SLJ and Penguin Random House Create Poster Supporting the Freedom to Read

To support teachers and librarians in the face of ongoing censorship, School Library Journal and Penguin Random House—in partnership with PEN America, NCAC, NCTE, FReadom, and Library Journal—have created a poster that vividly illustrates the importance of intellectual freedom.

As the battle against book banning attempts continues across the country, School Library Journal (SLJ) and Penguin Random House have partnered with PEN America, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of EnglishFReadom, and Library Journal to create a poster that promotes free expression and supports the fight against censorship.

“Open Books, Open Doors,” with original artwork by award-winning illustrator Rafael López, features a child stepping into a larger-than-life book that transports them into a beautiful new world. In an effort to support librarians and their fellow educators, authors, illustrators, students, and parents fighting censorship attempts, the back of the poster outlines a call-to-action to visit the Penguin Random House Banned Books Resource Hub, which provides tools, materials, and organizations to help when someone challenges a book or complains about a title.

The 18X24 poster is included in SLJ’s May 2022 issue and is available for digital download.

"SLJ is proud to share this poster, with its hopeful message centering the power of books to expand both mind and spirit," says Kathy Ishizuka, SLJ editor in chief and partnerships & innovation director for SLJ and Library Journal. "We are grateful to Penguin Random House for its support and together with a coalition of partners, we stand behind the freedom to read, so beautifully conveyed in this image, and we hope it is shared widely."

In addition to distribution in SLJ, a limited run of printed poster copies will be available to educators, librarians, and parents at select industry events and retail locations throughout the summer. A dedicated webpage includes the poster download, social media assets, resources, and related articles from SLJ’s censorship coverage.

“At Penguin Random House, we believe reading is essential for an informed and engaged democracy. Even—and perhaps most especially—the youngest members of our society benefit by learning about the world through books that showcase a diverse range of perspectives and experiences,” Penguin Random House U.S. CEO Madeline McIntosh said in an announcement. “We’re proud to come together with School Library Journal and our vital partners to support the freedom to read.”


Read the full press release below.


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