Resisting Book Bans: Tactical Approaches to Defend Intellectual Freedom

Learn tangible ways to handle censorship, find allies, and ensure your library policies are up to date.





Course Description 

Guest speaker session via Zoom:
Tuesday, December 6, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm ET (recordings available)

The last few years have seen a drastic uptick in book bans and curriculum challenges. As a librarian, teacher, administrator, or trustee, it can be difficult to know your options for managing these challenges and advocating for intellectual freedom and diverse educational materials. This crash course will focus on proactive preparation to ensure you are set up for success. 

You will have the opportunity to choose between two highly targeted tracks, K-12 and public libraries, to ensure you are receiving the most relevant information possible to your particular context. Both tracks will run concurrently, and live sessions will be available on-demand.

In this 2-hour online crash course, you will learn tangible ways to handle censorship, including tips for finding allies and building coalitions, tactics for school and library board meetings, and strategies to  ensure your library policies are up to date and will appropriately defend intellectual freedom. We’ll discuss best practices for engaging and educating stakeholders in your organization to ensure everyone is equipped with appropriate responses and prepared when challenges arise. 



When you sign up early, you’ll have immediate access to our Early Access On Demand Resources—a series of webinars from Library Journal and School Library Journal contributors along with rich, supporting materials in the form of readings, activities, and videos—to explore at your own pace.

Learning Outcomes:

After you attend this crash course, you’ll be able to:

  • Advocate for your programs, curricula, collections, and services

  • Conduct a policy audit and ensure your protections are up to date and comprehensive

  • Make a plan to find allies and build coalitions to support you

  • Access resources and communities dealing with similar challenges

  • Develop and refer to talking points and best practices for school and library board meetings and connecting with stakeholders and community members

  • Strategize ways to handle problems, disruptions, or challenges that arise during board meetings


Who should take this course 

Any librarian or educator who needs support preparing for or dealing with current book bans and curriculum challenges. Whether you’re a frontline staff member or teacher, or a director or school administrator, this course will include proactive information that will give you tactical tools to defend intellectual freedom. 

Live session is also available on demand 

Can’t make the live session? All guest speaker sessions are recorded and available on demand following the initial broadcast. Asynchronous workshops allow you to complete assignments and receive feedback from experts.

Certificate of completion provided 

For support with online courses, please contact



Group Rates

Have a team attend and increase your impact!

Discounted registration fees are available for groups of 3 or more. 

Send us a request for a quote.



By registering for this event you confirm that you have read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

For support with online courses, please contact





Tailor this program by choosing between two highly targeted tracks: K-12 and public libraries.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Session 1 | 2:00-2:40 pm ET

Proactive Resistance: Policies, Procedures, and Protocols

Whether you’re preparing for challenges or you’re already dealing with them, this session will give you the practical tools you need to manage censorship. You will learn innovative policy ideas to reduce and resist censorship in your area, as well as strategies for auditing your current practices to ensure they will adequately defend intellectual freedom in your area. You will leave this session with new ideas for streamlined procedures and protocols that you can establish in your library to help you resist book bans and defend the right to read.

K-12 Track Speaker: 

Erika Long, (she, her)  School Library Consultant 


Public Library Track Speaker: 

Maura Deedy, Library Advisory Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners  



Session 2 | 2:40-2:50 pm ET

Informational Session about LJ/SLJ Professional Development

Interested in what’s next or how to go even deeper? This session will provide more information about our spring courses, including our 3-week course, How to Build and Defend Inclusive Collections, which will expand what you learned here. Take this opportunity to ask questions about our full roster of courses, gain transparency into our process, and give your feedback about what you’d like us to do next.


Break | 2:50-3:00 pm ET


Session 3, K-12 Track | 3:00-3:40 pm ET

Stronger Together: Building Community, Coalitions, and Allies

Defending intellectual freedom can’t be the job of just one person. This session will teach you how to find allies inside and outside of your library or school, build coalitions, and work as a community to combat censorship challenges. You will leave with shared resources and tools for how to connect with others to drive change in your community.


Erika Long, (she, her)  School Library Consultant 


Session 3, Public Library Track | 3:00-3:40 pm ET

Proactive Governance: How to Prepare and Handle Problems in Your Board Meeting

Learn tangible tools you can use and actions you can take to help manage disruptions to your board meetings. Whether you’re facing internal challenges, external challenges, or both, you will leave this session prepared with best practices to keep your governance on track. 


Lori Fisher, Assistant State Librarian, New Hampshire State Library


Session 4 | 3:40-4:00 pm ET

Apply Your Learning: Live, Interactive, Expert-Led Working Session

This live working session will give you an immediate opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned in the previous sessions. You will be put into small, peer groups and given relevant assignments and activities to work through together. Expert facilitators will also be available for live Q&A and feedback.

K-12 Track Facilitator:

Erika Long, (she, her)  School Library Consultant 


Public Library Track Facilitator:

Lori Fisher, Assistant State Librarian, New Hampshire State Library



Online Course Preview

A preview of how we build your library skills and bring inspiration to your projects with our online learning experience.

Course Format 



Live session with Andrea Blackman and Tasneem Ansariyah Grace

Live Guest Speakers

  • Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats
  • Interactive breakout groups in which you can choose to be grouped with others in similar roles and job functions 


Online Course Features


Recordings of guest speakers

Recordings Available After The Live Session

  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live video stream (with recordings available afterward)



Early Access On Demand Resources

Resources To Support Learning

  • Supporting resources (articles, videos, worksheets) in the online classroom to provide a foundation for your work
  • Access all course content for one month after the course ends
  • Bonus: Register early and get immediate access to archival video recordings from related courses and other bonus content




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