October 8, 2015

Webinar: Advocating for Intellectual Freedom – Beyond Banned Books Week

Good-bye Banned Books Week of 2015. Libraries and bookstores will take down the yellow caution tape. Fahrenheit 451 and Winnie the Pooh will be returned to the shelf. New blogs about Teen Read Week and Halloween books will be posted.

But that doesn’t mean we stop caring about intellectual freedom. You’ve heard about libraries that are blindsided by a book challenge and the community and staff are unprepared because for most libraries intellectual freedom is only one week a year.

But think about how much stronger you’re library will be if there is a foundation of intellectual freedom principles demonstrated in a multitude of facets all year long?

Next week, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is hosting two excellent speakers to share how to build public awareness of the right to read and why its bbw--1024x731important.

With a strong background in marketing, Susan Brown is the director of the Chapel Hill Public Library. You may be familiar with their award winning Banned Books Week Trading Cards.

Marci Merola works at the American Library Association as the director of the Office for Library Advocacy. She focuses on providing advocacy resources and tools to libraries at the state and local levels. She works to educate members and citizens on current issues and the importance of libraries, as well as integrating advocacy efforts throughout the association.

Don’t wait until Banned Books Week 2016 to think about intellectual freedom again. Join our webinar and get some great resources to build a strong library and intellectual freedom foundation in your community.

Register: www.ala.org/advocacy/advocating4if 

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 

  • 2:00 PM-3:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Central)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Pacific)

September 29, 2015

Heather Has Two Mommies author, Leslea Newman, for the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!

Happy Banned Books Week!

Today’s Virtual Read-Out video features Leslea Newman, author of the frequently challenged children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies. This book had been challenged for being anti-family and homosexuality.

“It doesn’t matter how many mommies or how many daddies your family has . . . Each family is special. The most important thing about a family is that all the people in it love each other.” This passage, according to Newman, is the controversial message of the book.

The book has been challenged 42 times by legislators and parents wanting to remove it from local and school library shelves. It was the third most challenged book in 1993, and the second most challenged book in 1994. “Daddy’s Roommate” was the most challenged book in both years. For more information, check out this article.


If you are in New York City today and looking for something fun to do, we hope you can join ALA and the sponsors of Banned Books Week  at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street New York, NY, 10012) at 7:00 PM, for a free program, “Celebrating Banned Books Week: A Conversation with Banned and Challenged Young Adult Authors.” The program features banned and challenged Young Adult authors, including David Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing, Meg Medina, author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been banned in some areas due to its title, and Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers. The discussion will focus on the topic of censorship, each author’s experience being banned or challenged, and the importance of free and open access to all books, especially for young adult readers. The conversation will be moderated by David Shipler, author of Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword.

Happy reading!

September 28, 2015

Ellen Hopkins for the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!

It’s day two of Banned Books Week! We hope you’ve been able to pick up your favorite banned book from your local public library or bookstore and enjoy reading it. If you are still looking for ideas, check out our frequently challenged books page for more information.

This year’s theme focuses on young adult literature as it is the frequent target of censorship. So we are kicking off the week with a reading from the bestselling banned young adult author, Ellen Hopkins. Hopkins is the author of frequently challenged titles such as Crank and Perfect.


We also hope you will be able to join us for other events, including a webinar on Tuesday, How to protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library, sponsored by SAGE and the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Sign up today.

September 25, 2015

Banned Books Week 2015

Banned Books Week 2015, September 27-October 3, will soon be upon us! What will you be doing to celebrate the freedom to read? Below are several ways you can participate in this year’s festivities and they are all FREE.

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!

For the fifth year in a row, ALA and the sponsors of Banned Books Week will host the Banned Books Virtual Read-Out!, where readers can upload videos of themselves reading a passage from their favorite banned/challenged book on YouTube to be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel. Check out instructions on how to participate as well as this compilation video from ALA’s Annual Conference.

For the second year in a row, SAGE Publication and the Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsored a Virtual Read-Out Booth at the ALA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco. Check out the playlist for possible ideas on what you can read!

