The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) believes that somewhere between 82% – 97% of book challenges go unreported. They are encouraging people with information regarding censorship incidents in 2017 to fill out this online report, which gives the option of anonymous filing for anyone afraid of potential repercussions for reporting these events.
These reports are gathered and added to the OIF database, that has tracked censorship reports since 1990. Information from this database is used to help librarians and educators with challenges, as well as to create their Top Ten Challenged Books list, that is widely distributed each year to draw attention to the issues with censorship still facing teachers and librarians today.
The OIF clarifies in their press release that
A “challenge” is a direct request to a library, school or university to remove or restrict material or services due to content or appropriateness. OIF tracks challenges to materials (books, movies, magazines), databases, displays, filtering, meeting rooms, programs and author visits.
You do not have to be a librarian to report a censorship incident, anyone is welcome to share the incident. Kristin Pekoll, the assistant director of the OIF, clearly lays out the importance of reporting any information you may have
Reporting censorship not only allows the office to provide better support for educators, it also ignites worldwide conversations on the benefits of equitable access.
Remember you only have a few weeks left to get these reports in, so if you or someone you know has information, please pass this along or fill out a report on your own. The more information we have on these challenges the more prepared we can all be in the future to fight these attempts at censorship.