Book bans and challenges to the freedom to read are still on the rise. The American Library Association reports as 65% increase in challenged or banned books last year. In all, 4,240 titles were challenged or banned in 2023 — the largest number challenged since the ALA began recording censorship data about 20 years ago.

These are books that contain the ideas, the opinions, and the voices that censors want to silence“ ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone said in a statement. “Each challenge, each demand to censor these books is an attack on our freedom to read, our right to live the life we choose and an attack on libraries as community institutions that reflect the rich diversity of our nation.”

With your help, Parents Defending Schools and Libraries is pushing back. Through organizing parents and providing grants to school libraries we are making sure our kids can see themselves and discover the lives of others in the stories they read. 

A few of our recent grants supported by you donations include:

West Linn High School Library: The school librarian used a PDSAL grant to work with students in the school's ethnic studies class to audit the collection, identify gaps and acquire books to update and diversify the history section.

Fullerton IV elementary school: in Roseburg used a PDSAL grant to increase the inclusiveness of its collection and to let “the kids know that [the library] supports them and that they are not alone."

Sisters High School: in Sisters, OR received a grant to purchase new books for the first time since 2012. The new books “reflect a changing student population that is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, sexual orientation and gender expression, and religion.”

Oregon Trail School District: When two Oregon Battle of the Books titles were omitted from the books made available to students due to characters and themes, PDSAL provided copies of the books to each of the elementary schools in the district.

We have organized responses to bans and classroom censorship throughout the Pacific Northwest. With your help we can continue to grow, organize parents and support our schools and libraries. Thank you again for your support. If you would like to support our work please consider signing up for our censorship alerts or making a tax-deductible donation to pdsal.