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Current Issues

Start exploring resources for various current issues.

Introduction & Background

The American Library Association reports a record number of book bans and challenges in 2022 since their Office for Intellectual Freedom started keeping records twenty years ago, and nearly double the amount from the previous year. The most common themes of challenged books in recent years are LGBTQ+ and race.

Book challenges are pursued on moral, religious, and political grounds in attempts by proponents of the ban to limit access to material they deem harmful or inappropriate. These challenges are most often (pdf) leveled against school and public libraries.

The underlying issue is not usually the books themselves or access to those books, but the ideas within and peoples' different perspectives on which ideas deserve to be shared -- and what to do about ideas they don't approve of.

Texas has the largest number of districts enacting bans, with 713 titles being banned in 16 districts across the state.

Related Guide

Finding Resources

Quick Definitions

removal of challenged materials
an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group


Collection development (libraries)

Libraries - school, public

Parents, activists, school administrators, school board members

Bigger Picture

Censorship, chilling effects - preemptive bans, silent bans

Academic freedom / Intellectual freedom

First Amendment rights - Free Speech

Obscenity, pornography, explicit content

Curricula/curriculum, educational value

Parental control

Representation, diversity



Sexual education

Access to publications, equity (i.e. books remain for sale, but does everyone have equal ability to buy them?)

Individual Databases

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Sampling of Banned Books

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe

Banned for: LGBTQIA+ content


This is the #1 most challenged and removed book!

All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson

Banned for: LGBTQIA+ content


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K Rowling

Banned for: promoting witchcraft


Looking for Alaska by John Green

Banned for: sexual content


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Banned for: sexual content, suicide 


The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Banned for: sexual abuse and sexual content


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Banned for: sexual abuse, LGBTQIA+ content, drug use


About This Page

This page was originally developed by Elaine Patton.

Other Contributors: Megan Hopwood

First published: Sept. 2023