Will Illinois soon become the first state to ban book bans?

Springfield, Illinois - Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is poised to sign a bill to end book bans, which would make the Prairie State the first in the US to do so.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is soon expected to sign a bill that would require libraries to reject book bans in order to receive state funding.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker is soon expected to sign a bill that would require libraries to reject book bans in order to receive state funding.  © Collage: 123RF/conneldesign & SAUL LOEB / AFP

The Illinois state legislature sent a bill, HB 2789, to Pritzker's desk which would block funding from public institutions which seek to institute book bans.

If implemented, the law would make it mandatory for libraries that want to continue to receive public funding to sign on to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states that materials should not be removed from shelves due to partisan or personal disapproval, or develop a written statement pledging not to ban books.

The bill was proposed as a slew of Republican-controlled state legislatures around the country have passed laws restricting the reading materials allowed in public schools and libraries, specifically targeting Black and LGBTQ+ history and representation.

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"In Illinois, we don’t hide from the truth," Pritzker said in a statement when HB 2789 was introduced. "We embrace it and lead with it. Banning books is a devastating attempt to erase our history and the authentic history of many."

If signed into law, HB 2789 would take effect on January 1, 2024.

Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/conneldesign & SAUL LOEB / AFP

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