The Illinois House has passed a bill that would prevent state funding from going to public or school libraries that remove controversial books from their shelves.
This move comes amid reports that libraries in Illinois have faced increasing pressure to ban books, with the American Library Association reporting 67 attempts to ban books in 2022, up from 41 the previous year.
The bill would require libraries to adhere to the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, which prohibits the banning of books for political reasons or because some people do not approve of their content.
Libraries could issue a statement indicating that they will not ban books, or risk losing their eligibility for state grants.
While some Republicans have opposed the bill, arguing that schools should be allowed to decide what reading material is best for their students, supporters say that the bill protects intellectual freedom.
The Lincoln Library in Springfield has expressed its support for the bill, stating that any acquisition of material is not an endorsement of it, but a commitment to intellectual freedom.