Politico Reports on Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” Program
Far from the trenches in states like Florida and Texas, organizations in deep-blue New York are stepping into the fray by directly lending 25,000 books to non-residents since spring, including thousands of students living under the bans. The Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books Unbanned” program provides access to its eBook collection and learning databases for people between the ages of 13 and 21.
The Brooklyn library says disseminating information is part of its core mission. And when more states began outlawing books in schools and libraries, the library system felt compelled to defy them.
“We’re saying this is what libraries do, we provide access to these materials,” BPL president and CEO Linda Johnson said. “Literature is such a powerful thing and it’s something which allows you to get to know yourself better, your world, it allows you to see new things and we don’t think anyone should be shut out of that regardless of where they live.”
Tony Marx, the New York Public Library’s president and CEO, said it is not a “big city pushing liberal agenda” but about libraries doing their jobs to make knowledge and information accessible.
“What Brooklyn is doing is fabulous,” Marx said. “What any of us can do to help resist this effort to constrain what the public can read is essential and … we should do everything we can. The simple fact is that it’s outrageous that this is happening.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.