Colorado’s Breakthrough Bill Redefines the Rules for Book Bans

Colorado proposes a landmark bill that will set new rules for those looking to challenge books. Read on for more details!

Book Bans Book Culture Book News
A hand reaches to pull out a book from a full library shelf.

The state of Colorado is looking to introduce distinct guidelines concerning the book-banning process. Bill SB24-049, or the Freedom to Read bill, would create an appeal procedure that must be followed by those who wish to restrict or remove a book from a public library or school. The proposed guidelines would hear both sides of the issue, hoping to provide a fair solution satisfying the discontent and protecting the liberties of the community.

How will this bill impact book bans?

Concerning schools, if an individual would like to see a book restricted to students, they must have a school-aged child in the district of the ban. The book’s material in question will then be evaluated by a committee for school librarians and the director of a community library. A summary of the bill states that the superintendent of the school district and the library’s board of trustees elected the committee members.

Rows of white library shelves stacked with many different types of books.

A challenged resource belonging to a library shall not be removed until a final settlement is established. Further, if any qualified library employee, media specialist, principal, contractor, or volunteer believes that opposition to the resource in question is made with unlawful intent, the resource will remain available in the library, free of future questioning.

What is the goal of this bill?

Two silhouettes of a people's heads face each other in conversation. Filled inside the outline of the faces are book shelves with many different, colorful books.

The Freedom to Read bill aims to end discrimination against readers and authors. According to the American Library Association, book bans target LGBTQIA+ authors and authors of color. In 2023, the Douglas County Libraries Board of Trustees voted that four LGBTQ+ books remain on its shelves despite substantial opposition.

SB24-049 faced a delay in its original committee date. Colorado state senators hope that the bill will reach the Education Committee soon and that a conclusion will be agreed upon and reached. Passing the Freedom to Read bill will hopefully clear up the vague interpretations of the legislature currently surrounding book bans, promote the freedoms outlined in the U.S. Constitution, and ensure equality and equity among literature.

Click here to stay educated about book banning.

Click here to browse our Banned Books shelf at our Bookstr Bookshop.