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Book Bans & Censorship: Take Action!

A guide in the fight to protect all people's intellectual freedom and right to read

Book bans are about dehumanization, about finding ways to make those who are different less human. That process and complacency and complcity towards it makes us all lesser humans. -Nic Stone   Banned Books Shelf image

Action Items & Resources

  • Banned Books Week Action List - A list of seven action items for the week plus several bonus actions — pick and choose to do them all or choose one per day for seven days (then, of course, keep the momentum going). Let this list help you get into the habit of championing the right to read and the right for all people to access the information they’re looking for.

  • AASL Defending Intellectual Freedom: LGBTQ+ Materials in School Libraries - A specific toolkit from the American Association of School Librarians that helps with methods for addressing challenges related to censorship and patron privacy issues, particularly with LGBTQ+ materials.

  • Preventing Censorship of LGBT Information in Public School Libraries - A detailed document developed by Lambda Legal that includes pointers, legal guidance, a description of student information access rights, supportive references, and citations for other resources addressing books and materials challenges, and the needs of LGBTQIA+ public school students.

  • What To Do When You See Pride Displays in Libraries This Month - A brief article on Bookriot by Danika Ellis, that lists the positive impact of support, and the ways you can reach out to public and school librarians who continue to advocate for their LGBTQIA+ patrons.

  • Advocacy Toolkit: Censorship and Banned Books - Developed by the VA ACLU, this toolkit contains scripts, models, and examples for public commenting at school board meetings, letters to legislators, letters to the editor, model policies, and sample social media posts.

  • Americans of Conscience Checklist - A fantastic resource for people who want to narrow their efforts and time on small but significant actions, the Americans of Conscience Checklist emails you with specific news items, scripts, action steps, and donation links to help you be a positive force in your community. From its description it includes "a list of clear, well-researched actions in support of things we can all agree on: democracy, voting access, equality for all Americans, basic respect for aspiring Americans; thank you notes for people advocating for these issues on both sides of the aisle, encouraging good news about the values we share." The minute you sign up, you'll receive an action plan checklist and an activism self-care plan, two crucial documents to help you manage your efforts and your health.

  • Book Riot School Board Project - "Thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers and partners, we’re building a massive database of every school board, school board election, and related information for anyone to access. This simple database provides information that is challenging to find in isolation, let alone in a large, collective, searchable, and sortable way. Because this is the work of a small group of individuals with limited time, it is and will be a slow process, but we’ll release information in batches." [Description quoted from the source]

  • #FReadom Fighters How Tos - A Texas-based organization, #FReadom Fighters provide templates and how-tos for school board speeches, letters to editors, and letters to school administrators. They also include a helpful FAQ section that addresses common parent concerns and questions regarding school library book purchases that you can use when crafting your message.