June 20, 2007

Support Public Library Book Banning

46%

That’s the percentage of U.S. adults who completely (30%) or mostly (16%) agree that “books that contain dangerous ideas should be banned from public libraries” — the lowest level of support in 20 years.

Since 1999, support for the idea of banning “books with dangerous ideas” from public school libraries has declined from 55% to 46% and has now fallen to the lowest level of support of the past 20 years, in contrast with the modest increase observed in concerns about pornographic material in magazines and movies. But even in the early 1990s, as few as 48% had supported banning such books. While there are relatively modest partisan differences in opinions about banning dangerous books, there are divisions within parties, especially among Democrats. Two-thirds of liberal Democrats (67%) disagree that dangerous books should be banned — and 52% completely disagree. By comparison, most conservative and moderate Democrats (56%) agree with the banning of dangerous books (and a relatively large proportion — 37% — completely agrees). Republicans are somewhat less divided, although 52% of conservative Republicans favor a ban on such books compared with 40% of moderate and liberal Republicans. Read More