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Challenging, Banning, and Censoring The Freedom to Read


Book Censorship Tool Kit

Created by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC), this kit contains a "collection of materials on the topic of censorship in schools for the use of students, educators, and parents everywhere."

ALA Challenges to Library Materials  This page contains contact information for people within the ALA who can support you. It also contains clarifying information so that everyone can be on the same page.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund BBW Handbook  The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has a free handbook that "that gives you the scoop about what comics are banned, how to report and fight censorship, and how to make a celebration of Banned Books Week in your community!"

How to Respond to Challenges and Concerns about Library Resources  This ALA web page provides information about complaint procedures and their implementation so that the library staff and the governing authorities can handle complaints in a respectful and fair manner.

LGBTQ Right to Read Resource  This resource specifically concerns the issue of LGBTQ-themed books and why these books need be shelved, not banned.

Library Bill of Rights  "The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services." Article III specifically focuses on the of censoring materials.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

The ACLU "is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country."

The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ALA-OIF)

ABFE is the bookseller’s voice in the fight against censorship. Founded by the American Booksellers Association in 1990, ABFE’s mission is to promote and protect the free exchange of ideas, particularly those contained in books, by opposing restrictions on the freedom of speech; issuing statements on significant free expression controversies; participating in legal cases involving First Amendment rights; collaborating with other groups with an interest in free speech; and providing education about the importance of free expression to booksellers, other members of the book industry, politicians, the press, and the public.

Cooperative Children’s Book Center; University of Wisconsin-Madison (CCBC)

The CCBC is a noncirculating examination, study, and research library for Wisconsin school and public librarians, teachers, early childhood care providers, university students, and others interested in children’s and young adult literature. The CCBC is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and receives additional support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Intellectual Freedom Resources from the CCBC include education and advocacy links, steps to take when materials are challenged, and what steps to take when materials are challenged.

Texas Freadom Fighters (#FReadomFighter)
#FreadomFighers was founded by a group of Texas librarians to support intellectual freedom.

National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC)

"The National Coalition Against Censorship, an alliance of fifty-two participating organizations, is dedicated to protecting free expression and access to information." This page lists the participating organizations that could offer support.

National Council of Teachers of English Intellectual Freedom Center (NCTE)

The NCTE "offers advice, helpful documents, and other support to teachers faced with challenges to texts (e.g. literary works, films and videos, drama productions) or teaching methods used in their classrooms and schools."

Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF)

"The Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials." The OIF is one place to report challenges in your area.

PEN America
Founded on the freedom to write, PEN America tracks all book bans in the United States. The organization provides advocacy and takes action on behalf of the freedom to write.