New Illinois regulation will penalize libraries that ban books

‘Regimes ban books, not democracies’

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a invoice into regulation that may penalize public faculties and libraries for banning books, a transfer that he mentioned makes the state the primary within the nation to move such a regulation, CNN reported.

“Guide bans are about censorship, marginalizing individuals, marginalizing concepts and info. Regimes ban books, not democracies,” Pritzker mentioned earlier than signing the invoice in a Chicago library.

As soon as the brand new regulation goes into impact on Jan. 1, public libraries should undertake the American Library Affiliation’s Library Invoice of Rights or the same assertion to be eligible for state funding. The ALA’s Invoice of Rights holds that studying supplies “shouldn’t be proscribed or eliminated due to partisan or doctrinal disapproval” or “excluded due to the origin, background, or views of these contributing to their creation.”

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, who led the push for the laws, applauded the librarians who advocated for the invoice on Monday, per CNN. “The idea of banning books contradicts the very essence of what our nation stands for. It additionally defies what training is all about: educating our youngsters to assume for themselves,” Giannoulias mentioned.

The measure comes as different states throughout the nation move legal guidelines empowering a report variety of ebook bans. In March, the ALA mentioned that the 1,269 petitions to censor library books in 2022 marked the very best variety of tried ebook bans within the affiliation’s 20-year historical past. Many of the affected books have been primarily written by or about individuals of coloration or the LGBTQ+ group.

Whereas Illinois often is the first state to move a regulation prohibiting ebook bans, it is probably not the one one for lengthy. A gaggle of Democratic senators from New Jersey proposed the same invoice to defund any public library or faculty that bans or restricts books. President Biden additionally lately introduced plans to nominate a federal coordinator to handle the rise in ebook bans.