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Freedom to Read: Banned Books Week 2022

Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.

Take a stand against censorship. Read one of 2021's most challenged books!

Link to Gender Queer: a Memoir by Maia Kobabe in the catalog
Link to Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison in the catalog
Link to All Boys Aren't Blue by George M Johnson in the catalog
Link to Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez in the catalog
Link to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews in the catalog
Link to This Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson in the catalog
Link to Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin in the catalog

Banned Books Week 2022

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlighting current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. For 40 years, the annual event has brought together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

In a time of intense political polarization, library staff in every state are facing an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons. Continue reading from Banned and Challenged Books

Banned Books Infographics

Breakdown of the 729 challenges tracked by the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom in 2021. 82% of challenges were to books, graphic novels, and textbooks. 5% were to programs and meeting rooms. 4% were to displays and exhibits. 2% were to films. 7% were to other areas, including filtering, access, databases, magazines, online resources, artwork, social media, music, pamphlets, student publications, and reading lists.
A graphic depicting who initiates challenges, based on 715 responses. 39% of challenges are initiated by parents, 24% by patrons, 18% by boards/administration, 10% by political/religious groups, 6% by librarians/teachers, 2% by elected officials, and 1% by students.
Graphic showing where challenges take place, based on 729 responses. 44% take place in school libraries, 37% in public libraries, 18% in schools, and 1% in academic and other institutions.
A word cloud of reasons given for challenges.

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2020