Posted on September 21, 2023 at 10:37 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

September is National Banned Book Month, and Banned Books Week is October 1-7 this year.

In honor of the occasion — which feels odd to write — PEN America released a new study on bans and challenges in the United States.

No one will be surprised to hear that the news isn't good.

In the 2022–23 school year, there were 3,362 instances of books banned, which is a 33 percent increase from the prior school year.

Florida led the way, with 1,406 book ban cases in that case in thirty-three school districts – 40 percent of all bans recorded.

Texas was far behind (seriously), with 625 bans.

You can read all of PEN America's book ban findings on the organization's website.

Meanwhile, the American Library Association found that 1,915 unique titles were targeted for bans in public, school, and academic libraries during the first eight months in 2023.

That's a 20 percent increase over the same period in 2022, which was itself a record year.

Also of terrifying note: Challenges aren't coming to single titles; they're coming in bunches.

Eleven states saw cases in which a challenge targeted 100 or more books ... which was unheard of in 2021.

And of the unique titles challenged, 9 in 10 were part of an attempt to block multiple titles.

Read the rest of the ALA's report on a record surge of challenges in public libraries on the organization's website.

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Categories: Today in Books

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