Here’s a 3-2-1 on book bans in libraries, which National Public Radio (NPR) reported as increasing in 2023.

Photo by Slav Romanov on Unsplash

The American Library Association reported that:

The number of titles targeted for censorship surged 65 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, reaching the highest levels ever documented by the American Library Association (ALA). The new numbers released today show efforts to censor 4,240 unique book titles* in schools and libraries. This tops the previous high from 2022, when 2,571 unique titles were targeted for censorship. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom documented 1,247 demands to censor library books, materials, and resources in 2023.

As an educator, a book reader from early on, I strongly believe human beings of any age should be allowed to read whatever the heck they want. Reading is an education, a way of gaining experiences beyond the scope of what your current situation allows. Everything I’ve ever read has helped me in some way, even the stuff I read and said, “Yuck, no thanks!”

Here’s a 3-2-1 via that certainly made me think a little more deeply about this situation.

3 Ideas


“In the face of escalating book challenges, libraries stand as bastions of intellectual freedom, reminding us that access to diverse ideas is the cornerstone of a free society.”


“2023’s record-setting pace of book challenges underscores a pivotal moment for educators and librarians: the opportunity to reaffirm their commitment to inclusivity, representation, and the right to read.


“Amidst the surge in censorship attempts, the resilience of libraries and educators in defending access to challenged books highlights the enduring power of community advocacy in safeguarding intellectual freedom.”

2 Quotes From Others

I.Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom:

“These attacks on our freedom to read should trouble every person who values liberty and our constitutional rights. To allow a group of people or any individual, no matter how powerful or loud, to become the decision-maker about what books we can read or whether libraries exist, is to place all of our rights and liberties in jeopardy.” (Source)

II. Emily Drabinski, ALA President:

“What this data set does not reveal are the people who want books that speak to their lived experience and librarians who want to make books accessible to people who find them relevant. Both are under attack.” (Source)

1 Question For You

In an era where book challenges are surging, how can individuals and communities actively contribute to the defense of intellectual freedom and ensure that libraries remain sanctuaries for diverse voices and ideas?


Allow me to share an excerpt from Amanda Gorman’s poem, The Hill We Climb:

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. This effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption. Read the rest