State of America’s Libraries Report 2022 Released

Apr 4, 2022

Report coverThe American Library Association (ALA) kicks off National Library Week with the release of its State of America’s Libraries Report, highlighting the challenges U.S. libraries faced in the second year of the pandemic – as well as the ways they innovated to meet the needs of their communities.

Library staff in every state faced 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.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021

  1. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
    LGBTQIA+ content and considered to have sexually explicit images
  2. Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
    LGBTQIA+ content and considered to be sexually explicit
  3. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
    LGBTQIA+ content, profanity and considered to be sexually explicit
  4. Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
    Depictions of abuse and considered to be sexually explicit.
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    Profanity, violence and thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda
  6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory term
  7. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
    Sexually explicit and degrading to women
  8. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Depicts child sexual abuse and considered sexually explicit
  9. This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
    Providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content
  10. Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin
    LGBTQIA+ content and considered to be sexually explicit

In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA will launch United Against Book Bans, a national initiative focused on empowering readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.

Read the State of America’s Libraries Report.

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