WASHINGTON (WTVO) — Illinois has outlawed book bans, and that new law was the focus on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, who serves as the state librarian, spearheaded the idea of a book ban. Under the law, public schools or libraries cannot ban books because people do not approve of its content or for political reasons.
They will not be eligible for state grants through the Secretary of State’s Office if they do.
Giannoulias appeared before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Illinois’ Dick Durbin. He said that it should up to librarians to decide what books are on display.
Republican committee members, however, said that parents should have a say on what material is available for kids to read.
“What we’re saying is let’s trust our librarians to make these decisions, not an individual parent that’s angry or disagrees with a certain viewpoint, tell me what you want. Who gets to decide,” Giannoulias said.
“And all I’ve heard is the librarians, and parents have nothing to do with it,” another countered.
Date from the American Library Association showed that there were 43 attempts to restrict access to books in Illinois in 2022. The new law goes into effect on January 1.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A prior headline for this article incorrectly stated that Illinois Attorney General testified at the Senate hearing.