Live Events

If you would like to participate in an in-person event in your area, check out the events page for more information. You can also add your event to that page by using any of the applicable forms on that page. If you are in New York, we hope you will join us for this event:

Celebrating Banned Books Week: A Conversation with Banned and Challenged Young Adult Authors

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 7 p.m. – FREE!
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
126 Crosby Street New York, NY 10012

Join the sponsors of Banned Books Week for an exciting conversation with banned and challenged Young Adult authors, including David Levithan, author of Boy Meets Boy and Two Boys Kissing, Meg Medina, author of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, which has been banned in some areas due to its title, and Coe Booth, author of Kinda Like Brothers. The discussion will focus on the topic of censorship, each author’s experience being banned or challenged, and the importance of free and open access to all books, especially for young adult readers. The conversation will be moderated by David Shipler, author of Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword.


How to protect the Freedom to Read in Your Library

Tuesday, September 29, 2015  9am PST/ 10am MST/ 11am CST/ 12pm EST

What do you do when a patron or a parent finds a book in your library offensive and wants to take it off your shelves? How do you remain sensitive to the needs of all patrons while avoiding banning a title? How can you bring attention to the issue of book banning in an effective way? In this 1-hour webinar, three experienced voices will share personal experiences and tips for protecting and promoting the freedom to read. Sponsored by SAGE Publications and ALA.

Click here for more information and to register

READ a Banned Book

Go to your local library and check out a frequently challenged book.

Social Media

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Also, consider updating your facebook and twitter pages with free downloads including this twibbon.

Stay tuned throughout the week for more information.

September 15, 2015

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom announces sponsorship of Let’s Encrypt initiative

Today, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom announced its sponsorship of “Let’s Encrypt,” a free, automated, and open certificate authority. “Let’s Encrypt” is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) and is run for the public’s benefit. It will allow anyone who owns a domain name – including libraries – to obtain a server certificate at zero cost, making it possible to encrypt data communications between servers and provide greater security for those using the internet for email, browsing, or other online tasks.

“As a technology librarian, I am so proud that the American Library Association is sponsoring the Let’s Encrypt campaign with other privacy advocates like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Mozilla,” said Michael Robinson, chair of the ALA-IFC Privacy Subcommittee, and Head of Systems at the Consortium Library, University of Alaska – Anchorage. “Encrypting websites and services is an important step in protecting privacy in the digital age. The Let’s Encrypt campaign will make it easy for anyone to move their website to https. And it’s free! Even the smallest libraries will be able to take this step to protect the privacy of their patrons. ”

The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, a Committee of Council, recommends policies, practices, and procedures as may be necessary to safeguard the rights of library users, libraries, and librarians, in accordance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Library Bill of Rights, as adopted by the ALA Council. The IFC Privacy Subcommittee monitors ongoing privacy developments in libraries, including technology, politics, legislation, and social trends and proposes actions to the IFC to meet the privacy needs of librarians and library users.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. OIF supports the work of the Intellectual Freedom Committee and its Privacy Subcommittee. For more information, visit www.ala.org/oif.

September 4, 2015

FTRF and ALA join amicus brief asserting readers’ First Amendment right to be free of NSA’s online surveillance

The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) and American Library Association (ALA) on Thursday joined with booksellers, international, and research librarians to file an amicus brief defending their ability – and the ability of similar organizations – to challenge on behalf of their users government actions that burden readers’ First Amendment rights.  The amicus brief was filed in support of the plaintiffs in Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation and a broad coalition of educational, human rights, legal, and media organizations. It challenges the National Security Agency’s “Upstream” surveillance program. According to NSA, the “Upstream” surveillance program involves copying Internet traffic—including e-mails, chat, web browsing and other communications—as the data traverses the fiber optic backbone of the Internet.

This means that the NSA is looking over every reader’s shoulder while they’re online and  compromising the privacy of every library user and bookstore patron who searches a library’s or bookseller’s online catalog, obtains an e-book, or consults online databases and journals for research, and deterring individuals from exercising their First Amendment right to obtain and read materials that are controversial or reflect deeply private concerns.

