It’s National Library Week!

April 3-9, 2022 is National Library Week, a time celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions and promote library use and support. This year’s theme is Connect with your Library.

Connect with your Library for National Library Week 2022-- Durham Tech and the American Library Association

How can you connect with your Durham Tech Library? Well, follow the blog (hi!) and you can definitely check out our social media (especially our much more active Instagram but also our less active Facebook). You can also attend some of our Crafternoons or other events, such as those in collaboration with Durham Public Library’s Library Fest (this year’s theme is FOOD). You can stop in and use our resources, such as our Tech Tools, Recording Room, or study areas. You can Book-a-Librarian for research assistance and instructors can schedule library instruction or refer their students to the library for assistance with research.

We’re here and ready to connect with you in person or virtually!

The American Library Association kicks of National Library Week by releasing the annual State of America’s Libraries report, which contains the most frequently challenged books from the previous calendar year.

Learn more about banned books in the Durham Tech Library Blog’s Banned Books Week post from September 2021.

Click through to see the most frequently challenged books from the past calendar year and the stats on who, why, and where these challenges take place.

Top 10 Challenged Books Documented by ALA in 2021
#1 Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe 
#2 Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
#3: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
#4 Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
#5 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
#6 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
#7 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
#8 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#9 This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
#10 Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Why do book challenges take place? Public and school libraries often are where many challenges to collected materials take place due to “objectionable material,” but what is objectionable often depends often on personal preference. The choice to challenge versus just not opting to read something (or requesting that something is removed from a collection so that no one else can read it) is a challenge to intellectual freedom.

Books unite us. They reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, divides us and creates barriers.
In 2021, 1597 books were affected by censorship attempts. Learn more about initiates challenges? Statistics based on 729 responses..
Patrons: 24%; Parents 39%; Board/administration: 18%; Librarians/teachers: 6%; Political/religious groups: 10%; Elected officials: 2%; Students: 1%.    
Where do challenges take place? School libraries: 44%; Public libraries: 37%; Schools: 18%; Academia/Other: 1%.Books and Beyond:
The ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 729 challenges in 2021. Here's the breakdown: Books, graphic novels, and textbooks) 82%;Programs, meeting rooms: 5%;
Displays and exhibits 4%; Films: 2%; Other (includes filtering, access, databases, magazines, online resources, artwork, social media, music, pamphlets, student publications, reading lists): 7%.    
Reasons for Challenges: Word cloud: Prominent words are: Sexually Explicit, Critical race theory, Obscene, Woke, LGBTQIA, Indoctrinating kids, Profanity, Pornography,  Polarizing, and Pedophilia.
Each word in this graphic is cited from 2021 censorship reports.

The ALA State of America’s Libraries Report isn’t just about book challenges, though. It addresses topics of importance within libraries over the past 12 months, such as diversity, fighting disinformation, the on-going library response to COVID-19, community connections, funding, advocacy, and lots more.

State of America's Libraries-- Pandemic Year 2 (2022)

Check it out and check back later this week to see your Durham Tech Librarians for National Library Workers’ Day (maybe with some furry friends).