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Resources for Opposing Bans

We work better when we work together! Learn what others are doing to create change specific to opposing bans--those who are working in ways that are smart, safe, savvy, and sustainable.

Non-Profit Organizations

ACLU Banned Books: Suggests steps for creating a "Banned Books Club" and describes the ACLU’s role in opposing censorship.

American Library Association: Sponsors Banned Books Week and provides targeted materials like, "Tips from Practitioners," "Working with the Media," and "Working with the Public."

Freedom to Read Foundation: Focuses primarily on libraries and librarians (as an extension of ALA), providing funds and legal assistance for librarians involved in legal challenges. 

Kids Right to Read Project: Works directly with local schools and libraries experiencing book challenges. This project is a collaboration between the American Booksellers for Free Expression and the National Council of Teachers of English. Provides teacher and parent resources and stories of experiences, plus toolkits for education leaders and school board members.

National Coalition Against Censorship: Includes an online center and a handbook for advocacy around book challenges and censorship, a program to support student free expression groups in schools, and an incident reporting facility that enables NCAC staff to respond and provide guidance for teachers who are facing challenges.

NCTE's Intellectual Freedom Center: Offers a detailed incident reporting form and a hotline to provide support and resources for teachers facing censorship. It also curates a data-base of rationales for teaching over 600 books.

Pen America: Stands up for writers and artists at risk of being banned. They list extensive resources for teachers, librarians, and others and encourage the use of #freethebooks on social media.

Unite Against Book Bans: Offers important reports about book banning as well as an Action Toolkit focused on resources for community members, including Talking Points and Grassroots Organizing strategies.

We Need Diverse Books' Addressing Book ChallengesProvides resources specific to librarians, teachers, and parents/allies as well as a "Master List" of resources ranging from organizations to individuals doing advocacy work.

Zinn Education Project's Teach Truth: Supports the teaching of true history, offering progressive teaching materials as well as other advocacy strategies to resist book banning.


Understanding the Opposition


Pendharkar, Eesha. September 28, 2022. “Who’s Behind the Escalating Push to Ban Books? A New Report Has Answers.” Education Week.


Henson Carey, Maya. Fall 2023. “Parents and Caregivers for Inclusive Education.” Learning for Justice. (Actually traces groups and efforts to censor challenging topics, along with efforts to counter them.)


Moms for Liberty.” October 27, 2023. GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). (Outlines history, support and funding of the organization.)


Teacher Actions


Pen America and Over Zero. “Communicating During Contentious Times: Dos and Don’ts to Rise Above the Noise.” No date.


Carlisle, Geoffrey.  Mar 24, 2022. “Teachers Can Positively Impact Education Policy, We Just Have to Use Our Teacher Voice.” EdSurge.


Walker, Tim. 7/28/2022. “Educators Fight Back Against Gag Orders, Book Bans and Intimidation.” NEA Today. (Includes data on national book bans, but also describes Indiana teachers successful campaign to defeat legislation to ban books and censor teaching.)


Swalwell, Katy, and Noreen Naseem Rodríguez.  April 18, 2023. “How to Thwart an Anti-Equity Agenda: Advice for Teachers, Administrators, and Families.” Education Week. (Detailed, practical steps to take.)


Domzalski, Kaylee, and  Lauren Santucci. July 14, 2023. “This After-School Program Is Improving Students’ Reading, One Black History Book at a Time.” Education Week.


Bowers, Paul. Aug. 29,2023, “Meet Mary Wood, a Teacher Resisting Censorship.” ACLU. (S. Carolina teacher successfully resists censorship efforts, teaches research on TaNihisi Coates book. 


Community Actions


Coe, Whitney Kimball. February 1, 2022. “Commentary: Instead of Raging Over 'Maus,' Support Local People Who Are Fighting the Ban.” Daily Yonder.


Stanford, Libby. November 01, 2022. “These Groups Are Pushing Back Against 'Divisive' Parents' Rights Policies.” Education Week.


Smith, Tovia. March 23, 2023. “Plot twist: Activists skirt book bans with guerrilla giveaways and pop-up libraries.” NPR Morning Edition.


Jensen, Kelly. May 31, 2023. “Why Are Schools in Maine Keeping GENDER QUEER on Shelves, Despite Challenges? A Case Study in What Makes a Difference.” Book Riot. (Hint: school board members read the book and realized its value for kids.)


Empson, Olivia. 18 Aug 2023. “Knowledge is power’: new app helps US teens read books banned in school: “Digital Public Library fights back against rightwing censorship with resource that works through geo-targeting.” The Guardian.


Blad, Evie. September 28, 2023. “Behind a New Effort to Recruit and Support Progressive School Board Candidates.” Education Week.


Student Actions


Najarro, Ileana. August 29, 2022. “These Teachers’ Book List Was Going to Be Restricted. Their Students Fought Back.” Education Week.

Sonnenberg, Rhonda. Sep 2, 2022. “Unbanning History: Georgia Teen Organizers Fight Back Against School Censorship.” Southern Poverty Law Center.

Pendharkar. Eesha. July 18, 2023. “What Happened When Students Led Fights to Reverse Book Bans. Education Week. (Successful student advocacy in two communities.)


Alfonseca, Kiara. October 2, 2023. “School Culture Wars Push Students to Form Banned Book Clubs, Anti-Censorship Groups.” ABC News.

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