The amicus brief, written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of the library and bookseller organizations, explains the importance of privacy to the unfettered exercise of First Amendment rights and argues that libraries, booksellers, and similar organizations can assert the rights of their users related to privacy concerns associated with government access to, and surveillance of, users’ reading habits. It further emphasizes the chill on First Amendment rights that results when the government has unrestricted access to the records of what users read and view online.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides more information on their website, and the full brief can be read online at this link. The ACLU has full details about Wikimedia Foundation v. NSA on its website, linked here. Other parties in the brief include the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

August 4, 2015

New Privacy Guidelines Encourage Libraries and Vendors to Work Together to Protect Reader Privacy

By Michael Robinson
Chair, IFC Privacy Subcommittee
Head of Systems at the Consortium Library
University of Alaska – Anchorage

Crossposted from Choose Privacy Week

Libraries have a tradition of protecting the privacy of readers as the cornerstone of intellectual freedom. We recognize that freedom of thought and expression begins with freedom of inquiry, the ability to read and explore ideas without the chilling effect of government surveillance or societal disapproval. We clearly saw the Patriot Act as a threat to library users’ privacy and have earned a reputation for our efforts to reform it. However, that reputation may be in danger. A gap has grown between our tradition of protecting privacy and common practices that libraries have developed as they strive to deliver digital content, embrace the modern Web, and provide personalized services to library users. The October 2014 revelations disclosing what Adobe’s Digital Editions collects about users and their reading habits brought this gap into center stage.

ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) has been concerned about online privacy for years. They worked with the Office of Intellectual Freedom to establish the annual Choose Privacy Week campaign in 2010 and recently published an updated version of the Privacy Toolkit, an extensive resource that covers the myriad of threats to privacy in a modern library. One of the goals of the IFC Privacy Subcommittee is to use the toolkit as a resource to produce a series of more concise and accessible guidelines focused on specific areas of concern about library users’ privacy.

Given the Adobe revelations, we decided to start by developing privacy guidelines for ebook lending and digital content vendors. During the process of developing the document, the Privacy Subcommittee shared it with a range of individuals and groups for review and comments. This included ALA’s Digital Content Working Group (DCWG), the LITA Patron Privacy Technologies Interest Group, and the group developing the NISO Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems. Online privacy is a large issue that touches on many areas of library service, and it is important that the different groups in ALA work together to develop a common set of principles and best practices that protect reader privacy. By the end of ALA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Digital Content Working Group both endorsed the document, entitled “Library Privacy Guidelines for E-book Lending and Digital Content Vendors.

Library Privacy Guidelines for E-book Lending and Digital Content” are intended to start a conversation within the library community and with vendors and content providers. We expect that the guidelines will need to be revised as we receive more feedback. On the whole, the guidelines represent our attempt to balance the need to protect reader privacy with the needs of libraries to collect user data and provide personalized services, while respecting and protecting the individual’s right to make their own informed decisions in regards to the privacy of their data, particularly in regard to how much privacy they are willing to trade for convenience or added benefits. That’s an ambitious goal, but if libraries and vendors can work together to develop practices based on these guidelines, it can serve as a model for how it can be done. It’s time for librarians to take up this task and to live up to our reputation as privacy defenders.

Library Privacy Guidelines for E-book Lending and Digital Content Vendors

Protecting user privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the intellectual freedom mission of libraries. The right to free inquiry as assured by the First Amendment depends upon the ability to read and access information free from scrutiny by the government or other third parties. In their provision of services to library users, librarians have an ethical obligation, expressed in the ALA Code of Ethics, to preserve users’ right to privacy and to prevent any unauthorized use of patron data (see note below). Librarians and libraries may also have a legal obligation to protect library users’ data from unauthorized disclosure.

Libraries enter into licenses or agreements with commercial vendors in order to provide library users access to digital information, including e-books, journals, and databases. Access to these resources is most often provided via networks and the internet. In the course of providing these services, most e-book and digital content vendors collect and use library patron data for a variety of reasons, including digital rights management, consumer analytics, and user personalization. Libraries and vendors must work together to ensure that the contracts and licenses governing the provision and use of digital information reflect library ethics, policies, and legal obligations concerning user privacy and confidentiality.

