The American Library Association condemns censorship and works to defend each person's right to read under the First Amendment and ensure free access to information. Every year, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from reports filed by library professionals and community members and from news stories published throughout the United States.
Because many book challenges are not reported to the ALA or covered by the press, the Top Most Challenged Books lists and 2022 data compiled by ALA represent only a snapshot of book challenges. A challenge to a book may be resolved in favor of retaining the book in the collection, or it can result in a book being restricted or withdrawn from the library.
ALA documented 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling data about censorship in libraries more than 20 years ago. The unparalleled number of reported book challenges in 2022 nearly doubles the 729 book challenges reported in 2021. Of the record 2,571 unique titles targeted for censorship, the most challenged and reasons cited for censoring the books are listed below.
Looking for the most challenged books from previous years? Check out the Top 10 Most Challenged Books Archive for lists and data going back to 2001.
Your support matters now more than ever. Donations strengthen ALA's efforts to fight censorship, support libraries and library workers undergoing challenges, and increase awareness about attempts to the nationwide assault on the freedom to read. If you're able, please consider donating to the Office for Intellectual Freedom today.
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The Top 13 Most Challenged Books of 2022 infographic was released as part of the 2023 State of America's Libraries Report on Monday, April 24. View the full report.
Find more data about 2022 book ban attempts here.
ALA analyzes censorship data and compiles lists of challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship efforts that affect libraries and schools. Explore challenges of past years with our collection of Field Reports, as well as lists of the most challenged books of the last three decades.
Mapping Challenges to the Freedom to Read
Censorship data from 2022 paints a vivid picture of attempts to ban or restrict library books and resources across the United States. We break down censorship by the numbers.
The 2021 Field Report contains descriptions of the 20 most frequently challenged titles from 2021, including Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, and Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez. The Field Report also includes a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021. Challenges to library materials occurred at an unprecedented rate in 2021 and children’s and YA books pertaining to race, gender, and sexual identity remained the titles most targeted for censorship.
You can also browse past Field Reports for free on the OIF blog.