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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

New Law Ties State Library Funding to Policies on Book Bans

At a signing ceremony at Chicago’s Harold Washington Public Library on June 12th, Governor Pritzker signed into law P.A. 103-0100. This new law, effective January 1, 2024, states that if a library or library system wants to be eligible for state funding, it must either:

(1) adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights that indicates materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval; or

(2) develop a written statement declaring the inherent authority of the library or library system to prohibit the practice of banning specific books or resources. 

The State Librarian and Illinois State Library Staff are charged with administering the provisions of this new law, and are authorized to create appropriate rules and regulations to carry out the new law. 

Included in the new law is the following policy statement:

It is further declared to be the policy of the State to encourage and protect the freedom of libraries and library systems to acquire materials without external limitation and to be protected against attempts to ban, remove, or otherwise restrict access to books or other materials.

Illinois appears to be the first state to pass this type of law that ties state funding to library policies on book banning.

Post Authored by Britt Isaly & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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