These guidelines are issued to provide vendors with information about appropriate data management and security practices in respect to library patrons’ personally identifiable information and data about their use of digital content.

Agreements, Ownership of User Data, and Legal Requirements
Agreements between libraries and vendors should address appropriate restrictions on the use, aggregation, retention, and dissemination of patron data, particularly information about minors. Agreements between libraries and vendors should also specify that libraries retain ownership of all data and that the vendor agrees to observe the library’s privacy policies and data retention and security policies.

Vendors are strongly encouraged to implement the principles of privacy by design, i.e. products and services should have privacy concerns “built in, not bolted on.” In addition, agreements between libraries and vendors should reflect and incorporate restrictions on the potential dissemination and use of library patrons’ records and data imposed by local, state, and federal law.

Clear Privacy Policies
Library users should be notified about vendor privacy policies when accessing a product or service. The privacy policies should be made easily available and understandable to users. Safeguarding user privacy requires that individuals know what information is gathered about them, how long it is stored, who has access to it and under what conditions, and how it is used. There should be a way to actively notify ongoing users of any changes to the vendor’s privacy policies.

User Consent
The vendor should give users options as to how much personal information is collected from them and how it may be used. Users should have choices about whether or not to opt-in to features and services that require the collection of personal information. Users should also have the ability to opt-out and have their personal information erased if they later change their minds.

Access to Personal Data
Users should have the right to access their own personal information and contest its accuracy. Verifying accuracy helps ensure that vendor services that rely on personal user information can function properly. Guidance on how the user can access their personal data should be clear and easy to find. Patrons should also have the ability to download their personal data into an open file format such as CSV for their own use.

Access to personal information should be restricted to the user and conform to the applicable state laws addressing the confidentiality of library records as well as other applicable local, state, and federal law.

Data Integrity and Security
Whenever patron data is collected, the vendor must take reasonable steps to ensure integrity and security, including compliance with applicable statutory requirements.

Security: Security involves both managerial and technical measures to protect against loss and the unauthorized access, destruction, use, or disclosure of data. Security measures should be integrated into the design, implementation, and day-to-day practices of the vendor’s entire operating environment as part of its continuing commitment to risk management. The vendor should seek compliance with published cybersecurity standards from organizations such as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Encryption: The use of data encryption helps enhance privacy protection. All online transactions between client applications (web browsers, mobile apps, etc.) and server applications should be encrypted. In addition, any user data housed by the vendor off site (cloud-based infrastructure, tape backups, etc.) should use encrypted storage.

Anonymization: Data used for customer analytics and other types of analysis should be anonymized by removing or encrypting personally identifiable information. While data anonymization is a good practice, it is not foolproof (re-identification analysis has been used to identify individuals from anonymized data sets); therefore access should still be restricted.

Retention: User data should not be retained in perpetuity. The vendor should establish policies for how long to retain different types of data and methods for securely destroying data that is no longer needed. For example, accounts that are expired or inactive for a certain amount of time should be purged. Retention policies should also cover archival copies and backups.

Data Sharing: User data should not be shared with third-party vendors and other business associates without user consent. Most state statutes on the confidentiality of library records do not permit release of library patrons’ personally identifiable information or data about their use of library resources and services without user consent or a court order. In addition, ALA policy forbids sharing of library patron information with third parties absent a court order.

Government Requests: The vendor should develop and implement procedures for dealing with government and law enforcement requests for library patrons’ personally identifiable information and use data. The vendor should consider a government or law enforcement request only if it is issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that shows good cause and is in proper form. The vendor should inform and consult with the library when it believes is obligated to release library patrons’ information unless prevented from doing so by the operation of law. The vendor should also inform users through its privacy policies about the legal conditions under which it might be required to release personally identifiable information.

Company Sale, Merger, or Bankruptcy: In the event that the vendor is sold to another company, merges with another company, or is dissolved through bankruptcy, all personally identifiable information should be securely destroyed, or libraries and their end users must be notified and given the opportunity to request that their data be securely destroyed.

