Mar 26, 2024 - News

Texas challenged fewer book titles in 2023

Book titles challenged in public schools and libraries, 2023
Data: American Library Association; Map: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

Texas saw a decrease in the number of book titles challenged last year compared to 2022, according to the American Library Association.

Why it matters: The state fell behind Illinois, California and Pennsylvania in book ban attempts last year after leading the nation in 2022.

  • The state is still second to only Florida in the number of individual titles challenged.

The big picture: Book ban attempts increased by 65% last year nationwide, even with the decrease in Texas.

  • Librarians perceive the threat from the book-banning movement as so profound that they're using the more expansive term "intellectual freedom challenges" instead, Axios' Jennifer Kingson writes.

State of play: In 2023, 1,470 titles were challenged in Texas, nearly 1,000 fewer than in 2022.

  • There were 49 censorship attempts last year, down from 93 in 2022. Some of last year's attempts listed more than 100 titles.

The intrigue: The Texas Legislature passed a law last year that would limit what books students can check out from their school libraries.

  • It was challenged before it could go into effect, and in January, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked the law, siding with a lower court that the legislation was unconstitutional.

What's next: The American Library Association will release its top 10 most challenged books list during National Library Week on April 8.

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