Intellectual Freedom

intellectual freedom

Libraries play a crucial role in our democracy. Our job is to collect material and provide programming that reflects our communities but also represents diverse viewpoints. Intellectual freedom is the cornerstone of a democracy and it is essential that multiple views be represented.

As a result of the rising number of book challenges and bans nationwide, the Ferguson Library’s Board of Trustees voted in December, 2022 to designate the Ferguson Library a book sanctuary.

A book sanctuary provides opportunities to expand access to banned and challenged books as well as provides support and protection for the freedom to read. The book sanctuary designation affirms the Ferguson Library’s commitment to collecting and protecting endangered books, making them accessible to the public, hosting book talks, events, and conversations about diverse characters and stories, and educating others on the history of book banning and burning.

in January, 2023. the city of Stamford went further and designated Stamford a book sanctuary city. Stamford was the first municipality in Connecticut to do this, following the lead of the Chicago Public Library and the city of Chicago, which took this step in September 2022.

What can you do? 

Read a challenged book! We have lists of them and can help you choose. Talk to your local and national politicians. Let them know the importance of intellectual freedom and that you care about this fundamental issue.


Alice Book Sanctuary

Ferguson Library CEO Alice Knapp talks about becoming a book sanctuary.


Additional Resources

Unite Against Book Bans

Pen America 100

Freedom to Read Foundation

Book Sanctuary

ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom

CT Library Assc statement against censorship.