American Library Association releases State of America’s Libraries Report 2015

>>See the full report.

In 2014, the Office for Intellectual Freedom received 311 reports regarding attempts to remove or restrict materials from school curricula and library bookshelves. Eighty percent of the 2014 Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books reflect diverse authors and cultural content.

The 2014 Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books include:

1)  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”

2)  Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”

3)  And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”

4)  The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”

5)  It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”

6)  Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

7)  The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence

8)  The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

9)  A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group

10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

Other key trends detailed in the 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report:

  • Digital literacy continues to grow as an important library service. Research shows that families are increasing their access to digital media, but they lack the knowledge to use it effectively in a way that enables learning.
  • Makerspaces are trending and provide evidence that libraries are continuing to evolve beyond the traditional focus on collections
  • Many federal government policy and regulatory issues are of importance to libraries and the people who use them. Policies related to personal privacy, library funding, workforce development, and copyright law are a few of the issues of interest to the library community.

See the full report on the ALA website.