Based on a report issued today by the American Library Association (ALA), there were over 700 challenges made in 2021 against books currently on the shelves in libraries, resulting in nearly 1,600 individual book challenges or removals, the organization said in a press release published on Monday. Efforts to ban books were primarily directed toward books and materials written by or depict the lives of Black or LGBTQ individuals.
ALA President Patricia Wong said in a statement that parents should involve themselves in what books their children decide or want to read — but restricting other parents’ rights to do the same can harm children.
“Libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read,” Wong added.
The vast majority of Americans oppose book bans. The ALA conducted a poll, published last month, demonstrating that 71 percent of U.S. voters opposed efforts to remove books from schools, libraries or universities. This includes 70 percent of Republican respondents, who agreed that book bans are harmful, the poll found.
In spite of that, however, there has been a large and vocal push by conservative groups and parents, promoted by Republican lawmakers, to restrict access to books they deem objectionable. The push to politicize Black and LGBTQ people’s existence is evidence of growing fascism on the right.
You can read the entire article by Chris Walker at Truthout.org.