ALA President Jim Rettig releases statement on censorship

Contacts: Macey Morales

Manager, ALA-PIO Media Relations

(312) 280-4393

Jennifer Petersen

PR Coordinator, ALA-PIO Media Relations

(312) 280-5043


For Immediate Release

September 3, 2008

Chicago - The American Library Association (ALA) opposes book banning and censorship in any form, and supports librarians whenever they resist censorship in their libraries. Since our society is so diverse, libraries have a responsibility to provide materials that reflect the interests of all of their patrons.

Each year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom receives hundreds of reports on books and other materials that were "challenged" (their removal from school or library shelves was requested). The ALA estimates the number reported represents only about a quarter of the actual challenges.

In support of our efforts to fight censorship, the ALA annually celebrates Banned Books Week – a national celebration of the freedom to read. Observed during the last week of September each year, Banned Books Week reminds Americans not to take the precious democratic freedom to read for granted. This year, Banned Books Week will take place September 27–October 4, 2008.

The American Library Association is a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) educational association that supports quality library and information services and public access to information. As such, it is not allowed to take a position on political candidates and strives to be nonpartisan in its activities.

To learn more about book challenges and Banned Books Week please visit