Yesterday I told you in this post about how a Florida middle school principal lost her job because a few parents were upset when their little darlings were exposed to the penis of David in Michelangelo’s classic sculpture.
Today I’m giving you an update on book banning n America, something that Florida also seems to be at the forefront of.
According to a new report from the American Library Association (ALA), attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, setting a record in 2022. The vast majority of complaints have come from conservatives, directed at works with LGBT or racial themes.
More than 1,200 challenges were compiled by the association in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the ALA began keeping data 20 years ago.
Last year, more than 2,500 different book titles were objected to, compared to 1,858 in 2021 and just 566 in 2019. In numerous cases, hundreds of books were challenged in a single complaint. Of the reported book challenges, 58% targeted books and materials in school libraries, classroom libraries, or school curricula; 41% of book challenges targeted materials in public libraries.
The report not only documented the growing number of challenges, but also their changing nature. A few years ago, complaints usually arose with parents and other community members and referred to an individual book. Now, the requests are often for multiple removals, and organized by national groups such as the conservative Moms for Liberty, which has a mission of “unifying, educating, and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”
Librarians around the country have told of being harassed and threatened with violence or legal action by those individuals and groups seeking to remove a book from a library’s collection so that no one else can read it. ALA President Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada said, “Every day professional librarians sit down with parents to thoughtfully determine what reading material is best suited for their child’s needs. Now, many library workers face threats to their employment, their personal safety, and in some cases, threats of prosecution for providing books to youth their parents don’t want them to read.
Book bannings and categorizing classic works of art to be pornographic. This is conservative America in 2023, I’m afraid.