Brooklyn Public Library is adding our voice to those fighting for the rights of teens nationwide to read what they like, discover themselves, and form their own opinions. Inspired by the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Statement, BPL's Books Unbanned initiative is a response to an increasingly coordinated and effective effort to remove books tackling a wide range of topics from library shelves.
The American Library Association reported 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. This represents the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling these lists 20 years ago. Most targeted books were for a teen audience and were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons.
Across the country, teens are facing book bans, censorship and political challenges in their local school and public libraries. Here are just some of the ways they can get support from BPL: