|Weekly News Digest
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ALA Celebrates National Library Week
ALA announced that it is kicking off “National Library Week with the release of its State of America’s Libraries Report, highlighting the challenges U.S. libraries faced in the second year of the pandemic—as well as the ways they innovated to meet the needs of their communities.” For example, “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.”
This is the highest number of challenges since ALA started making these lists 20 years ago, notes ALA president Patty Wong. “We support individual parents’ choices concerning their child’s reading and believe that parents should not have those choices dictated by others,” Wong states. “Young people need to have access to a variety of books from which they can learn about different perspectives. So, despite this organized effort to ban books, libraries remain ready to do what we always have: make knowledge and ideas available so people are free to choose what to read.”
ALA shares, “In response to the uptick in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information, ALA will launch Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative focused on empowering readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.” Visit uniteagainstbookbans.org.
For more information and a list of the year’s most challenged books, read ALA’s press release.
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