Beyond Books: Libraries are not only about the books. They are continually transforming to meet community needs and provide new platforms, programs, and services. The American Library Association has noticed an increase in attempts to censor drag queen story hours and LGBTQIA+ programming, as well as challenges to remove access to databases.
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 347 challenges in 2018. Here’s the breakdown:
Books 62%; Databases, magazines, films, games 10%; Programs, meeting rooms 15%; Displays, artwork 6%; Other (including social media, access, hate crimes) 7%.
Who initiates challenges?
Patrons 33%; Parents 32%; Board/administration 13%; Librarians/teachers 10%; Political/religious groups 6%; Elected officials 3%; Students 3%. Statistics based on 335 responses.
Where do challenges take place?
Public libraries 59%; School libraries 23%; School 14%; Academic 3%; Special/prison libraries 1%. Statistics based on 347 responses.