REPORT: Voters overwhelmingly oppose book banning in the United States.
We are excited to announce the release of our latest report on Voter Perceptions of Book Banning. This report was commissioned as a public opinion poll of American voters to understand political support and opposition to book banning and to understand the impact of book banning on public support for libraries and librarians.
The EveryLibrary Institute survey found that the overwhelming majority of voters strongly oppose book banning and, most significantly, that 75 percent of voters will consider book bans when voting for legislators in November.
Some of the key findings were as follows:
Nearly all American voters (92%) have heard at least something about book banning.
- Half of voters believe there is “absolutely no time when a book should be banned.”
- Only 8% of voters think “there are many books that are inappropriate and should be banned.”
- 31% of Republicans think there is absolutely no time when a book should be banned.
- 75% of voters will consider book banning when voting for legislators.
50% of Voters find the legislation being created to regulate Americans’ access to books most concerning.
- Voters have favorable feelings about their libraries (69%) and librarians (66%) and their schools (53%) and school librarians (62%).
- Only 18% of voters support banning books that focus on race and CRT, and only one-third of voters support banning books that discuss sexuality.
The poll was conducted by Embold Research, a nonpartisan research firm. Embold surveyed 1,123 registered voters from August 31st-September 3rd with a margin of error of 3.4%. The survey looked at the differences in beliefs among voters segmented by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, and 2020 presidential vote.
The EveryLibrary Institute and EveryLibrary have also supported research to understand book banning. The EveryLibrary Institute partnered with Dr. Tasslyn Magnusson, an independent researcher who has been tracking the networks, organizations, and individual actors who are leading book banning and book challenge efforts in our nation's school libraries and public libraries. Dr. Magnussen has tracked over 1,500 books that have been challenged or banned in school and public libraries. EveryLibrary has been tracking dozens of pieces of legislation across a growing number of states. This legislation will attempt to limit access to books in school and public libraries, require severe regulation of educational databases, control what books Americans are allowed to read, and even look to incarcerate or fine librarians under obscenity laws.
It appears that voters want to make their own choices about what to read. The survey shows that they oppose banning books on the grounds of race, sexuality, and other concerns. They are also opposed to legislators who create legislation that bans books, a clear violation of the First AmendmentThey are willing to take that opposition to the polls this November.
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