New York Public Library Releases 4 Banned Books To Be Read For Free Nationwide
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Apr 2022
Photo 41245883 © Bigapplestock | Dreamstime.com
In response to book bans in school districts, the New York Public Library (NYPL) has paired up with publishers to make four prohibited titles available as e-books for all to enjoy, for a limited time.
The books in the institution’s Books for All initiative comprise Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender; Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Unlike other e-books, these can be downloaded by an unlimited number of people and require no waiting.
Image via New York Public Library
“The New York Public Library’s mission is rooted in the principles of free and open access to knowledge, information, and all perspectives—in essence, the right to read,” the library explains in a statement.
It attributes recent successful bans on titles exploring race, the LGBTQ+ community, religion, and history for driving the program.
“The American Library Association (whose Library Bill of Rights is in clear opposition to any censorship or book banning) recently tracked an unprecedented number of challenges to library, school, and university materials in 2021,” the library adds.
The banned titles will be loanable for only a month via the free SimplyE e-reader app, before being taken offline at the end of May. Readers will not need an NYPL library card to borrow the e-books.
To quote the library: “Knowledge is power; ignorance is dangerous, breeding hate and division.”
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