Spring 2024      Volume 52, Number 2

Check this Out!: Banning the Bans
By Marie Ann Donovan and Mary Yockey

Document: Column  

Introductory Paragraph:  Among the many bills passed last spring during the wrap-up of the Illinois General Assembly’s 103rd session was House Bill (HB) 2789, which was designed to counter (at times threatening) situations that school and community librarians are now facing—strident campaigns by special interest groups and individuals to censor or ban books in library collections. Initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias and filed in February 2023 by House Representative Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove), by May, HB 2789 was passed in both legislative chambers and then signed into law the next month. The resulting law, Public Act 103-0100, is historic and distinctive. It is the first law in the nation that specifically denies State grant funds to public libraries that either ban or limit circulation of any materials “because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval” (Illinois General Assembly, 2023).  Since its passage, this law has posed confusing and difficult questions to school librarians and their administrators regarding current collection policies and their enforcement. Its significant implications for school libraries continue to be discussed and deliberated as districts and boards work to amend their policies and procedures. Because this law’s effects on schools—not only their libraries—have implications beyond the library, we thought it apropos to share our research into the impetus for this legislation and what lies ahead, given the law took effect on January 1 of this year.

DOI:  https://doi.org/10.33600/IRCJ.52.2.2024.58

Page Numbers:   58-67

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