Last week, at least I think it was last week, the American Library Association released their State of America’s Library report. Included in this report is information books that are challenged around the US.
While there are hundreds of books challenged every year, the data shows a disturbing trend that is starting to develop, made more disturbing in the light of the VIDA count from a few weeks ago:
The OIF has been tracking an increasing number of challenges to diverse titles. Authors of color and books with diverse content are disproportionately challenged and banned. The OIF defines books with diverse content as those that include:
- Non-white main and/or secondary characters
- LGBT main and/or secondary characters
- Disabled main and/or secondary characters
- Issues about race or racism
- LGBT issues
- Issues about religion, which encompass in this situation the Holocaust and terrorism
- Issues about disability and/or mental illness
- Non-Western settings, in which the West is North America and Europe
What the data is telling me that if the story is about someone with any type of diversity, whether sexual, racial, or mental, that people think the books are not worth reading or are downright amoral.
I am having trouble putting it into words how horribly short sighted and how much of a disservice this is to the the kids of the world.
Since I am contrary by nature, all of these books are getting moved up on my TBR books and a few of these may end up as new book donations at my local library.
There is much more information on the ALA’s website and it is also where I got this sweet infographic.