News - Advocacy
Wednesday, March 27, 2024 12:00 AM

ALA Releases 2023 Censorship Data, Reports Record Number of Unique Book Titles Challenged in 2023

The surge in book censorship and the number of titles targeted for censorship during 2023 reached unprecedented levels. According to the American Library Association (ALA), there was a 65 percent increase in the number of titles targeted for censorship compared to the previous year. In 2023, 4,240 unique book titles were subject to censorship efforts, surpassing the previous high of 2,571 titles in 2022.

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Several key trends emerged from the data collected by ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom:

Public Libraries Under Pressure: Pressure groups in 2023 not only focused on school libraries but also intensified their efforts against public libraries. The number of titles targeted for censorship in public libraries increased by 92 percent compared to the previous year, while school libraries experienced an 11 percent increase.

Demand for Censorship of Multiple Titles: Groups and individuals advocating for censorship often targeted multiple titles simultaneously, sometimes numbering in the dozens or hundreds.

Representation Matters: Titles representing the voices and lived experiences of LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals constituted 47 percent of those targeted for censorship.

Michigan Challenges: Attempts to restrict access to books: 42. Titles challenged in those attempts: 67.

ALA will unveil the list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in the U.S. for 2023 on Right to Read Day, Monday, April 8, as part of the release of the State of America's Libraries Report that kicks off National Library Week.

ALA compiles data on book challenges from reports filed by library professionals in the field and from news stories published throughout the United States. Because many book challenges are not reported to the ALA or covered by the press, the data compiled by ALA represents a snapshot of book censorship.

Visit ALA’s website for more information about ALA’s intellectual freedom efforts and a heat map of censorship challenges by state. Learn more at


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