NEW YORK - The wave of attempted book banning and restrictions continues to intensify, the American Library Association reported Friday.
Numbers for 2022 already approach last year’s totals, which were the highest in decades."I’ve never seen anything like this," says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. "It’s both the number of challenges and the kinds of challenges.
It used to be a parent had learned about a given book and had an issue with it. Now we see campaigns where organizations are compiling lists of books, without necessarily reading or even looking at them."The ALA has documented 681 challenges to books through the first eight months of this year, involving 1,651 different titles.
In all of 2021, the ALA listed 729 challenges, directed at 1,579 books. Because the ALA relies on media accounts and reports from libraries, the actual number of challenges is likely far higher, the library association believes.Friday’s announcement is timed to Banned Books Week, which begins Sunday and will be promoted around the country through table displays, posters, bookmarks and stickers and through readings, essay contests and other events highlighting contested works.