Dulcé Sloan speaks on stage during the closing session for the 2024 Public Library Association Conference on April 5 in Columbus, Ohio.

Protect Yourself

April 8, 2024

“I have a copy of the Magic School Bus that I might have checked out in 1991 from the library in Sandy Springs,” Sloan said. “It’s somewhere in my mom’s house. If you want to go to Stone Mountain, maybe you can find it. I think I have the fine in my purse if you … Continue reading Protect Yourself

ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries 2024 Report

April 8, 2024

Censorship attempts took center stage again in the 2024 report. The number of unique titles targeted for censorship surged by 65% from 2022 to 2023, reaching the highest levels ever documented by ALA, according to the report. ALA recorded 1,247 attempts to censor materials and services at libraries, schools, and universities in 2023. Of the 4,240 … Continue reading ALA Releases State of America’s Libraries 2024 Report

2023 Year in Review graphic

2023 Year in Review

January 2, 2024

Another record year for book challenges Preliminary data from the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) through August 31 showed a 20% increase in reported book challenges for 2023—surpassing the record set in 2022. The data also showed an increase in challenges that targeted multiple titles, with libraries in 11 states receiving challenges that included 100 or … Continue reading 2023 Year in Review

Photo of ALA President Emily Drabinski

Stories That Resonate

January 2, 2024

Silver made us each a cup of tea as we talked through the challenges and joys of her job. She had taught a class that morning using the book Drum Dream Girl—for which illustrator Rafael López won a Pura Belpré Award—that sparked the imaginations of her 3rd graders. When she asked what the main character … Continue reading Stories That Resonate

Banned Books Week 2023: Let Freedom Read, featuring a heat map showing the relative frequency of book challenges in the US.

Visualizing Book Challenges

October 1, 2023

To help visualize these historic censorship attempts, OIF has created a series of infographics to help explain the current state of material challenges—and to give historical context. These infographics include: A heat map showing how many attempts to restrict book access take place in each state every year. This map dates back to 2013, demonstrating … Continue reading Visualizing Book Challenges

Becky Calzada wearing a blue blouse, glasses and holding right hand in air as she speaks into microphone

Become Challenge-Ready

June 26, 2023

By working on these two areas, libraries can better prepare for potential materials challenges at their institutions, according to panelists on “Is Your Library Challenge-Ready?” a June 26 program at the American Library Association’s 2023 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago. “We can’t just hope it doesn’t happen and not be prepared for it,” said … Continue reading Become Challenge-Ready

Pictured: Erin MacFarlane wearing an orange jacket and has yellow hair speaks into microphone as Becky Calzada, wearing glasses with dark hair and a yellow shirt, listens

Louder Together

June 24, 2023

With the unprecedented number of book challenges in the United States this past year, “the rubber meets the road on advocacy when we’re working at the local and community levels,” said moderator Kent Oliver, retired Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library director and senior policy fellow in ALA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office. Oliver and a panel … Continue reading Louder Together

American Library Association logo

ALA to Distribute $1 Million to Support Fight against Censorship

June 22, 2023

On June 22, the American Library Association (ALA) announced that it will be distributing $1 million to expand intellectual freedom initiatives. The full statement follows: ALA will distribute $1 million to support and expand intellectual freedom initiatives as the nation grapples with rising censorship challenges and seeks a greater array of resources to protect the … Continue reading ALA to Distribute $1 Million to Support Fight against Censorship

Photo of Ava Kirtley, who raised money to purchase books from frequently banned lists and gave them away to teens in Walla Walla, Washington.

Meeting The Challenge

May 1, 2023

In summer 2021, several parents and community members challenged a handful of books at the school, including the memoir Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe. In response, Kirtley and about 40 of her peers met that fall at a student-run social justice club to discuss how to respond. They made plans to attend the next school … Continue reading Meeting The Challenge