New York Public Libraries Fight Book Ban by Providing Free eBooks to Readers Across the United States

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Blanc/NYPL

New York Public Libraries Crack Down on Book Bans. The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library announced separate initiatives this week to bring books to readers across the country. As part of its “Books for All” effort, the NYPL has made electronic copies of commonly banned books, including The Heart Catcher and Talk, available through their e-reader app, SimplyE, to anyone in the United States. Similarly, the BPL launched “Books UnBanned, which offers free digital library cards to teens and young adults nationwide.

Image courtesy of New York Public Library

Attempts to ban books from libraries have multiplied across the country. According to the American Library Association, there were 729 attempts to ban 1,597 individual books in 2021.

“These recent cases of censorship and book bans are extremely disturbing and constitute an all-out assault on the very foundation of our democracy,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx.

“Knowledge is power; ignorance is dangerous and breeds hatred and division. Since their inception, public libraries have worked to combat these forces simply by making all perspectives and ideas accessible to everyone, regardless of background or circumstance.

NYPL’s “Books For All” effort comes in the form of a partnership with publishers Hachette Book Group, Scholastic and Macmillian Publishers. The eBooks offered by NYPL will be available through the end of May with no waits or fines.

To access the collection, download the free SimplyE Library app, locate the “Books for All” collection, and look for the “Not Banned Books” section in the collection. Then, check out the title you want. More information can be found on the NYPL website.

The Brooklyn Public Library Books not prohibited The initiative will be available for 13 to 21 year olds. Digital library cards, valid for a full year, will provide access to the BPL’s collection of 350,000 e-books, 200,000 audio books and over 100 databases. Participating teens will also be connected with their peers through BPL’s Intellectual Freedom Teen Council, a virtual resource that provides teens with information to fight censorship and gives them book recommendations.

A selection of frequently banned books will be available without hold or wait times to all BPL cardholders, including The black flamingo by Dean Atta, Tomboy by Liz Prince, The bluest eye by Toni Morrison The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones, and more.

“Brooklyn Public Library strongly opposes censorship and the principles of intellectual freedom – the right of every individual to seek and receive information from all perspectives without restriction,” said Nick Higgins, Librarian in chief at BPL. “Limiting access or providing one-sided information is a threat to democracy itself.”

To apply for the eCard, interested teens can email [email protected] or send a direct message to the BPL Instagram account, @bklynfuture.


Key words :
Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library