that occurred from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2018 will help OIF identify censorship trends, craft resources, and provide updated information for the annually published Top 10 Most Challenged Books data.

Anyone can report challenges. Those who do can indicate on the reporting form whether the incident is public (additional information can be shared in public reports) or confidential. Challenges and bans can range from books, artwork and databases, to speaker disinvitations, book displays and programs.

Challenges may also be directly reported to OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll by phone (312-280-4221) or email (kpekoll@ala.org).

Pekoll will speak on the importance of reporting censorship during the Facebook Live event “Report Censorship: Defend the Public’s Freedoms” on the OIF Facebook page on Dec. 12. Learn more about the event and add it to your calendar on the Intellectual Freedom Blog.

"We know materials and resources are being challenged and banned in silence. Over 80 percent of challenges go unreported. It takes courage to speak out and challenge censorship,” said Pekoll, who provides support and resources to educators and library workers during challenges. “The most successful way we can push back against silencing voices and ideas is to expose these situations to the light of day. Being knowledgeable about why censorship happens and how pervasive it is is essential to fighting back. All this information helps us create tools and raise awareness to support intellectual freedom."