Making our mark in any medium... the official student news of Normal Community High School


Making our mark in any medium... the official student news of Normal Community High School


Making our mark in any medium... the official student news of Normal Community High School


Illinois outlaws book bans, adds ‘another layer of protection’ to Unit 5 policy

Inkspot Staff
Unit 5’s text selection policy identifies the criteria on which the district’s libraries adopt books for circulation. The policy seeks to provided students with texts that: support and enrich students’ personal interests and learning; meet high standards in literary, artistic, and aesthetic quality; are appropriate for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social, emotional, and intellectual development of the students for whom the materials are selected; incorporate accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative sources; earn favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources; exhibit a high degree of potential user appeal and interest; and represent differing viewpoints on controversial issues. provide a global perspective and promote diversity by including materials by authors and illustrators of all cultures.

Illinois became the first state in the nation to prohibit book bans on June 12 when Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 2789 into law. 

Illinois public libraries that restrict or ban materials based on “partisan or doctrinal” disapproval will lose their eligibility for state funding when the law takes effect on Jan. 1.

Community librarian Ms. Caroline Fox Anvick says the bill will not have a significant effect in Unit 5, as the district’s Instructional Materials Centers Collection Policy already serves “to provide students with a wide range of educational materials… with diversity of appeal, allowing for the presentation of many different points of view.” 

Last school year, Fox Anvick said, the district revised its selection policy, guided by principles from the American Library Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, to give the district “some added protections against people that want to ban books.” 

That policy has prevented a single book from being banned from Unit 5’s library shelves. 

“There have not been many challenges” to books during Fox Anvick’s time as Community’s Library Specialist, but, she said, that number has “spiked” in recent years.

Those challenges, Fox Anvick said, “have rarely made it past the first step” in the Unit 5 Instructional Materials Centers Collection Policy’s “Procedure for Addressing Concerns,” which requires the challenger to read the entire book.

While Unit 5 “already had a very strong policy in place,” Fox Anvick said, “it certainly doesn’t hurt to add another layer of protection” like the new law. 

People, Fox Anvick said, “are going to have the freedom to read the books they want to read. They’re not going to have to worry about walking into a library and not being able to find something that represents who they are or answers questions that they might have.” 

Those factors help drive book selection at Community. 

“We don’t make choices just based on one point of view; we try to include everyone,” Anvick said. “Visibility and representation are important.” 

While the state does not provide the majority of Unit 5 library funds, the district does receive the Illinois State Library School Library Grant, which provides the district with a “per capita grant” of 88 cents per student. 

Last year, the grant provided Unit 5’s school libraries with a little over $10,000. 

About the Contributors
Brantley Dumas II, Senior Staff Reporter
Brantley Dumas is a senior at Normal Community High School. He is the president Black Student Union and is on the varsity bowling team. He is a second-year Staff Reporter on the Inkspot. If I were to win a million dollars I would definitely pay for college, then buy all the shoes and clothes I could ever want. I enjoy fashion, making and listening to music and anime. So, if you like any of those we can probably be friends. My biggest pet peeve is when people chew too loud. Gross.
Zachary Knox-Doyle, Senior Staff Reporter
Zachary Knox-Doyle is a junior at Normal Community High School and plays on the school's tennis team. He is a Senior Staff Reporter at the Inkspot. One of my biggest inspirations is Candace Parker because of her insane skills on the basketball court, never back down attitude and the work she's done for ESPN behind the mic. I am most comfortable and content when I'm playing tennis and basketball simply for the love of the sport.