Bloomington Jefferson senior Shae Ross, center, joined Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, left, at an event promoting proposed legislation to prevent books bans based on ideology at Como Park High School in St. Paul, Minn., on March 21, 2024. (Chris Williams / Education Minnesota via AP)

Minnesota is one of several Democratic-leaning states where lawmakers are now pursuing bans on book bans. The Washington and Maryland legislatures have already passed them this year, while Illinois did so last year.

Chicago Public Library sign. (WTTW News)

“There are extremists in this country, right-wing extremists, who want to disrupt our form of democracy and our life,” Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said. 

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Sept. 14, 2023. (WTTW News)

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias was in Washington, D.C., this week to testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding a new state law aimed at deterring book bans.

Three people sit with a sign at a Campbell County, Wyo., Library Board meeting, July 23, 2023, in Gillette, Wyo. (Ed Glazar / Gillette News Record via AP)

This summer, the state libraries in Montana, Missouri and Texas and the local library in Midland, Texas, announced they’re leaving the ALA, with possibly more to come. Right-wing lawmakers in at least nine other states demand similar action.

Heather Hutto, executive director of Bristow Public Library, center, along with former President of United for Libraries Skip Dye, left, and Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America John Bracken, right, speaks during a panel discussion about understanding and combating book bans at the American Library Association's annual conference and exhibition on Friday, June 23, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago. (AP Photo / Erin Hooley)

Book bans and how to fight them is a major focus of this year’s American Library Association conference. Librarians may attend sessions aimed at helping them confidently counter book challenges, fight legislative censorship and ensure the freedom to read.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias holds his daughter while brandishing a bill signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 12, 2023, that aims to discourage book bans at Illinois libraries. Bill sponsor Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines, is pictured at left and Pritzker is pictured at right. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Andrew Adams)

The new law declares it to be the policy of Illinois to “encourage and protect the freedom of libraries and library systems to acquire materials without external limitation and to be protected against attempts to ban, remove, or otherwise restrict access to books or other materials.”

Tracie Hall, the first Black woman to lead the Chicago-based American Library Association, appeared on “Black Voices” on April 22, 2023. (WTTW News)

Tracie Hall, the first Black woman to lead the Chicago-based American Library Association, has been named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023.

Amanda Darrow, director of youth, family and education programs at the Utah Pride Center, poses with books that have been the subject of complaints from parents in Salt Lake City on Dec. 16, 2021. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File)

The wave of attempted book banning and restrictions continues to intensify, the American Library Association reported Friday. Numbers for 2022 already approach last year’s totals, which were the highest in decades.

Book Ban & CPS Data

We have some of your comments on a controversial book ban and a mom who's challenging CPS on its data in tonight's Viewer Feedback.

The decision to ban a popular book from a west suburban school angers students and parents.