2022 saw a surge in book challenges and bans across the country. The brand new "State of America's Library" report by the American Library Association counted 1,269 book challenges, a new record for book-banning attempts in our country. Despite the challenges, these libraries still managed to thrive last year. Books are being removed from libraries, school reading lists, and bookstores because individuals or groups object to the subject matter inside the pages. To fight this trend, the Authors Guild Banned Books Club has been reading frequently banned books all year long. This month, they are reading “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison.
School libraries have become the main target of these challenges, and librarians brave the frontlines, defending hundreds of thousands of students’ freedom to read. The national press has taken notice, with places like The New York Times, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post reporting on it."When we talk about inclusion and being seen, we mean included and seen in all the intersectionalities of our lives, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, ability, socioeconomic status, and more," explained Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, the president of the American Library Association.
"When we talk about inclusion in libraries, we take all of these into account and take the wholeness and humanness of our communities into account, which is why we are the trusted institutions in our communities. It is also why, despite the pushback against us, we continue to be there for those who need us year after year. There is always more to the story, and the library is here to make sure those stories get heard."
The report stressed that libraries are "at the epicenter" of the book-banning fight, a battle that affects how we learn, how we see ourselves in books, and how we share information with everyone. The ALA started the Unite Against Book Bans initiative, bringing together 65 national partners, state affiliates, and local organizations, fighting for your right to read whatever you want to read.
Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2022
This year's list of the most banned books included some familiar targets of book challenges and new books like "A Court of Mist and Fury," part of the 'A Court of Thorns and Roses' series by Sarah J. Maas.
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