User Devices
Privacy protections for library patrons’ personally identifiable information and use data should extend to the user’s device, including the web browser or any applications provided by the vendor. All communications between the user’s device and the vendor’s services should be encrypted. If the vendor wishes to employ personalization technology such as persistent cookies on its website or allows third-party web tracking, it should inform the user and give them the chance to opt-in before initiating these features for the user. If a vendor-provided application stores personally identifiable information or use data on the user’s device, it should be encrypted. The user should be able to remove a vendor-provided application and delete any data stored on the device.
Audit and Notification
Vendors should establish and maintain effective mechanisms to enforce their privacy policies. They should conduct regular privacy audits to ensure that all operations and services comply with these policies. The results of these audits should be made available upon request to libraries that are customers or potential customers. A vendor that suffers a breach in its privacy policies through inadvertent dissemination or data theft must notify the effected libraries and users about this urgent matter as soon as the vendor is aware of the data breach.

Note: Patron data” or “user data” is any data or record that identifies the library patron or the patron’s use of library information systems and resources.

Approved by the Intellectual Freedom Committee 6/29/2015

The guidelines are now available online on the ALA website. The IFC Privacy Subcommittee encourages anyone with comments or questions to send correspondence to its ALA staff liaison, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, at dstone@ala.org

July 22, 2015

OIF webinar featuring Pat Scales and Jamie LaRue


New Webinar! Mark your calendars for August 19th @ 1pm CST.

Angry and Alarmed: Embracing the Concerned Parent

We’re told that Step One for addressing any challenge or concern expressed about a book is listening.

Which sounds easy enough but I’ve heard and seen librarians shut down the conversation with defensiveness and self-righteousness. I’ve BEEN that librarian. You feel protective of your books and your collection and how dare someone criticize them. But we can encourage a happy ending for everyone if we change our attitude towards a concerned parent.

Just as your patrons and students have a right to read, individuals also have a right to express their opinions about library resources and services.  If we change the dynamic of the interaction, it’s possible that an “expression of concern” can be resolved after the individual has had the opportunity to express personal feelings about a library resource. Maybe the person only wanted to be heard and have his opinions acknowledged.

Isn’t learning how to have that conversation be successful worth it to avoid a formal book challenge? empathy

Pat Scales and James LaRue, both acclaimed writers and librarians, will talk about difficult conversations with parents. Parents are often coming from an emotional place that has less to do with a book they’re upset about and more to do with a changing world and a loss of control as their children grow up. They will share insights to guide the response from defensive to embracing, empathetic, and educational.

June 23, 2015

On Data and Confidentiality

This week a freelance journalist questioned ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s reputation and professionalism, because he was denied access to OIF’s proprietary database of challenge information.   It appears that his goal was to confirm his conclusion that And Tango Makes Three is the “most challenged book in America” and he believed that OIF should provide him access to its proprietary database to corroborate his belief.

It should be understood at the outset that it is OIF policy to not provide access to the raw data in the challenge database to any person, for a number of reasons.   Probably most important is the fact that the database is compiled from news items and challenge reports voluntarily submitted by librarians and teachers, sometimes in confidence.  We’re acutely aware that the data we compile doesn’t have the statistical validity demanded by social scientists and researchers, because OIF doesn’t  proactively seek information through questionnaires, phone surveys, and the like, does not attempt statistical sampling or related techniques, and does not track the progress or eventual outcome of each censorship attempt.

In some cases we get numerous details about the challenger, the nature of the complaint, the backstory, and the current status of the book. And in some cases we get very little. Sometimes we receive information during the challenge event, sometimes many years later. These factors affect the total number of challenged books for any given year and how we inform the public about challenges.

