When It Happens to You

November 1, 2022

“It’s important to know that this is a nationwide trend, and it’s very possible it will arrive where you are,” said Megan Cusick, assistant director of state advocacy in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office, at “Prepare Your Library for Today’s Censorship Battles,” a session at the2022 Public Library Association Conference in March. She recommended that … Continue reading When It Happens to You


Illustration of a stack of books with a pickaxe

Facing the Challenge

November 1, 2022

Presenters included Kathy Carroll, school librarian at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina, and 2020–2021 president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL); Melanie Huggins, executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, and then–PLA president; and Deb Sica, deputy county librarian at Alameda County (Calif.) Library. The session was moderated by … Continue reading Facing the Challenge



American Library Association logo

Book Challenges to Set Record

September 16, 2022

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 ALA in advance of Banned Books Week (September 18–24). Between January 1 and August 31, 2022, ALA documented 681 … Continue reading Book Challenges to Set Record


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


American Library Association logo

ALA Supports Information Access on Reproductive Health

August 9, 2022

ALA stands committed to the free, fair, and unrestricted exchange of ideas and the right of library patrons to seek information free from observation or unwanted surveillance by the government or other third parties, in accordance with the law and the US Constitution. ALA opposes policies and legislation that ban content, restrict access to information, … Continue reading ALA Supports Information Access on Reproductive Health


ALA logo

Council III: Intellectual Freedom Takes Center Stage

June 27, 2022

Wong began the meeting with memorial tributes honoring: Ross J. Todd (M-#8), Donald C. Adcock (M-#9), Virginia “Ginny” Bradley Moore (M-#10), Nancy Kandoian (M-#11), Alvin Leroy Lee (M-#12), Donna Scheeder (M-#13), Margo Crist (M-#14), Alexandra Sax (M-#15), Sarah Van Antwerp (M-#16), Ann Pechacek (M-#17), Sandra Payne (M-#18), Judith S. Rowe (M-#19), Tracey Hunter-Hayes (M-#20), and … Continue reading Council III: Intellectual Freedom Takes Center Stage


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


Image of ALA President Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Leading the Fight

June 1, 2022

Those words were not written about the current spate of book bans, although they certainly apply. They were written nearly 70 years ago, as the ravages of McCarthyism, censorship, and persecution made it necessary to codify a defense of the reading choices of individuals. The 1953 Freedom to Read Statement remains a rallying cry for … Continue reading Leading the Fight


Photo of Librarian's Library columnist Andy Gooding-Call

Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom

June 1, 2022

The Library’s Legal Answers for Meeting Rooms and Displays By Mary Minow, Tomas A. Lipinski, and Gretchen McCord Intellectual freedom in public libraries encompasses more than books. This handy guide, written by a trio of lawyer-librarians, covers these concerns in a direct, plainspoken manner. Using a Q&A format, the authors present succinct legal information for … Continue reading Standing Up for Intellectual Freedom


Lindsey Kimery

Book Battle in Tennessee

May 11, 2022

Country music star John Rich, who tweeted in January, prior to the bill’s introduction, that he’d met with Gov. Bill Lee and Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn about obscene books in school libraries, addressed the House subcommittee on K–12 education on February 23, comparing teachers, educators, and librarians to “the guy in the white van … Continue reading Book Battle in Tennessee


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