Photo of ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. Text says "From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall"

Librarianship as Resistance

September 1, 2022

In the present age of neo-censorship—which journalist Rohan Jayasekera describes as “a kind of control on opinion that moves beyond the traditional model” (that of the state, the law, and the secret police) to now include “big business, courtrooms, schools, newsrooms [that] block ideas out of habit, or prejudice, or fear”—the contemporary answer to Juvenal’s … Continue reading Librarianship as Resistance


Photo of author Art Spiegelman sitting with arms crossed on table

Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman

June 1, 2022

Spiegelman spoke with American Libraries about book banning, how comic books are used as teaching tools, and the importance of libraries in his life. The recent ban of Maus in Tennessee isn’t its first challenge. What did you think when you heard the news? Well, this was the most prominent. [And] this was much more, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman


Patty Wong

Challenging Times

March 26, 2022

“The freedom to read and the fight against book bans is something we’re all thinking about a lot these days,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Patricia “Patty” M. Wong in her opening remarks at the March 24 Big Ideas session. She reported that book challenges had more than doubled from 2020 to 2021. But … Continue reading Challenging Times



Drag queen reads a book to children (Photo: Jennifer Ricard)

A Deeper Look: Censorship beyond Books

July 8, 2021

Databases and digital resources Almost every library has at least one database subscription that offers curated content published by reputable sources. The target audience and content vary widely among databases, and because databases are digital resources, users can access the content in various settings—in the library, at school, and at home. These factors can cause … Continue reading A Deeper Look: Censorship beyond Books



Challenges to nonbook materials in libraries

Censorship Beyond Books

September 24, 2019

“That didn’t necessarily make sense to me because most public libraries are well prepared to deal with challenges,” she says, pointing to the popularity of Banned Books Week (this year September 22–28) and the array of resources OIF provides for librarians dealing with book challenges. “When I went back and looked just at public libraries, … Continue reading Censorship Beyond Books


Laura Broderick

Still Chilling: Censorship Beyond Banned Books

June 23, 2019

Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) began the session by announcing that OIF had recorded 531 affected items in 2018—which is a step beyond just challenges. These items included books films, board games, video games, magazines and much more. Sarah Ward, outreach librarian at Hunter College Libraries in New York … Continue reading Still Chilling: Censorship Beyond Banned Books



Left to right: Susan Harris, Ross Ufberg, Jamie LaRue, Inci Sariz, and Peter Blackstock

“If People Don’t Read It Here, It Doesn’t Help Much”

June 27, 2017

On Monday, June 26, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), the Association of American Publishers, and the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative brought together for the program “Banned Abroad: Stories of International Censorship” panelists who have worked as publishers, translators, editors, and researchers to discuss their experiences with works that have been censored … Continue reading “If People Don’t Read It Here, It Doesn’t Help Much”


A volunteer with Books to Prisons Seattle searches the donated books to fulfill prisoner requests.

The Freedom of Reading

October 31, 2016

Books-to-prisoners programs across the country are doing their best to address this need by taking book requests from prisoners by mail, then having volunteers match those requests to books that have been donated by the public or purchased with monetary donations. Volunteers also prep books for shipment, assess and sort donations, keep track of the … Continue reading The Freedom of Reading