Office for Intellectual Freedom

Access to a Wide Variety of Reading Materials Is Critical for Student Development & Well-being

National Coalition kicks off Banned Books Week with white paper on youth development and the freedom to read 

American Library Association Releases Preliminary Data on 2022 Book Bans

Total book challenges in 2022 set to exceed 2021 record

CHICAGO – Eight months into 2022, the number of attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities and public libraries, is on track to exceed record counts from 2021, according to preliminary data released today by the American Library Association (ALA) in advance of Banned Books Week (Sept. 18-24). 

Authors Jason Reynolds, Nancy Pearl join high schoolers to Unite Against Book Bans at world’s biggest library event in Washington, D.C., June 25

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Award-winning young adult author Jason Reynolds, Book Lust author Nancy Pearl and American Library Association (ALA) intellectual freedom advocate Deborah Caldwell-Stone will join Bell Multicultural High School (Washington, D.C.) students to make the case for defending the right to read—and the joy in claiming that right. The discussion will take place at the largest library event in the world, the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibitions, held in Washington, D.C., June 24-27. 

Freedom to Read Celebration, Supporting the Merritt Fund, and Featuring Banned Author David Levithan

Join the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) along with banned author David Levithan, library professionals, authors, and friends for this 2022 Freedom to Read Celebration, Merritt Fund fundraiser, and reception.

Library, author, bookseller groups condemn legal action attempting to censor books in Virginia

The American Library Association (ALA) joined with Virginia librarians and booksellers, publishers and civil liberties organizations to issue a statement on June 1 condemning a Virginia political candidate’s legal action that seeks to halt distribution of two well-received books in Virginia. Based on the unfounded claim that the books might be "obscene for unrestricted viewing by minors,” such legal actions threaten Virginians’ freedom to read, according to the coalition’s members.

More than 25 organizations join forces with the American Library Association to Unite Against Book Bans

Campaign urges decisionmakers to oppose book bans, protect the freedom to read 

The American Library Association (ALA) and a coalition of more than 25 groups are banding together to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read. Organizations including the American Federation of Teachers and the Authors Guild have joined the association’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign to raise awareness about the recent rise in book challenges in public libraries and schools. 

ALA Working Group on Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice schedules online discussions on potential alternatives to neutrality

CHICAGO — The ALA Working Group on Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice will host three online sessions for members and library workers that will provide opportunities to learn more about potential alternatives to neutrality.  The alternatives to neutrality for discussion include radical empathy, trauma-informed response, and cultural humility.

Meeting times:

Monday, April 25th at 1 p.m. Central (Focus on public libraries) (Zoom Registration Link)

United for Libraries and OIF to present May 11 webinar on ‘First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know’

Exton, Pennsylvania — What should library staff do when self-proclaimed “citizen journalists” enter the library claiming a right to question employees and film in any space accessible to the public? The May 11 webinar “First Amendment Audits: What Your Library Board and Staff Need to Know”, presented by United for Libraries and the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, will share how to prepare by adopting well-crafted policies and training staff.

National Library Week kicks off with State of America’s Libraries Report, annual 'Top 10 Most Challenged Books' list and a new campaign to fight book bans

Book challenges top 700 – the most since 2000

CHICAGO —The American Library Association (ALA) kicks off National Library Week with the release of its State of America's Libraries Report, highlighting the challenges U.S. libraries faced in the second year of the pandemic – as well as the ways they innovated to meet the needs of their communities.