Knowledge is Power
Learn about what's going on in the Treasure Valley so you can make informed decisions
The Idaho Library Association is an all-volunteer membership group that provides educational resources and support for library staff across Idaho. We advocate on behalf of Idaho’s libraries and promote the right to read and free expression for all Idahoans. Donate today and join the ILA to help ILA fight censorship and maintain our freedom to read.
Want to sport some rad ILA swag and help support the ILA? Check out their great shirts on Bonfire!
The National Council Against Censorship (NCAC)
The National Coalition Against Censorship was formed by a group of activists affiliated with the ACLU in response to the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Miller v. California, which narrowed First Amendment protections for sexual expression and opened the door to obscenity prosecutions. As an alliance of more than 50 national non-profits, including literary, artistic, religious, educational, professional, labor, and civil liberties groups, we have engaged in direct advocacy and education to support First Amendment principles for over 40 years.
The National Coalition Against Censorship has written to the Board of Trustees of the Nampa School District in Idaho after the School Board voted to permanently remove 22 books from the District’s libraries for allegedly containing “pornography.” Click on the link to read NCAC's response to the Nampa School Board.
NCAC has a great array of resources for students, educators at all levels, librarians, school officials, activists, curators, and artists.
PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Pen America pushes back against the banning of books and the intolerance, exclusion, and censorship that undergird it.
The American Library Association (ALA)
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” The ALA opposes widespread efforts to censor books in US schools and libraries.
The ALA has found polling that shows a majority of people across party lines oppose removal of materials from libraries and trust libraries and librarians to curate their collections to meet the needs of their clientele.
The ALA has a new FIGHT CENSORSHIP page with a list of actions and resources when you want to take action to support your library.
Learn more about how to defend the right to read in your community and stand against censorship using resources from the UABB!
What you need to know about Book Bans sweeping the United States - 9/2023 (Teacher's College, Columbia University)
Rediscovered Books' Statement on Censorship and Banned Books
May 11, 2022
Today the sun rose, the birds sang, people moved about their everyday lives, and yet another incidence of Book Banning has occurred in the Treasure Valley. The actions taken by the Nampa School District Board banned an extensive list of books based on the request of 100 citizens and without the due process set out by its own guidelines. Daily we are hearing more and more incidences of books being taken from the shelves of schools and public libraries, often done without public comment or even the awareness of libraries or professional librarians.
Books matter. Access to books matters. Books are tools for understanding complex issues. They develop empathy, they expand our perspectives. Limiting young people’s access to books does not protect them from dealing with life’s complexities and challenges. People, and especially young people, deserve to see themselves reflected in a library’s books. Their stories matter, they matter.
Removing books that some find unacceptable negates the value and place of all people in our society. Book bans harm communities. Book bans censor community members from our national, democratic dialogue. They undermine the legal and social rights of individuals, family, and friends as a part of the fabric of our communities. Individuals should be trusted to make decisions on their own about what they read. A small group of parents do not have the right to choose what other people’s children read or to decide whose voices and experiences matter.
As an Independent Bookstore, we value the right to read. We value access to stories of all kinds for all people. And we will continue to provide that access for all people to read. There comes a time when the actions of a few need the voices of the many to stand up for those who are being assaulted for existing or, worse, being erased from existence. Join our voice in providing access to all books for all people.
The time is now, and we are asking you to join us to protect all voices and provide a place where all voices matter.
If you are faced with a book ban or challenge in your community, here are helpful resources for support:
- Idaho Library Association - Advocacy
- The American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE)
- American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom Challenge Support
- The Freedom to Read Foundation
- National Coalition Against Censorship’s Book Censorship Action Kit
- PEN America Resources
- #FReadom Fighters Resources
- Texas Library Association Intellectual Freedom Resources