Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois has signed a first-in-the-nation law to discourage book bans in Illinois libraries.

While most public libraries in the state are funded largely at the local level, state funding is significant. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, the state awarded 1,631 grants to Illinois libraries totaling more than $62 million in the last fiscal year, with 97% going to public and school libraries.

“Many have said HB 2789 bans book bans, which it doesn’t,” explains Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer

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“What it does is condition state grant funding for libraries on adopting the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or adopting a similar written policy,” he tells me. “And the hope is the risk of losing these critical funds will dissuade Illinois libraries from the kind of bans we’re seeing in large numbers nationally.”

The ALA guidelines, for example, protect books and other resources from being “proscribed, removed, or restricted” based on “partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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