Resources for Intellectual Freedom Challenges Spring 2024

Public libraries provide diverse collections for the “enlightenment of all people” as called out in the foundational Library Bill of Rights. And yet most recently, libraries are facing an unprecedented rise in book challenges and attempts to censor materials and programs. This toolkit is to assist in building understanding why free access and the role of the public library as an open forum for information are so important and to help public library staff address these attempts to suppress voices and ideas. The resources listed will help public libraries connect with trusted national and local organizations, as well as find training for staff and stakeholders when faced with a challenge. Each section offers relevant sites with facts, talking points and suggested next steps for various circumstances. Reading truly is one of the greatest freedoms and American public libraries hold the people’s trust in providing and fighting for it.

Contact the liaison to the PLA Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships committee with questions or updates to the toolkit.

Legal Resources

Organizational Partnerships

Trustees, Friends, and Foundations

Sources for Staff Training

Mental Health

Additional Resources to Consider

  • Identify local partners from the Unite Against Book Bans list
  • Self-paced training and webinars on:
  • Creating a standard and a Crisis Communication plan and training staff and trustees on it.
    • Who speaks for the library?
    • What to do when approached by the media?
  • Attend the PLA Legal Issues Forum held each year at ALA Annual Conference (2023).
  • Review the Intellectual Freedom Blog (subscribe for notifications).
  • Partner with your local media affiliates (TV, radio, print) to share positive library stories!