In this work, we study charge trapping in organic transistor memories with a polymeric insulator as gate dielectric. We found that the mechanism of charge trapping is tunneling from the semiconductor channel into the gate dielectric. Depending on the semiconductor and its processing, charge trapping can result in large bi-directional threshold voltage shifts, in case the semiconductor is ambipolar, or in shifts in only one direction (unipolar semiconductor). These results indicate that optimal memory performance requires charge carriers of both polarities, because the most efficient method to lower the programming field is by overwriting a trapped charge by an injected charge of opposite polarity. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.