In 2021, libraries of all types stepped up to meet the needs of their communities as they responded to the impacts of a second year of the global pandemic. Library staff in every state faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. Most targeted books were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons. Read more about the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021 and libraries' response to the pandemic in the State of America's Libraries Special Report: Pandemic Year Two.
Diverse books create a better lens through which all children can see themselves in library collections. And yet these very titles – the ones addressing cultural invisibility and cultivating understanding – are the ones that are most frequently challenged.
—ALA President Patricia "Patty" Wong.
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