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Fight Censorship! Updated Resources from the Office for Intellectual Freedom

The Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association: “Book challenges have been a hot topic in news and politics lately. The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board and eight divisions recently released a statement affirming its opposition to widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. Schools. OIF has tracked 155 unique censorship incidents between June 1, 2021 and September 30, 2021. With the high volume of challenges right now, OIF has made available a clearinghouse of resources on its Fight Censorship page. The page is organized by different aspects of addressing censorship. First are resources for preparing and responding to challenges. This involves looping in ALA so that they can draw attention to the harms of censorship in addition to helping protect against challenges before they happen. For example, pertinent to recent censorship attempts there is a guide from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) on maintain LGBTQ+ materials in school libraries. There are also resources on the rights of schools and students/minors, in addition to general guidelines on how to respond to challenges and concerns about resources. This includes suggested responses to informal complaints and verbal concerns. One of the biggest factors in fighting censorship is one’s community. There are various resources on working with the public. These include how to respond to questions about youth and access to library resources, tips for addressing challenges during a public meeting, and working with community leaders. The number of people that belong to a said community is increasing, mainly due to social media’s ability to further connect people. Fortunately, there is a guide on using social media, which includes toolkits for creating live streams and advocating via social media….”

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