The American Library Association condemns censorship and works to defend each person's right to read under the First Amendment. Every year, ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The lists are based on information from reports filed by library professionals, community members, and from news stories published throughout the US.
This paper seeks to explore the connection between the banning of queer books, the creation of discourses of controversy, and the erasure of queer knowledges and peoples from schools. Using a queer theory-informed approach, we ask how these proposed bans seek to erase queer peoples, how this impacts teachers, and what teachers can do to counter these acts of destruction.
The American Library Association reported an “unprecedented spike” in the number of book removal requests in the final months of 2021, and most of these challenges focus on books about people from marginalized communities. Cases tend to hinge on the motivations behind such removals and bar officials from removing books because they express viewpoints officials and community members find objectionable.