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.
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.
LearnFromHistory.org: 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 Challenges: Provides 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.
While we believe sources like Everyday Advocacy help teachers move beyond one-shot tactics to create sustained advocacy, we also understand that reading about what other teachers, students, and communities have tried can be inspirational. In that spirit we offer some articles about how individuals and groups are fighting back. These specific resources also help thinking through effective responses to attacks on our teaching and book assignments.
Carlisle, Geoffrey. Mar 24, 2022. “Teachers Can Positively Impact Education Policy, We Just Have to Use Our Teacher Voice.” EdSurge.
Coe, Whitney Kimball. February 1, 2022. “Commentary: Instead of Raging Over 'Maus,' Support Local People Who Are Fighting the Ban.” Daily Yonder.
Pen America and Over Zero. “Communicating During Contentious Times: Dos and Don’ts to Rise Above the Noise.”
Najarro, Ileana. August 29, 2022. “These Teachers’ Book List Was Going to Be Restricted. Their Students Fought Back.” Education Week.
Smith, Tovia. March 23, 2023. “Plot twist: Activists skirt book bans with guerrilla giveaways and pop-up libraries.” NPR Morning Edition.
Sonnenberg, Rhonda. Sep 2, 2022. “Unbanning History: Georgia teen organizers fight back against school censorship.” Southern Poverty Law Center.
Stanford, Libby. November 01, 2022. “These Groups Are Pushing Back Against 'Divisive' Parents' Rights Policies.” Education Week.
Folx tracking censorship and offering support.
Kelly Jensen @veronikellymars
Dr. Taslyn Magnusson @TasslynM