American Library Association: Number of Banned Books in U.S. Has Doubled Since 2022

American Library Association: Number of Banned Books in U.S. Has Doubled Since 2022

Data from the American Library Association (ALA) show book bans in school and public libraries reached a record high in the United States last year.

Huffpost reports over 1,200 challenges were put together by the ALA in 2022, almost double the recorded record in 2021. Director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, said she’s surprised by the outcome.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Caldwell-Stone said. “The last two years have been exhausting, frightening, outrage-inducing.”

Bills supporting book bans have been proposed or passed in several states including Florida, Arizona, Iowa, Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Books on the chopping block cover several topics including Angie ThomasThe Hate U Give, 1619 Project, the Pulitzer Prize-winning report from The New York Times on the legacy of slavery in the United States, and the late legendary novelist Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

Book lovers across the country have put on protests regarding the ban. In Oregon, students at Canby High School students set up a protest after the school district’s removed over 30 books from the school’s libraries.

“The whole point of education is to learn and grow through knowledge, and I’m worried we’re not going to get that chance if we sit back and let this happen,” student Jason Hupp, told KGW 8, Portland, Oregon’s NBC affiliate. The request stemmed from community members who felt notes of sexual content, violence, promiscuity and nudity in the books were enough reasons for reconsideration.

Students aren’t the only ones against the growing book bans. Grace Linn, a 100-year-old woman from Martin County, Florida, created a quilt in protest. During a school board meeting, Linn showed iff the quilt, made with images of the books that have been either targeted or banned.

“Banning books and burning books are the same,” Linn said. “Both are done for the same reason—fear of knowledge.”