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Banned Books: Book Bans and Challenges

Observing "Banned Books" Week and a Guide to Resources for Eng 85 and Eng 270

Reason for Challenges

Office of Intellectual Freedom - Reasons for books being challenged: Censorship by the numbers

Image courtesy of ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom

Reasons for challenges: sexually explicit, obscene, critical race theory, profanity, LGBTQIA, woke, polarizing, pornography, indoctrinating kids, drugs, homophobic or transphobic, nudity, pedophilia, political viewpoint, racially divisive, anti-police, bleak, racist content, occult, totally evil, gender dysphoria, anti-semitic, anti-family, non-traditional values, grooming, abortion, white privilege, triggering, promoted a homosexual lifestyle, developmentally inappropriate, problematic author, not a happy ending, sexualization of women, masturbation, violence, unsafe or causes harm, harmful misinformation, offensive Chinese stereotypes, biased and unbalanced, dangerous and detrimental, promotes racism, hateful, use of derogatory terms for African Americans, progressive liberal agenda, inflammatory.

Censorship By the Numbers - | #BannedBooksWeek

Top 10 Challenged Books 2021

"The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021. Of the 1597 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books."

Book challenges this year over 700 titles – the most since 2000

State of America's Libraries Report, April 4, 2022

Book bans and challenges are on the rise - 1,586 instances of individual books being banned, affecting 1,145 unique book titles.

PEN America's, report "Banned in the USA" 

Who Initiates Challenges

Who Initiates Challenges?

Image courtesy of ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom

Who Initiates Challenges? 39% Parents; 24% Patrons; 18% Board/Administration; 10% Political/religious groups; 6% Librarians/teachers; 2% Elected Officials; 1% Students

Statistics based on 715 responses

Censorship By the Numbers - | #BannedBooksWeek

Where are Books Challenged?

Where Do Book Challenges Come From

Image courtesy of the American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom

Where do challenges take place? 44% School Libraries; 37% Public Libraries; 18% Schools; 1% Academic/Other

Censorship By the Numbers - | #BannedBooksWeek

School Book Bans by State 2022

School Book Bans by State July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022


751 to 1000 bans: Texas

501 to 750 bans: Florida

251 to 500 bans: Tennessee, Pennsylvania

51 to 250 bans: No states

26 to 50 bans: Idaho, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan

11 to 25 bans: New York, Indiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina, Utah

1-10 bans: Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, South CarolinaOhio, New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont, Maine

0 bans: 32 states had NO bans

See PEN America's Index of School Book Bans for details

Image and data sources: PEN America

Challenges to Books Can Occur Close to Home

For a larger map of the West Coast.

Image attribution: creator unknown,

Top 10 Most Challenged This Year

Internet Archive's Open Library - Top 10 Challenged Books for 2021

Frequently Banned or Challenged

Ukiah Campus: 707.468.3053 | Coast Center: 707.961.2200 | Lake Center: 707.263.4944 | North County Center: 707.459.6224
Email: Library Webmaster | Mendocino Community College

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