Coming Soon!
The Fight against Book Bans
Perspectives from the Field
by Shannon M. Oltmann, Editor
June 2023, 240pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7976-0
$60, £47, 53€, A83
Available for purchase 30 days prior to publication.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7977-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Offers a timely overview of book bans and challenges, their context, and how working librarians have handled them.

Library staff and faculty defend intellectual freedom and describe standing against book challenges.

Book bans and challenges frequently make the news, but when the reporting ends, how do we put them in context? The Fight against Book Bans captures the views of dozens of librarians and library science professors regarding the recent flood of book challenges across the United States, gathered in a comprehensive analysis of their impact and significance. It also serves as a guide to responding to challenges.

Chapter authors provide first-hand accounts of facing book challenges and describe how they have prepared for challenges, overcome opposition to certain books, and shown the value of specific library materials. Library science faculty with a range of specialties provide relevant background information to bolster these on-the-ground views. Together, the chapters both articulate the importance of intellectual freedom and demonstrate how to convey that significance to others in the community with passion and wisdom. This volume provides a timely and thorough overview of the complex issues surrounding the ongoing spate of book challenges faced by public and school libraries.


  • Reinforces the significance of intellectual freedom to public and school libraries
  • Describes how different librarians have responded to challenges and explained the importance of intellectual freedom to their communities
  • Acts as a step-by-step guide to responding to challenges
Shannon M. Oltmann is associate professor in the School of Information Science at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. She earned her doctorate from Indiana University. Oltmann is author of Libraries Unlimited's Practicing Intellectual Freedom in Libraries and has been published in numerous academic journals. Her research interests include information ethics, censorship, intellectual freedom, information policy, public libraries, privacy, and qualitative research methods. Oltmann is the past editor of the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy and associate editor of Library Quarterly. Her work has been funded by the American Library Association and the Institute of Museum & Library Studies.


"This timely book will be an excellent resource for library workers on the front lines in the fight to protect access to information. Using a combination of stories from the field and practical advice for responding to threats to intellectual freedom, Oltmann has assembled a valuable resource that captures the concerns of this moment and provides hope for the future."—Dr. Martin Garnar, Director, Amherst College Library; Editor, Intellectual Freedom Manual, Tenth Edition

"The majority of Americans oppose censorship. But those calling for bans are loud, angry, and organized. These voices from the frontlines of America's libraries not only offer sage advice (with the big one being the necessity of having and adhering to policies), they also share their astonishment, anxiety, and deep commitment to service and professionalism. A vital record of our times, this book is recommended for all public, school, and academic libraries." —James LaRue, Executive Director, Garfield County (CO) Public Library District

"The stories in this book are by turns infuriating and heartbreaking, and this deeply researched and informative look at the surge of book bans should be a catalyst to encourage us all to fight back."—Karis Rogerson, Writer and Journalist
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