This year’s Banned Books Week, the ALA’s annual celebration of the freedom to read, is set to run from September 18-24 under the theme “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.” And there is no question that it comes at a critical time.
In a release today, ALA officials reported 681 documented attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities, and public libraries through the first eight months of 2022, on pace to shatter the 729 challenges ALA tracked in 2021. The challenges thus far in 2022 have targeted some 1,651 different titles—already more than during all of 2021—with some 70% of this year’s challenges targeting multiple titles. In past years, most challenges sought to remove or restrict a single title.