Mar 26, 2024 - News

California sees increase in book titles challenged

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

California saw more books challenged from 2022 to 2023, according to the American Library Association.

Why it matters: California is often considered a haven for LGBTQ and other marginalized communities, but the rise of book-ban attempts across the country has led to a similar push in the Golden State.

Driving the news: In 2023, 98 titles were challenged in California, up from 87 in 2022, Axios' Shawna Chen and Jennifer A. Kingson report.

State of play: In California, LGBTQ-related materials have faced the bulk of blowback in schools and libraries — most visibly at drag queen story hours.

Zoom in: San Diego Public Library branches received five book challenges in the past five years, including two last year, KPBS reported in February.

  • The library also joined with others in Seattle, Boston and Los Angeles in a program called Books Unbanned, which provides library cards to people from other states to access banned books.

What we're watching: In September, Newsom signed into law a bill prohibiting schools from banning books on racial or LGBTQ teachings — authorities that defy this legislation could face fines.


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