DPLA launches The Banned Book Club to ensure access to banned books

By DPLA, July 20, 2023.
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Readers in communities affected by book bans can now access banned books for free via Palace e-reader app

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has launched The Banned Book Club to ensure that all readers have access to the books they want to read. The Banned Book Club makes e-book versions of banned books available to readers in locations across the United States where titles have been banned. The e-books will be available to readers for free via the Palace e-reader app.

“At DPLA, our mission is to ensure access to knowledge for all and we believe in the power of technology to further that access,” said John S. Bracken, executive director of Digital Public Library of America. “Today book bans are one of the greatest threats to our freedom, and we have created The Banned Book Club to leverage the dual powers of libraries and digital technology to ensure that every American can access the books they want to read.”

Utilizing GPS-based geo-targeting, DPLA has established virtual libraries in communities across the United States where books have been banned. When a reader is within a community served by a library that has been forced to ban a book, they can visit TheBannedBookClub.info to see the exact books have been banned in their area. Then, they can download that book for free on any handheld device via the free Palace e-reader app.

Earlier today former president Barack Obama and the Obama Foundation shared their support for the Banned Book Club initiative and its mission to provide individuals with the power and access to obtain literature that is thought-provoking, educational, and eye-opening, allowing them to learn more about the world. Their support will help to expand awareness of how people can access banned books within their communities and connect people through literature.

To access The Banned Book Club now, download the Palace app and choose “Banned Book Club” as your library, then follow the prompts to sign up for a free virtual library card. For more specific instructions, click here. For more information on The Banned Book Club, readers can visit TheBannedBookClub.info.

Digital Public Library of America amplifies the value of libraries and cultural organizations as trusted sources of shared knowledge. DPLA fulfills its mission by collaborating with partners to accelerate the adoption of innovative tools and ideas to empower and equip libraries in making public information more accessible. DPLA’s e-book work is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. To learn more, visit www.dp.la.

The Palace Project is a suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and their patrons. Funded by a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment from the Knight Foundation, The Palace Project is a division of Lyrasis, working in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). To learn more, visit thepalaceproject.org.