Book ban efforts surging in 2022, library association says

Sep 15, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 6:22 am
FILE - Amanda Darrow, director of youth, family and education programs at the Utah Pride Center, po...

FILE - Amanda Darrow, director of youth, family and education programs at the Utah Pride Center, poses with books that have been the subject of complaints from parents in Salt Lake City on Dec. 16, 2021. The wave of attempted book banning and restrictions continues to intensify, the American Library Association reported Friday. Numbers for 2022 already approach last year's totals, which were the highest in decades. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The wave of attempted book banning and restrictions continues to intensify, the American Library Association reported Friday. Numbers for 2022 already approach last year’s totals, which were the highest in decades.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “It’s both the number of challenges and the kinds of challenges. It used to be a parent had learned about a given book and had an issue with it. Now we see campaigns where organizations are compiling lists of books, without necessarily reading or even looking at them.”

The ALA has documented 681 challenges to books through the first eight months of this year, involving 1,651 different titles. In all of 2021, the ALA listed 729 challenges, directed at 1,579 books. Because the ALA relies on media accounts and reports from libraries, the actual number of challenges is likely far higher, the library association believes.

Friday’s announcement is timed to Banned Books Week, which begins Sunday and will be promoted around the country through table displays, posters, bookmarks and stickers and through readings, essay contests and other events highlighting contested works. According to a report issued in April, the most targeted books have included Maia Kobabe’s graphic memoir about sexual identity, “Gender Queer,” and Jonathan Evison’s “Lawn Boy,” a coming-of-age novel narrated by a young gay man.

“We’re seeing that trend continue in 2022, the criticism of books with LGBTQ subject matter,” Caldwell-Jones says, adding that books about racism such as Angie Thomas’ novel “The Hate U Give” also are frequently challenged.

Banned Books Weeks is overseen by a coalition of writing and free speech organizations, including the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Authors Guild and PEN America.

Conservative attacks against schools and libraries have proliferated nationwide over the past two years, and librarians themselves have been harassed and even driven out of their jobs. A middle school librarian in Denham Springs, Louisiana, has filed a legal complaint against a Facebook page which labeled her a “criminal and a pedophile.” Voters in a western Michigan community, Jamestown Township, backed drastic cuts in the local library over objections to “Gender Queer” and other LGBTQ books.

Audrey Wilson-Youngblood, who in June quit her job as a library media specialist in the Keller Independent School District in Texas, laments what she calls the “erosion of the credibility and competency” in how her profession is viewed. At the Boundary County Library in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, library director Kimber Glidden resigned recently after months of harassment that included the shouting of Biblical passages referring to divine punishment. The campaign began with a single complaint about “Gender Queer,” which the library didn’t even stock, and escalated to the point where Glidden feared for her safety.

“We were being accused of being pedophiles and grooming children,” she says. “People were showing up armed at library board meetings.”

The executive director of the Virginia Library Association, Lisa R. Varga, says librarians in the state have received threatening emails and have been videotaped on the job, tactics she says that “are not like anything that those who went into this career were expecting to see.” Becky Calzada, library coordinator for the Leander Independent School District in Texas, says she has friends who have left the profession and colleagues who are afraid and “feel threatened.”

“I know some worry about promoting Banned Books Week because they might be accused of trying to advance an agenda,” she says. “There’s a lot of trepidation.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE -  Silvio Berlusconi, leader of center-right, populist Forza Italia is flanked by his partner ...
Associated Press

He’s back! Italy’s Berlusconi wins Senate seat after tax ban

ROME (AP) — Just in time to celebrate his 86th birthday, former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is making his return to Italy’s parliament, winning a seat in the Senate nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi, who has made personal comebacks a hallmark of Italian politics […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Rangers look to stop slide in game against the Mariners

Texas Rangers (65-87, fourth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (83-69, second in the AL West) Seattle; Tuesday, 9:40 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Rangers: Jesus Tinoco (0-0, 1.72 ERA, .96 WHIP, 13 strikeouts); Mariners: Robbie Ray (12-10, 3.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 201 strikeouts) BOTTOM LINE: The Texas Rangers, on a three-game losing streak, take […]
1 day ago
FILE - The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL gas pipeline, the...
Associated Press

Germany: Pressure drops in 2nd Russian gas pipeline

BERLIN (AP) — The Nord Stream 1 pipeline leading from Russia to Europe has reported a drop in pressure, only hours after a leak was reported in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea off Denmark, the German economy ministry said. “We are investigating this incident as well, together with the authorities concerned […]
1 day ago
FILE- Hilaree Nelson of Telluride, Colorado, left and James Morrison of Tahoe, California, raise th...
Associated Press

Famed American ski mountaineer missing in Nepal mountain

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Rescuers in a helicopter were searching on the world’s eighth-highest mountain Tuesday for a famed U.S. ski mountaineer a day after she fell off the mountain near the peak. Also Monday, an avalanche at a lower elevation on Mount Manaslu swept several climbers, killing a Nepali guide and injuring other climbers. […]
1 day ago
South Carolina Rep. John McCravy, R-Greenwood, talks about a total ban on abortion he has proposed ...
Associated Press

Major abortion law changes unlikely in S. Carolina after Roe

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Whether conservative South Carolina changes its abortion laws at all in the wake of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision may be decided by divided conservatives Tuesday in the state House. South Carolina for decades was at the forefront of passing more restrictive abortion laws that challenged Roe v. Wade. before […]
1 day ago
Adismarys Abreu, 16, poses for a photo at her home, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, in Miami. Abreu had bee...
Associated Press

Teen interest in long-lasting birth control soars after Roe

Sixteen-year-old Adismarys Abreu had been discussing a long-lasting birth control implant with her mother for about a year as a potential solution to increasing menstrual pain. Then Roe v. Wade was overturned, and Abreu joined the throng of teens rushing to their doctors as states began to ban or severely limit abortion. “I’m definitely not […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Book ban efforts surging in 2022, library association says