The Boston Public Library (BPL) and the Boston Public Library Fund, are standing up against censorship. The BPL is joining the Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned initiative to fight book banning by offering teens and young adults across the nation free access to the books in its digital collection. The BPL is the third library to enter the growing network, joining Seattle Public Library.
Teens and young adults ages 13 to 26 who live in the United States can now sign up for a free eCard from the BPL, which allows them access to the BPL’s collection of e-books and e-audiobooks. The simple application is available at bpl.org/books-unbanned.
“As we head into Banned Books Week, an annual event that highlights the value of free and open access to information, we are proud to stand with the Brooklyn Public Library and Seattle Public Library to uphold intellectual freedom and the right to read,” said BPL President David Leonard. “By joining this initiative, we embrace the opportunity to champion the principle of access for individuals across the nation who face limitations in reaching content and are unable to advocate for themselves.”
Books Unbanned helps counter the series of increasingly coordinated and effective efforts to remove books from public and school libraries across the nation. The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom reported that so far 2023 has seen a 20 percent increase in attempts to censor library books and resources.
The BPL’s Books Unbanned initiative is funded through private support raised by the Boston Public Library Fund, the philanthropic arm of the BPL. Individuals interested in how the Fund supports Books Unbanned can learn more at bplfund.org/booksunbanned/.
“We’re committed to supporting the Boston Public Library in building a more informed, enlightened, and inclusive society, where the power of ideas knows no boundaries,” said Paula Sakey, Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Fund. “By funding the Books Unbanned card, we can invest in a brighter future by ensuring that younger generations aren’t faced with limitations to access.”
The BPL’s Books Unbanned card is valid for one year and is designed to complement access to resources for teens in their local communities. Teens and young adults who sign up can check out a maximum of 10 titles at a time and place a maximum of 10 holds.