SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings fights to protect Illinoisans right to read.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) helped pass a measure requiring libraries or library systems to adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights barring the action of banning books and materials to qualify for state grants.

“Our libraries create the opportunity for residents to explore the world,” Hastings said. “Banning books closes the door on open dialogue in our communities. We should not be in the practice of limiting access to thought provoking literary resources.”

Attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, setting a record in 2022, according to a new report from the American Library Association.

Hastings worked with his colleagues to help disincentivize these practices in Illinois libraries.

Several states including Arizona, Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Florida and Oklahoma, have adopted forms of book bans. Hastings believes the state’s proactive steps will help prevent these restrictive actions in Illinois.

House Bill 2789 passed the Senate and House and will head to the governor’s desk for consideration.