Censored and Banned books
The Bad Data
Bad Book List
The American Library Assocation conducts regular research and fact-finding on book banning and censorship requests in the United States, through their Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF). Every year, the ALA OIF publishes Top 10 lists of the books that have received the most frequent efforts to be censured or removed from library shelves.
All data in the charts and tables below are sourced from the ALA OIF’s Top 10 Most Challenged Book Lists.
Who Requests Book Bans?
Until recent years, the vast majority of book challenges are submitted by parents. These requests have been shifting from direct parent requests, however, to more organized campaigns from community patron organizations.
Who Receives Book Bans?
As the proportion of book censure requests has gradually shifted away from parents, public libraries have taken on a larger burden in responding to complaints from patrons.
Which Books Receive Complaints?
According to the ALA, the sexually explicit content is the primary complaint topic (though not the majority). Other common reasons for ban requests include LGBTQ+ characters, offensive language, and homosexuality.
- Most Frequently Banned, 2001-2020
- 2020 Most Challenged