Poll Shows Americans Are United Against Book Bans
Over the last two years, book bans and challenges have been at an all-time high, and these attempts at censorship show no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
What once might have been a matter between parents and librarians over one or two books has evolved into thousands of individual titles targeted and hundreds of books being banned or restricted, with powerful local, state, and national groups specifically attacking books written by or about LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color.
Despite the growing escalation of book bans in the United States, there’s encouraging news from the EveryLibrary Institute. Its latest poll shows 75% of Americans oppose book bans. The nationwide poll conducted by Embold Research, a nonpartisan research firm, surveyed 1,123 registered voters from August 21 to September 3rd and had a margin of error of 3.4%.
The data leads to some important takeaways for when it comes to talking about book banning.
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A Not-So-Partisan Issue
The positive news for librarians and proponents of free speech is that the poll shows that book bans are an important issue to voters, who appear to want to make their own choices about what they and their children read. The survey shows that most voters oppose banning books on the grounds of race, sexuality, and other concerns. Voters also oppose legislation that bans books, a clear violation of the First Amendment.
Despite what headlines might lead you to believe, the poll found that the issue of book banning transcends politics, with 95% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 53% of Republicans opposing book bans. And 31% of Republicans believe that there is absolutely no time when a book should be banned.
In fact, it’s a clear minority that supports book bans, with just 8% of those polled believing that there are many books that are inappropriate and should be banned.
Even more encouraging? 3 in 4 individuals polled said that preventing book banning is an important voting issue. It’s especially true amongst college-educated women, Democrats, and those who frequently go to a library; but preventing book banning is also considered very important by 1 in 5 Republicans and 42% of Independents.