And we know for a fact that we do not hear of every challenge.  One telling example:  in 2012, journalism students working with University of Missouri Professor Charles Davis served every public school district in Missouri with a FOIA request for records of challenges as a class project, and learned that there were 51 challenges to books in Missouri schools between 2008 and 2012.  When we compared their results to the information in our database, only 6, or 12%, of those challenges had been previously reported to OIF.

anonymous In a nutshell, it would be impossible to determine with any amount of confidence “the most challenged book in America” from the database. It’s why we limit our discussion about challenges to the limited time frame of one year, and make sure that we include a disclaimer that notes that the most challenged book list for a particular year only reflects a snapshot of activities based on voluntary reports concerning documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries.

More important is our promise of confidentiality; the database includes identifiable details provided to us in confidence by the librarians and teachers who come to us for help and we are simply not confident that we can safely anonymize the data so that their privacy is preserved.

Because the office does get many requests for raw data, the office has developed a statement to be given out to those who make such requests. The article quoted selectively from that statement; here it is in its entirety:

Thank you for your inquiry to the Office for Intellectual Freedom. We compile information from news reports, individuals, libraries, schools, and other organizations about challenges to materials. OIF does not always track the progress or eventual outcome of each censorship attempt reported to it nor can it assure that data items are consistent across each report.  In addition, not every challenge is reported to OIF.

 As a result, the information that we maintain is a snapshot of requests to remove or restrict books from libraries and classrooms and is not a complete or exhaustive source of data on such activities.  OIF maintains the database for internal staff use, as a means of encouraging libraries to report challenges, and to create awareness of the importance of protecting and celebrating the freedom to read.  Because the censorship database does not have the statistical validity demanded by many social scientists and researchers and may be vulnerable to misinterpretation and misuse, we must deny any request asking OIF to share raw data.

We have always been clear in our press statements about what is added to the database.  Recorded challenges are documented requests to remove materials from schools or libraries or to restrict other library users’ access to those materials.

As we remind requestors, any discussion of challenges in a particular year can only be a snapshot of a particular time frame.   Fifteen years ago, the Harry Potter series was frequently challenged; then Tango became a target of censors; and now Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian often appears on our most frequently challenged book list.   Our goal is not to focus on the numbers, but to educate the community that censorship is still a very serious problem.   The fact is, parents and community members have sought to remove And Tango Makes Three from libraries and schools, with the intent of denying others the right to read that book.   In some cases, the challengers succeed in doing so.

Our responsibility, as a professional organization, is to our members and the librarians we serve and support. We promise professionalism, assistance, and most of all confidentiality. We are not obliged to journalists who claim we owe them a duty of transparency and unrestricted access based solely on their curiosity about a particular book.   If anyone truly wants to find out what is the “most challenged book in America,” they can follow the lead of the Mizzou journalism students or the example of researchers in Massachusetts and conduct their own research and compile their own data.

We are not sorry that we protect the professionals who fight for the freedom to read and the First Amendment. We will not be changing our policy.

June 11, 2015

Deadline Extended: Send a photo of yourself with a banned book and win a registration to ALA!

You now have one more week to put your face out there in support of the freedom to read!


We are delighted to announce that the deadline for the Banned Books Photo Contest has been extended. From now through June 19, 2015, SAGE and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom invite you to send a picture of yourself holding your favorite Frequently Challenged Book to show the world that you believe in the freedom to read.

All photo entries will be broadcast for ALA attendees at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA and three entries will be pulled at random to win a prize.

Prizes include:

1st place: A free registration to the 2016 American Library Association Midwinter Conference, January 8th through 12th, in Boston, MA OR the 2016 ALA Annual Conference, June 23rd through 28th in Orlando, FL.

Two 2nd place winners: $100 credit to purchase SAGE book(s) of your choice and up to 2 banned books, selected by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Here’s how it works…

Send an email to bbw.photocontest@sagepub.com with:

  • Your name
  • The name of the library where you work(ed) or the library school you attend
  • A title for your photo (no more than 10 words)
  • An attached photo depicting you with a “Frequently Challenged Book” (find several lists with examples here)

Incomplete entries will be disqualified. By sending in an entry, you agree to the Contest Rules.

Want more?

If you are attending the 2015 ALA Conference in San Francisco, don’t forget to RSVP to read from your favorite banned book at the Banned Books Readout Booth. More details here.