Banned Books Week

Books Unite Us

"Celebrate Banned Books Week" "September 18-24, 2022" "ALA American Library Association"

Censorship Divides Us

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights 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.

The theme for Banned Books Week 2022 is "Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us." Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers. Banned Books Week is both a reminder of the unifying power of stories and the divisiveness of censorship, and a call to action for readers across the country to push back against censorship attempts in their communities.

"Where Do Challenges Take Place?" "44% School libraries" "37% Public libraries" "18% Schools" "1% Academic/Other" "Censorship by the numbers" "" "#BannedBooksWeek"

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

Banned Books Week 2022 will be held September 18 – 24. The theme of this year’s event is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”
"Reasons for Challenges" "Homophobic or transphobic, obscene, developmentally inappropriate, anti-family, political indoctrination, problematic author, low literary value, racist content, bleak, gender dysphoria, rape, makes white babies feel sad, occult, totally evil, non-traditional values, anti-semitic, not a happy ending, racially divisive, LGBTQIA, anti-police, sex education, woke, grooming, abortion, white privilege, triggering, promoted a homosexual lifestyle, pedophilia, drugs, political viewpoint, sexualization of women, maturbation, violence, polarizing, suicide, unsafe or causes harm, harmful misinformation, offensive chinese stereotypes, marxist, religious viewpoint, child abuse, nudity, pornography, sexually explicit, biased and unbalanced, dangerous and detrimental, promotes racism, hateful, use of derogatory term for african-americans, progressive liberal agenda, inflammatory, indoctrinating kids, critical race theory, profanity" "Each work and phrase in this graphic is cited from 2021 censorship reports" "Censorship by the numbers" "" "#BannedBooksWeek"
"Who Initiates Challenge?" "39% Parents" "24% Patrons" "18% Board/administration" "10% Political/religious groups" "6% Librarians/teachers" "2% Elected officials" "1% Students" "Censorship by the numbers" "" "#BannedBooksWeek"
"Books and Beyond" "The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges in 2021. Here's the Breakdown" "82% Books, graphic novels, and textbooks" "5% Programs, meeting rooms" "4% Displays, exhibits" "2% Films" "7% Other*" "* Includes filtering, access, databases, magazines, online resources, artwork, social media, music, pamphlets, student publications, reading lists." "Censorship by the numbers" "" "#BannedBooksWeek"
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