Illustration of a stack of books with a pickaxe

Facing the Challenge

November 1, 2022

Presenters included Kathy Carroll, school librarian at Westwood High School in Blythewood, South Carolina, and 2020–2021 president of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL); Melanie Huggins, executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, and then–PLA president; and Deb Sica, deputy county librarian at Alameda County (Calif.) Library. The session was moderated by … Continue reading Facing the Challenge



American Library Association logo

Book Challenges to Set Record

September 16, 2022

Eight months into 2022, the number of attempts to ban or restrict library resources in schools, universities, and public libraries, is on track to exceed record counts from 2021, according to preliminary data released today by ALA in advance of Banned Books Week (September 18–24). Between January 1 and August 31, 2022, ALA documented 681 … Continue reading Book Challenges to Set Record


Photo of ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall. Text says "From the Executive Director by Tracie D. Hall"

Librarianship as Resistance

September 1, 2022

In the present age of neo-censorship—which journalist Rohan Jayasekera describes as “a kind of control on opinion that moves beyond the traditional model” (that of the state, the law, and the secret police) to now include “big business, courtrooms, schools, newsrooms [that] block ideas out of habit, or prejudice, or fear”—the contemporary answer to Juvenal’s … Continue reading Librarianship as Resistance



Celeste Ng

Newsmaker: Celeste Ng

July 20, 2022

Ng, who spoke at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C., talked with American Libraries about the novel, which calls to mind the not-so-distant past—and the anti–Asian American hate we are seeing today. In Our Missing Hearts, libraries are one of the last remaining sources of truth, as an underground … Continue reading Newsmaker: Celeste Ng


‘We Are Not Okay’

June 26, 2022

Oxley, along with fellow PGCMLS librarian Teresa Miller, co-presented “Queering the Library: Strategically Creating Space for the LGBTQ+ Community” on Sunday, June 26, at the American Library Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. Throughout the country, a spate of high-profile challenges and attempts to ban or destroy LGBTQ+ books, including in bookstores … Continue reading ‘We Are Not Okay’


Photo of author Art Spiegelman sitting with arms crossed on table

Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman

June 1, 2022

Spiegelman spoke with American Libraries about book banning, how comic books are used as teaching tools, and the importance of libraries in his life. The recent ban of Maus in Tennessee isn’t its first challenge. What did you think when you heard the news? Well, this was the most prominent. [And] this was much more, … Continue reading Newsmaker: Art Spiegelman


Image of ALA President Patricia "Patty" M. Wong

Leading the Fight

June 1, 2022

Those words were not written about the current spate of book bans, although they certainly apply. They were written nearly 70 years ago, as the ravages of McCarthyism, censorship, and persecution made it necessary to codify a defense of the reading choices of individuals. The 1953 Freedom to Read Statement remains a rallying cry for … Continue reading Leading the Fight


Lindsey Kimery

Book Battle in Tennessee

May 11, 2022

Country music star John Rich, who tweeted in January, prior to the bill’s introduction, that he’d met with Gov. Bill Lee and Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn about obscene books in school libraries, addressed the House subcommittee on K–12 education on February 23, comparing teachers, educators, and librarians to “the guy in the white van … Continue reading Book Battle in Tennessee



Book Bans a Focus of State of America’s Libraries 2022 Report

April 4, 2022

The report summarizes library trends and outlines statistics and issues affecting libraries during the previous calendar year. It comes out annually during National Library Week, this year April 3–9. Book challenges Library staff in every state faced an unprecedented number of attempts to ban books. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 729 challenges to … Continue reading Book Bans a Focus of State of America’s Libraries 2022 Report