The American Library Association reported Friday that the wave of attempted book banning and restrictions continues to intensify

NEW YORK – According to a report that was released on Friday by the American Library Association, the wave of attempts to prohibit books and impose limitations is continuing to gain momentum. The totals for 2022 are already getting close to those of 2021, which were the highest they’ve been in decades.

Deborah Caldwell-Stone, who is the head of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association, says, “I’ve never seen anything like this.” “It’s not just the quantity of obstacles, but also the different kinds of obstacles. There was a time when a parent would find out about a certain book and then have a problem with it. These days, we come across initiatives in which organizations are collecting lists of books without necessarily reading or even glancing at them first.”

Through the first eight months of this year, the American Library Association has documented 681 challenges to books, which have involved 1,651 different titles. The American Library Association (ALA) published a total of 729 challenges that year, aimed at a total of 1,579 books. Because the ALA relies on reports from libraries and accounts from the media, the American Library Association (ALA) feels that the true number of challenges is most likely significantly greater.

The announcement that took place on Friday was timed to coincide with Banned Books Week, which begins on Sunday and will be promoted around the country with table displays, posters, bookmarks, and stickers as well as through readings, essay contests, and other activities spotlighting controversial books. The graphic memoir “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, which is about sexual identity, and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, which is about coming of age and is told by a young gay man, are two of the books that have been targeted the most, according to a report that was published in April.

“We’re seeing that trend continue in 2022, the criticism of books with LGBTQ subject matter,” says Caldwell-Jones, adding that novels addressing racism, such as the novel “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas, are also regularly attacked. “We’re seeing that trend continue in 2022,” Caldwell-Jones says.

A coalition of writing and free speech organizations, such as the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Authors Guild, and PEN America, is responsible for organizing and coordinating Banned Books Weeks.

In the past two years, conservatives have ramped up their attacks on schools and libraries around the country, and librarians themselves have been subjected to harassment and even forced out of their employment as a result of these attacks. A middle school librarian in Denham Springs, Louisiana, has taken action against a Facebook page that called her a “criminal and a pedophile.” She did so by filing a court complaint against the website. Voters in Jamestown Township, a municipality in western Michigan, approved significant cuts to the local library in spite of protests to “Gender Queer” and other works that discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Audrey Wilson-Youngblood, who resigned from her position as a library media specialist in the Keller Independent School District in Texas in June, bemoans what she refers to as the “erosion of the credibility and competency” in the way that her line of work is perceived by the general public. Kimber Glidden, the director of the Boundary County Library in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, recently resigned following months of harassment, which included the chanting of biblical verses relating to divine wrath. The abuse occurred at the library during the time she was there. The campaign started with a single complaint about the book “Gender Queer,” which the library didn’t even have, and it quickly grew to the point where Glidden was afraid for her safety.

She alleges that others accused them of being pedophiles and of grooming children to perform sexual acts on them. It was reported that individuals attending library board meetings were armed.

According to Lisa R. Varga, the executive director of the Virginia Library Association, librarians in the state have been sent threatening emails and have been videotaped while on the job. These are two methods, according to Lisa, that “are not like anything that those who went into this career were expecting to see.” According to Becky Calzada, who works as the library coordinator for the Leander Independent School District in Texas, she has acquaintances who have left the industry, as well as coworkers who are terrified and “feel threatened.”

She says, “I know some worry about promoting Banned Books Week because they can be accused of trying to further an agenda.” “I know some worry about promoting Banned Books Week.” There is a great deal of fear and trepidation.

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