This page is where you'll find resources developed by library organizations for parents, caregivers, and educators. This is where you will find information on how and why libraries do things the way they do, how school and public librarians make professional decisions, the ways library systems affect your family's well-being, and the steps you can take to support these programs. This is a great place to start when you are fighting for your child's access to libraries, certified librarians, and library programs.
American Library Association's Advocacy & Talking Points Toolkit - Use this collection of research and information briefs when working with community members, policy analysts, and government officials (appropriate for public library issues).
American Library Association's Fight Censorship Toolkit - This collection of resources includes links to various types of support, proactive policy development resources, state-specific resources, webinars and more.
American Library Association Frontline Advocacy Toolkit for School Libraries - Complete with supportive handouts, this resource will guide your school library advocacy team in getting started, crafting your message, and promoting strong and inclusive school library programming.
American Library Association Ecosystem Initiative - "a multi-year effort to strengthen the library ecosystem through identification of shared priorities for action and unified messaging." Includes a powerful toolkit full of supports, templates, and resources for planning across multiple organizations.
Brooklyn Public Library Offers Free eCards Nationwide to Teens (ages 13-21) Facing Book Bans in Local Communities - A fantastic (and free) way to get teens access to a large, library collection through their mobile devices (including phones).
Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Librarianship through State Obscenity Laws: A policy brief released by EveryLibrary "to help state library associations anticipate this legislation and prepare properly to oppose unnecessary politicized changes to settled state law."
How to Talk About Book Bans with Friends, Library Patrons, and More! - A step-by-step guide along with programming and resource development suggestions.
Intellectual Freedom 101 - A collection of resources, a complete slide deck, and webinar recording provided by the Oregon State Library targeting the freedom to read in school libraries.
North Carolina School Library Media Association Advocacy Toolkit - Use this robust collection of resources to advocate for appropriate school library staffing, strong school library funding, legislative communication, and supporting your child's right and freedom to read.
Parent School Library Advocate Toolkit - Use this collection of resources to familiarize yourself with what a school librarian actually does, what training and skills they bring to their work, what standards they adhere to, and how their program is a critical ingredient for your child's access to a high-quality, world-class education.
Resources for Parents & Educators - Use this collection of resources to access research, training, documents, and other materials selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association.
SCCCL Intellectual Freedom Resources - The South Carolina Center for Community Literacy Toolkit includes book challenge resources, intellectual freedom statements of support for messaging purposes, guidance on responding to concerns, and links to other organizations.
A Tip Sheet for Librarians Facing Harassment - Developed by PEN America, this guide addresses steps that librarians and community members can take when facing harassment, challenges, and threats.
Unite Against Book Bans - the American Library Association partnered with a large number of organizations to create and amplify this collection of resources including a downloadable tooklit, social media materials, talking points, civil engagement guidance, and additional resources.
American Library Association's Website on Fighting Censorship - Use this collection of resources to develop a strong counter-protest movement when book challenges and censorship attempts occur. The site includes examples of opinion pieces and op-eds, webinars, books, graphics, and guidance on responding to book challenges.
American Library Association's Guide on Working with Community Leaders - Use this step-by-step guide to establish a robust network with community leaders. Includes a free video tutorial.
Bookriot Censorship Archives - Continuously updated, use this site to keep up with censorship events, news stories, details on new organizations, and help with newly released materials.
Dr. Tasslyn Magnusson's Book Censorship Database - Use this resource to "understand and differentiate between legitimate questions of local concern and the politicized or performative book and materials challenges that are attacking our libraries. The tabs are organized by School District, Books Challenged/Banned in School Districts, by public libraries, and books banned/challenged in school libraries. Additional tabs include lists of groups formed to push book bans and challenges and organizations and groups formed to push back against these political actions. The final tab is a list of other relevant articles found during research which includes student and teacher responses to bans as well as investigative pieces on funding of the political groups supporting bans." [Description quoted from source]
Freedom to Read Foundation - "The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information."
How Librarians [And Other Community Members] Can Counter Lies From Book Banners - Written by Danika Ellis, this article uses a case study to show you how to counter misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies from book banners.
How to Create A Good Banned Books Week Display - Helps you think through how a banned books display can make "a true impact" by focusing on accuracy and messaging. The article encourages you "to rethink the Banned Books Week displays and make them more up-to-date and include a call to action."
How to Report Censorship - A collection of tutorials developed by Arlen Kimmelman that demonstrate the best ways to report censorship and material challenges, and donate to organizations addressing these issues nationwide.
Handouts and Reports
American Association of School Librarians Handout - a one page brief on how the school librarian and school library program contributes to your child's education. [.jpg file]
Beaverton School District Sample Policies - A packet of policies for instructional material challenges developed and adopted by the Beaverton School District, including templates for use by parents, teachers, librarians, and school administrators. [.pdf file]
Books Under Fire: Libraries and the Right to Read in 2022 - All slides and information (including links) from ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom presentation at TxLA 2023.
First Amendment Freak Out - How public employees can survive a First Amendment audit.
"Free People Read Freely" - Read ALA Executive Director and Librarian Tracie D. Hall's full text for the Time100 Speech.
Iowa Library Association and Iowa Association of School Librarians created a letter template for librarians to push for clarification of terms such as 'age appropriate' and to advocate for clarity, highlighting how poorly written legislation can bring about extremely harmful consequences for K-12 students, educators, and public workers.
Preparing for and Addressing Challenges to Comics in the Library Committee - A fantastic resource developed by ALA's Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable.
The Proposed LPPS School Librarian Handbook - This school system-level manual was developed by Amanda Jones, an award-winning educator and Louisiana school librarian. It includes a challenge policy as well as in-depth explanations of what school library programs contribute to K-12 education.
Texas Association of School Librarians Handout - The largest classroom in your child's school? The school library! Ten reasons why parents and caregivers should visit and get to know their child's school library and school library program. [.pdf file]
United for Libraries Terms and Definitions Related to Intellectual Freedom and Censorship - A list of important terminology defined in clear and accessible ways so that you have a full picture of how this language is used both correctly AND incorrectly.
Unpacking 2023 Legislation of Concern for Libraries - "This report provides a moment-in-time review of state-level legislation affecting libraries and education while looking at key themes across and between states. The report offers strategic recommendations for state library association leaders and legislative advocates to build coalitions, activate constituents, and work across the entire lifecycle of a bill, including pre-session communications and post-session actions."