American libraries report increase in book challenges

26 April 2023

The American Library Association (ALA) has published a list of the top ten books subject to some sort of challenge, based on their content, or subject matter, in the last twelve months. While the majority of challenges related to books written by, or about, people of colour, and LGBTQIA+ community members, the ALA also noted a sharp overall increase in objections over the last year:

Libraries in every state faced another year of unprecedented attempts to ban books. In 2022, ALA tracked the highest number of censorship reports since the association began compiling data about library censorship more than 20 years ago. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted in 2021. Most of the targeted books were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community and people of color.