PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinois libraries are teaming up to fight censorship by challenging nationwide book bans. Libraries in the area want to stress the importance of our freedom to read and press us to question why a book may be banned in the first place.

We sat down with Alyce Jackson, who works with the Peoria Public Library and is a chair of the Peoria Reads Committee. Check out our interview to learn more about their mission. You can also hear more about how nationwide book bans impact members of our local community.

The partnering Central Illinois Libraries will be hosting a number of events— kicking off on April 11 at the Peoria City Council meeting. Following this, on Thursday, April 13, the Peoria Public Library will be hosting Dr. Emily Knox of U of I; an author who was just honored for her book on intellectual freedom. She has researched censorship efforts and written two books, Book Banning in the 21st Century and Foundations of Intellectual Freedom.

Central Illinois Reads partners include: Chillicothe Public Library, Dunlap Public Library District, Fondulac District Library, Illinois Prairie District Public Library, Morton Public Library, Pekin Public Library, Bradley University, Methodist College, and Neighborhood House.

To learn more about the program, as well as upcoming events, you can visit the Peoria Public Library Website.

As of writing, the Illinois House just passed HB 2789, which will help uphold intellectual freedom by requiring libraries to have a written book challenge policy if they want to be eligible for state library grants. This bill is in the Illinois Senate.

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