“In 2015, for example, nine out of the top 10 challenged books were by and about diverse populations, mostly the LGBTQ community, and that trend continued into 2016.”
This week marks the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, highlighting the value of free and open access to information, with events and editorials around the country to call attention to censorship.
“There can be disagreements between librarians and publishers, and even booksellers, but one thing we always come together on is the bedrock principle of freedom to publish, and the need for a diverse body of literature that challenges us to think and to grow,” notes Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer.
Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books both as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country. A “challenge” is any attempt to remove or restrict access to a book based upon the objections of a person or group.
“What the data shows is that banned books usually involve what ALA’s OIF director Jamie LaRue calls ‘diverse populations.’” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “In 2015, for example, nine out of the top 10 challenged books were by and about diverse populations, mostly the LGBTQ community, and that trend continued into 2016.”
Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.