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Illinois Takes A Stand On Book Bans

The novel The Hate U Give by best-selling author Angie Thomas is one of many in Illinois that has been placed on a banned books list. But, if all goes well, there won’t be a book ban allowed in Illinois libraries anymore. That’s because the Illinois Senate has passed a new bill about banning books called HB 2789. It says that public or school libraries that remove or ban books will not be funded by the government.

Right now, the state puts $62 million into funding state libraries. But with this bill, they’ve said that libraries will only be eligible if they “adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights” or “develop a written statement prohibiting the practice of banning books or other materials within the library or library system.“

Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois’s new Secretary of State, first drafted the bill after libraries attempted 67 different book bans in Illinois, as well as ban attempts in other states. Now, it’s being sent to Governor J.B. Pritzker to be signed, of which he already has shared support of.

Giannoulias said against book bans, “All these efforts to curb reading materials have absolutely nothing to do with books. They are about restricting the freedom of ideas that certain individuals disagree with and that certain individuals think others should have access to.”

This is the first bill of its kind to be passed in any U.S. state.

Many other states are especially being hit with book bannings currently. According to the American Library Association, there were 2,571 book titles targeted by censorship demands in 2022, which had more than doubled from the previous year. Most of these books were written by or about people of color and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“A book challenge is a demand to remove a book from a library’s collection so that no one else can read it. Overwhelmingly, we’re seeing these challenges come from organized censorship groups that target local library board meetings to demand removal of a long list of books they share on social media,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “Their aim is to suppress the voices of those traditionally excluded from our nation’s conversations, such as people in the LGBTQIA+ community or people of color.

“Each attempt to ban a book by one of these groups represents a direct attack on every person’s constitutionally protected right to freely choose what books to read and what ideas to explore,” said Caldwell-Stone. “The choice of what to read must be left to the reader or, in the case of children, to parents. That choice does not belong to self-appointed book police.”

Pritzker has supported this new bill, and is expected to sign it. He said, “In Illinois, we don’t hide from the truth, we embrace it and lead with it. Banning books is a devastating attempt to erase our history and the authentic stories of many.”


By Caileigh Winslade, Senior, ChiArts

Instagram: @fairytwist / Twitter: @silverrebi


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Written by Caileigh Winslade

I'm your local writer, video editor, and game designer, but when I'm not creating things I'm probably fueling my rhythm game addiction or cuddling one of my four cats.

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