Is the Rise in Book Bans Justified?
Summary from AllSides News Team
Attempts to ban certain books from U.S. classrooms and libraries are on the rise. Is it an attack on free speech or a move to protect kids?
The Details: PEN America, a literary nonprofit, "recorded 3,362 instances of books banned" in 2023, "an increase of 33 percent from the 2021–22 school year," according to its latest report. The American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom says there were 695 attempts to censor library materials and services in the first eight months of 2023, compared to 681 during the same period last year.
Where People Disagree: Some see the book bans as righteous because they target works like "Gender Queer," which features graphic depictions of sex. Others say the bans are targeting "the voices of individuals who raise questions about the status quo."
How the Media Covered It: Axios (Lean Left bias) said "book bans have become ammunition for conservatives in a culture war over what kids should be exposed to," and also highlighted the ALA's report that "a vast majority of the target books were written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQ community." Washington Examiner (Lean Right) highlighted a source who said the bans "are typically centered on books that contain gratuitous depictions of sexual behavior," such as "Gender Queer." The Daily Wire (Right) highlighted a poll suggesting that 81% of Democrats and over 90% of Democrats see "Gender Queer" as inappropriate for schools.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftAttempts to ban books at public libraries surge at record levels
As attempted book bans continue to surge in schools across the U.S., the challenges are now increasingly extending to public libraries, according to new American Library Association data.
By the numbers: ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom data shows there were 695 attempts to censor library materials and services in the first eight months of 2023, compared to 681 during the same period in 2022 — a year that saw attempted book bans reach record levels.
There were also challenges to 1,915 unique titles from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 — marking a 20% increase from the same period last...
From the CenterBook bans jumped by 33 percent last year: report
There were 3,362 book ban attempts in K-12 schools across the country last school year — 33 percent more than the year before, according to a new report from free expression group PEN America.
And those book ban attempts resulted in the removal of 1,557 individual titles.
Since 2020, there has been a surge in book challenges as classrooms have become a new ideological battleground.
Book ban attempts have reached record highs each year since the start of the pandemic, according to data from the American Library Association.
From the RightAmerican Library Association report on 'book bans' blasted by conservative scholar
A new report on so-called "book bans" from the American Library Association is drawing criticism from a prominent conservative education scholar who recently testified before a Senate committee on the topic of book bans.
The report from the ALA said that there have been "695 attempts to censor library materials" and that 1,915 "unique titles" have been challenged in school and public libraries across the country from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31. The ALA said this represents a 20% increase from 2022.
“These attacks on our freedom to read should trouble every person who values...