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Seattle Public Library Grants Free Access to Banned Books

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The Seattle Public library is the latest to join the fight against nation-wide book banning. The library is the second to offer free library cards through Books Unbanned, an initiative started by the Brooklyn Public Library last year that granted young people across the country access to their digital collection.

Through the initiative, the Seattle Public library is providing free access to its entire digital collection — which includes thousands of ebooks and audiobooks — to young people aged 13-26 across the U.S. While attempts at censorship haven’t been as prevalent in Washington state as they have been elsewhere, the overall amount of book banning attempts are at an all time high. These bans overwhelmingly target books by and about queer people and people of color.

The library’s director of programs and services Andrew Harbison said, “The role that public libraries need to play in a healthy society is ensuring that there’s free and open access to information and ideas and diversity of voices and perspectives and opinions.”

Signing up for a Books Unbanned card can be done by filling out an application.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.