PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As school libraries across the United States face a growing push to ban books, the Oregon Association of School Libraries says it is opposed to the censorship of these bans and removals.

According to the non-profit American Libraries Association, book ban attempts in 2022 nearly doubled with 1,269 attempts.

Miranda Doyle, a school librarian in Lake Oswego and the Intellectual Freedom Chair for the Oregon Association of School Libraries told KOIN 6 News, “we’re against censorship. We think it’s really important that schools have books that reflect all of their students.”

“Right now, the books that are under attack tend to be by people of color. They tend to be about racism and LGBTQ people, and especially trans people are under attack right now, and this is happening all over the country and in Oregon,” Doyle said.

“We have several active cases of usually just a few very active parents who would like books removed for all students, not just for their own students. So, we’re very concerned about this and need parent and student support in making sure this doesn’t happen and that librarians aren’t personally attacked because that’s happening as well,” Doyle added.

On Monday, a Canby School District board meeting became heated after two parents pushed to ban 36 books from the school libraries.

A few of the titles are well known, such as “Beloved” and “The Bluest Eye”, both by Toni Morrison, and lesser known titles such as “Allegedly” and “Monday’s Not Coming,” both by Tiffany D. Jackson

During the meeting, Nicole Cole — one of the parents who requested the books for reconsideration — said, “some of these books, as I got into them, have really explicit sex. A lot of it. It is not about anyone’s race, it is not about anyone’s gender. It is not about being transgender. It is not about LGBTQ+ . I didn’t look at any of those things. I literally looked at the content of the book and thought – not every 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-old can handle this content.”

Canby School District officials told KOIN 6 News they have a policy and procedure for reconsidering books. The district said part of the protocol is to hold the books until they can be reviewed.

Doyle, who is also a member of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Committee, says schools and libraries reach out to the organization for support if a book is challenged or removed. Doyle says hopefully school libraries go through the process to review books but notes sometimes the books are just pulled from the shelves — which the committee is opposed to.

Amid the growing push for bans, the librarian says Oregon is ranked 47th in the U.S. in credentialed teacher librarians. Doyle says in 1980, Oregon had 800 librarians, which has since dwindled to 160.

“We wear a lot of hats, we are teachers with extra training in library information science so, we teach students to love books and reading and we buy books that reflect the diversity of our students. But we’re also teachers that teach critical thinking skills,” Doyle said.

Doyle also teaches students how to use the library’s database to cite sources and to think critically about what sources they use to get information.

“It’s so easy to find information, but it’s so hard to know what you can trust and now with artificial intelligence and ChatGPT, it’s even more complicated,” Doyle said.

Doyle encourages parents and students to attend school board meetings, write letters or reach out to school administrators to ensure school library books reflect the values of all students.