The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, and each year the organization compiles data regarding book challenges from reports filed by library professionals in the field and from news stories published throughout the United States. Because many book challenges are not reported to the ALA or covered by the press, the 2022 data compiled by ALA represents a snapshot of book censorship throughout 2022. A challenge to a book may be resolved in favor of retaining the book in the collection, or it can result in a book being restricted or withdrawn from the library.
ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Censors targeted a record 2,571 unique titles in 2022, a 38% increase from the 1,858 unique titles targeted for censorship in 2021. Of those titles, the vast majority were written by or about members of the LGBTQIA+ community or by and about Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. (ALA Censorship by the Numbers)
These and many more can be found currently on display at the Fr. Leonard Alvey Library!
The American Library Association (ALA) is the primary professional library organization in the United States. The group is headquartered in Chicago, IL and it's mission is to "provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance and ensure access to information for all." (via the ALA Strategic Directions)
The largest division of the ALA that is specifically geared towards academic libraries and library workers. The ACRL " develops programs, products, and services to help those working in academic and research libraries learn, innovate, and lead within the academic community." (About). The Fr. Leonard Alvey Library at Brescia University is part of the ACRL.
Each year the ALA releases a report about censorship efforts across the country as well as a list of most challenged books of the year. This year's Banned Book Week (10/1-10/7) theme is "Let Freedom Read". Visit this site to see the full report and lists of the most challenged books over the years. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the 100 most challenged books from each decade: 1990-1999, 2000-2009, and 2010-2019!
The Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) is a non-profit legal and educational organization affiliated with the American Library Association. FTRF protects and defends the First Amendment to the Constitution and supports the right of libraries to collect - and individuals to access - information. (About)
Established December 1, 1967, the Office for Intellectual Freedom is charged with implementing ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials. The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.
"PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
Over the past 100 years, PEN America has advocated for free expression, defended writers and artists at risk around the globe, and fought censorship in the United States and abroad. Our cause has been made all the more urgent by the current wave of book bans and censorship in schools."
United Against Book Bans is a national campaign to protect the rights of everyone to access information. Leveraging the reach of a national coalition, we connect, support, and mobilize people to fight book bans in their communities and states.
In order to raise awareness about efforts to ban or censor books, we'd like for you to share with us about your favorite banned books. You can share with us the title of the book(s), why you liked it/think others should read it, and/or your favorite quote from the book(s). Please fill out this form if you are a current Brescia student, faculty, or staff member to do so: https://forms.office.com/r/rwvF23DBSp
We will be sharing responses to this here on this page and in the library so be sure to check back in later!