Kalispell MT - (February 11, 2022) The ACLU of Montana filed a public records request today to obtain information related to the ImagineIF Library Board of Trustees’ recent book-banning efforts. The board is aiming to change library policies to allow for easier removal of certain books from circulation when board members disagree with the views expressed in those books.  

The ACLU of Montana’s request follows several reports that the ImagineIF Board of Trustees is attempting to change board policies to allow censorship of certain books they deem controversial. The ACLU of Montana is concerned that these policy changes may be intended to give the Board greater latitude in ensuring that only materials that align with the personal viewpoints of the Board ever reach library shelves.  

Further, the ACLU of Montana is greatly concerned that efforts to ban such books as Gender Queer and Lawn Boy are not homegrown, but part of a larger, national effort to restrict access to books and information from libraries, and specifically books focused on issues faced by marginalized communities. 

“We at the ACLU of Montana are committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all Montanans. That includes the fair and open access to information that is at the heart of the public library system,” said Akilah Lane ACLU of Montana Staff Attorney. “Censorship is the antithesis of what a library is about. We will continue to investigate this matter to ensure that libraries in Montana remain unabridged sources for all people to seek information free from political and viewpoint biases.” 

The records requested include documents and communications of the ImagineIF Board of Trustees related to the following:    

ImagineIF Board of Trustees Policy Committee meetings regarding: 

  • the consideration of removal of books or materials from the library, and 
  • changes to policies related to the removal of books or materials from the library between January 1, 2021, and the present. 

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has fought to make sure Americans have the right to read what they want. Just as the ACLU always has, we stand ready to fight these latest attempts at censorship at ImagineIF. 

Link to Records Request: https://www.aclumontana.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/imaginei...