Talk of Alaska: The rise in book challenges

Homer Library books
Homer’s Library Advisory Board listened to testimony on over 50 contested children’s books on Nov. 15, 2022. (Desiree Hagen/KBBI)

The rise in challenges to books in school and public libraries has grown rapidly in recent years. Efforts to censor certain topics in reading material is not new. Attempts have appeared periodically throughout history, but the American Library Association saw a 70% increase in book ban requests in 2022. We discuss what’s driving the latest spike in demands for book removals and who should decide on this Talk of Alaska.


HOST: Lori Townsend


  • Dave Berry – Director, Homer Public Library
  • Janel Gagnon – Former librarian with the Mat-Su Borough School District, former president of Friends of the Palmer Public Library


Call 907-550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

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LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, October 10 at 10 a.m. on Alaska public radio stations statewide.

Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-550-8452.

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