IL. In the context of extreme political polarization, last year the United States received requests for censored books, especially works or about the LGBT community and people of color, the number will almost double in 2021, last Thursday the American Library Association. wing).
In total, 2,571 titles were subject to censorship in 2022, compared to 713 the previous year and 156 in 2020, a new record since this association, created 140 years ago, began collecting this information in 2003.
Of the complaints, 58 percent were directed against books in libraries and school courses, and the rest against titles in public libraries, said the organization, which will release a list of affected titles at the end of April during National Library Week, in Washington.
Some titles in previous years were influenced by classics like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, and Blue Eyes, by the Nobel Prize for Literature Toni Morrison.
Ahead of 2021, most of the books have tried to remove or restrict access to silence.
Now “we see these challenges coming from organized censorship groups that have come to meetings of local library boards to demand a long list of books” and “no one can read,” says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom.
The goal is to “suppress those voices that are traditionally excluded from national conversations, such as people from the LGBT community or people of color,” he says. Readers should be the ones who decide what to read, not the “book police,” he asserts.
Censorship does not attack literature. There are more and more threats against library workers, their use, their safety and in some cases they direct threats to the books of young people and their parents who want to read, in memory of the President of the ALA, Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada.
A challenge to a book can be resolved to keep it in the collection by limiting access or withdrawing it from the library, says the association, which only accepts complaints directly.