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Illinois becomes the first state to ban books bans.

Public Act 103-0100 was drafted by Secretary Alexi Giannoulias and sponsored by State Representative Anne Stava-Murray and State Senator Laura Murphy through the Illinois General Assembly. This first-in-the-nation legislation became law on June 12, 2023, and becomes effective January 1, 2024.

Under the law, Illinois libraries and library systems will have the freedom to acquire materials without external limitation and be protected from attempts to ban, remove, or restrict access to books and other resources procured by the library. The law states that Illinois libraries would only be eligible for state-funded grants if:

  • They provide a written certification that they have adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, specifically indicating reading materials should not be removed or restricted because of partisan or personal disapproval; or
  • Provide their own policy statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or resources, similar to the following:
    The ________library or institution name ___________, shall protect the intellectual freedom of the library user, and shall prevent censorship of is library materials, ensuring items are not withdrawn from its library collection merely because individuals or groups object to the material.

Before the passage of this legislation, there was no language in Illinois law related to book banning or eligibility for state grants if a library bans items from its collection.

More information can be found at this website.