New York Public Library makes four banned books free nationwide on its e-reader app
The New York Public Library has made four books banned nationwide available on SimplyE, its free reading app. Titles include Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, king and the dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Stamped: racism, anti-racism and you by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and Catcher in the rye by JD Salinger. The library has worked in coordination with publishers and authors to make titles available to the public for free, with no wait times or download limits. Normally, publishers allow libraries to lend e-books to only one person at a time, which often results in long holding times in public libraries.
While titles are only available for one month (titles will be gone by the end of May), interested readers don’t need to hold an NYPL library card or live in the area. The books will be published through NYPL’s “Books For All” program, which makes hundreds of public domain titles available to anyone nationwide.
The NYPL has expressed opposition to a recent spike in book bans in school districts nationwide, driven largely by . Over the past nine months, more than 1,000 books have been banned or temporarily removed from school districts, according to a PEN America was released this week.
“These recent cases of censorship and book bans are extremely disturbing and constitute an all-out assault on the very foundation of our democracy,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx.
The 1999 Young Adult Novel Speakabout a ninth-grade girl who refused to speak out since she was raped at a party, is included in the ALA’s 100 Most Contested Books list between 2000 and 2009. Parents often to its graphic and sexual content. king and the dragonfliesabout a college student who struggles with the loss of his brother and his sexual identity, is the winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Children’s Literature, was for moving to Keller, Texas. Stamp was challenged by parents in Round Rock, Texas last year, in part because of a tweet by his who criticized then-Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Angela Montefinise, vice president of communications and marketing, told Engadget in an email that the SimplyE app had to increase its server capacity three times today to accommodate the surge in downloads. Currently, there are no plans to release any other banned titles on the app.
“At this point, we don’t plan to publish any more books under this project, but we’ll see how things go,” Montefinise wrote in an email.
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