TYLER, Texas (KETK) – The Tyler Public Library said they are celebrating Banned Books Week by highlighting banned and challenged titles in history.

On Tuesday, the library highlighted “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by Frank L. Balm.

“Since 1900, this title has been banned and challenged in classrooms and libraries with the argument for having ‘no value’ for children and supporting ‘negativism,'” the library said.

Book bans have been on the rise over the last year with over 1,600 different books being banned or challenged since last summer alone, a new report has found.

Earlier this year, PEN America, a nonprofit organization that aims to support freedom surrounding literature, found that between July 2021 and March 2022, over 1,100 different books were challenged or pulled from libraries and classrooms. Roughly 500 additional titles were banned or challenged between March and July 1, 2022.

In total, between July 2021 and June 2022, PEN America found 2,532 instances of individual books being banned in school districts across 32 states.

The American Library Association reported last week that the number of challenges to books for 2022 is already approaching last year’s totals, which were the highest in decades. So far this year, the ALA has documented 681 challenges to books through the first eight months of this year, involving 1,651 different titles.

Both PEN America and the ALA rely on media accounts and reports from libraries or other local officials to compile their findings.


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