Beginning today and for the first time, New Yorkers can use their library cards as a passport to Wakanda and a new world of stories utilizing characters from Marvel’s Black Panther franchise.
The New York Public Library has teamed up with Serial Box, the publisher of Marvel’s Black Panther: Sins of the King, to offer free access to this brand new e-book series. The books will be available via the Library’s e-reader app, SimplyE (which allows New Yorkers to apply for and receive digital library cards, then browse, borrow, and read over 300,000 books on their iOS and Android devices).
Marvel’s Black Panther: Sins of the King features multiple Black Avengers such as War Machine and Misty Knight, introduces never-before-seen characters, and sets T’challa up against a new villain with the ability to resurrect the dead. The series is produced and published by Serial Box, which brings together award-winning and best-selling writers to create Serial Box Originals as well as new stories around some of fandoms’ most popular characters.
The New York Public Library has teamed up with Serial Box to bring this content for free for the first time and exclusively to NYPL cardholders. The Library has worked with Serial Box to ensure there are enough copies in SimplyE to meet demand and with minimal wait times.
As part of the work with Serial Box, the Library will offer a free virtual event on February 25 featuring several of the authors involved in the series. The program, part of the Library’s LIVE From NYPL series, will be a talk moderated by New York Times best-selling author Nic Stone with authors NAACP Image Award winner Tananarive Due, New York Times best-selling writer and NAACP Image Award winner Steven Barnes, and novelist and screenwriter Geoffrey Thorne focused on how they joined forces to collaboratively co-create a new chapter in the Black Panther universe.
“At a time when New Yorkers are still being urged to stay home, and the feelings of isolation and anxiety are all too real, we are excited to share new and exciting stories with beloved and important characters,” said Ricci Yuhico, managing librarian of Young Adult Services at NYPL’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (SNFL). “We are proud to make this new e-book easily available, and know it will appeal to a wide range of New Yorkers including and especially teens and young adults. We hope that this partnership will continue to give our much-missed patrons the chance to escape into more new worlds through stories.”
Molly Barton, CEO and Co-Founder of Serial Box, said about the partnership: “Serial Box is known for excellent sci-fi, fantasy, horror and mystery/thriller storytelling in written and audio form, and this story is a great example of what we can do when we bring together a world class team of writers. During the longest winter most of us can remember, I’m so happy to share an amazing new story about Marvel’s Black Panther with my fellow New Yorkers through NYPL.”
Throughout the global pandemic, The New York Public Library has worked to make books increasingly accessible and to connect communities around reading, even as in-person service was temporarily suspended or limited to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (the Library is currently offering grab-and-go book pickup and drop-off at about 50 of its neighborhood branches). Through virtual book clubs, reading recommendation lists tied to the Library’s 125th anniversary and current events (including the Black Liberation Reading List, which aimed to foster a better understanding of the Black experience), and collections-based programs, the Library promoted e-reading, generated over 1.2 million SimplyE checkouts from March to December of 2020, and generated over 120,000 new SimplyE users.