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Books For All: NYPL Supports the Right to Read Banned Books

14 Apr 2022 10:10 AM | Anonymous

From an article by Tony Marx, President of The 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. In light of recent, prominent efforts to ban books in communities across the United States, we have now partnered with publishers Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, and Scholastic to make a small selection of commonly banned or challenged books available to anyone who chooses to read them—all for free via our e-reader app, SimplyE. 

"The recent instances of both attempted and successful book banning—primarily on titles that explore race, LGBTQ+ issues, religion, and history—are extremely disturbing and amount to an all-out attack on the very foundation of our democracy. 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. Knowledge is power; ignorance is dangerous, breeding hate and division. All people have the right to read or not read what they want—we are all entitled to make those choices. But to protect those freedoms, the books and information must remain available. Any effort to eliminate those choices stands in opposition to freedom of choice, and we cannot let that happen.

"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 circumstance. With this project, the Library is doing just that on a larger scale to reach readers across the country."

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