Legislation & Lobbying
Illinois uses grant money to encourage libraries not to ban books; law touted as first of its kind
Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs a bill June 12 at Harold Washington Library’s Thomas Hughes Children’s Library in downtown Chicago. The new law will require the state’s libraries to uphold a pledge not to ban material because of partisan disapproval, starting Jan. 1, 2024. Photo by the State of Illinois via the Associated Press.
Democrat Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation that uses grant money to encourage public libraries to refrain from banning books because of “partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
The new law makes Illinois the first state in the nation to ban book bans, according to the press release.
The legislation, House Bill 2789, says that, to be eligible for state grants, libraries must either adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or develop a written statement that prohibits the practice of banning books. The Library Bill of Rights “indicates materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval,” the bill says.
Similar legislation is before the New Jersey legislature, according to the New York Times.