In preparation for Banned Books Week (Oct. 1-7), Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has announced the expansion of Books Unbanned, the library’s viral freedom to read initiative that allows readers across the country to access its vast digital collection of literature.
BPL says that both Boston Public Library and LA County Library will be joining the Books Unbanned program. This announcement comes after the campaign launched at Seattle Public Library this past spring.
As part of their participation in the program, both libraries will be launching e-cards and opening up their digital book collections for young people facing book bans throughout the U.S.
“Public Libraries were founded on the promise of access to all books and knowledge without judgment,” said Linda E. Johnson, president and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library.
“During Banned Books Week and all year long, Brooklyn Public Library remains fiercely committed to protecting intellectual freedom. We believe deeply that young people in Brooklyn and across the nation must have access to books from all points of view, for this is the foundation of librarianship and democracy writ large."
In addition to the expansion, BPL also announced a number of other plans that coincide with Banned Books Week.
The library recently debuted a new podcast series titled “Borrowed and Banned.” Created by award-winning producer Virginia Marshall, the seven-episode series investigates the alarming rise in book bans over the years.
The podcast will feature conversations with authors that have been impacted by book bans, including Maia Kobabe, George M. Johnson, and Mike Curato, to name a few.
BPL has also launched a new page on its website that gives teens the opportunity to submit their past experiences with censorship, including the potential dangers they face as they seek the freedom to read, according to the library.
Other plans include a literature conference, an online educational training program for high school students, and more in the works.
For more information about the Brooklyn Public Library and its initiatives, visit bklynlibrary.org.