Libraries Association Says Banned Books Increased in 2022

New York — The wave of attempts to ban and restrict books continues to intensify, the American Library Association reported Friday. The 2022 figure is already close to last year’s total, the highest in decades.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom. “It’s both the number of challenges and the kinds of challenges. It used to be a parent learning about a given book and having a problem with it. Now we’re seeing activities where organisations are making lists of books without having to read or even look at them.”

In the first eight months of this year, the ALA recorded 681 challenges to books across 1,651 different titles. Throughout 2021, the ALA listed 729 challenges targeting 1,579 books. The Library Association believes that the actual number of challenges is likely to be much higher because the ALA relies on media accounts and library reports.

Friday’s announcement, which begins Sunday for Banned Books Week, will be promoted across the country through tabletop displays, posters, bookmarks and stickers, as well as readings, essay contests and other events highlighting controversial works. According to a report released in April, the most targeted books included Maia Kobabe’s figurative memoir about sexual identity “Gender Queer,” and Jonathan Iveson’s “Lawn Boys,” a tale of a young gay man. coming-of-age novel.

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