New York libraries are taking a stand against recent book bans by giving readers across the U.S. access to their e-books for a limited time.
NYPL opens access to a selection of generally banned books (including Speak By Laurie Halsa Anderson, The king and the dragonflies By Kacen Callender, Stamps: racism, anti-racism, and you By Jason Reynolds Ibram X. Kendi and The Catcher in the Rye By JD Salinger through its free reading mail app, SimplyE, now through May.
The “unbanned books” can be browsed, borrowed, and read on any iOS or Android device via SimplyE, a free e-reader app, for those 13 and up. There is a specific collection of “books for everyone” that has hundreds of non-copyright / public domain books available to anyone in the country, with or without a library card. The “Unbanned Books” will be in this collection, with the added bonus of no waiting times for their reading.
Recommended: You can now download over 300,000 books from NYPL for free
In addition, the Brooklyn Public Library offers young adults, ages 13 to 21 throughout the country, the opportunity to apply for free eCard from BPL to get access to a vast e-book library. The card is good for one year and is designed to complement the access to resources for youth in their local communities.
BPL will also make a selection of frequently challenged books available without holding or waiting times for all BPL cardholders through the library’s online catalog or Libby app, including The black flamingo By Dean Atta, Tamboy By Liz Prince, The bluest eye By Tony Morrison, The 1619 Project by Nicole Hannah-Jones, Juliet takes a breath By Gabi Rivera, On Earth we are briefly amazing By Ocean Vuong, and Grass boy By Jonathan Evison.
Those 13 to 21, who have submitted the e-card without BPL, will be able to Connect with peers in Brooklyn, including BPL members Youth Council for Intellectual Freedom, Help each other with information and resources to fight censorship, book recommendations and the protection of freedom of reading.
To apply for a card, teens can send a note to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org, or through the s-run teen Instagram account, @bklynfuture. The $ 50 fee typically associated with out-of-state tickets will be waived. Teens are also invited to share videos, essays and stories about the importance of intellectual freedom and the impact of book challenges and prohibitions on their lives.
The decision to offer access to their e-book collections comes after a joint effort by groups recently to remove books from library shelves that address a wide range of topics, including race, gender and LGBTQ + issues, religion and history. The American Library Association’s Freedom of Intellectual Property numbered more than 700 complaints last year, the largest number since it began keeping records more than 20 years ago, according to the BPL.
Ala currently leading a national campaign forbidden books and libraries united against the NYC are similar against such challenges.
NYPL’s All for Books’ and BPL’s Unbanned Books both strive to support spiritual freedom and free access to knowledge, information and all perspectives.
“These recent cases of censorship and book bans are extremely troubling and are under attack on the basis of our democracy,” said New York Public Library President Anthony Wu. Marx. “Knowledge is power; ignorance is dangerous to hateful and divisive races. Since their inception, public libraries have worked to combat these forces simply by making all perspectives and ideas accessible to all, regardless of background or circumstances.”
By collaborating with Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers and Scholastic, as well as members of selected titles, NYPL was able to make them available to everyone. “While this is not supposed to feel like an act of defiance, but unfortunately it does. We are proud to be a part of it,” said Marx.
Linda A. Johnson, president and CEO of BPL says the library “could not sit idly by while books were rejected by some removed from the library shelves for all.”
“Non-banned books will act as an antidote to censorship, offering teens and young people across the country unlimited access to our extensive collection of e-books and audiobooks, including those that may be banned in their home libraries,” she said.
For more reading titles, NYPL has several lists for you to browse, including “125 Books We Love for Adults, Kids, and Teens,” “The Schumburg Center’s Black Release Reading List in Black Culture,” “Voices of Life: New Books by Color” and ” Trans, non-binary and GNC voices. “
And young adults can join in Brooklyn BPL Spiritual Freedom Youth Council Here.
“The role of the library is to make sure that there is no perspective, no idea, no identity not erased,” said Marx. “It has always been our job: to connect people with reliable information. The boy has questions and wants to find answers privately. Adult curious subjects who have no personal experience with them. For those who want to make informed decisions based on facts. Since the founding of our great nation, the libraries were a beacon type such curiosity and independent learning, which is not censored in any way acceptable. what exactly are we afraid of? “