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:

teens laughing while writing on paper
Get Support

Contact BPL's Intellectual Freedom Teen Council by emailing [email protected] or sending a DM to @bklynfuture on Instagram.

Get in Touch
Img Alt goes here
Request a BookMatch

BookMatch Teen offers book recommendations for teens, by teens. Complete the form and a BookMatch Teen member will create a reading list of five titles just for you.

Get Matched
Redacted words on paper with words Books Unbanned still visible
Report a Challenge

If you hear of a challenge at your local library, support your librarian and free and open access to library materials by contacting the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Get Involved
image of BPL library card, blue with white BPL logo centered
Use Your Library

Books that are frequently challenged are available for checkout at your local library. We've made a selection of eBook & audiobook titles "Always Available" for BPL cardholders - no need to wait for a copy! 

Get Reading