DPLA partners with the University of Chicago Library to expand The Banned Book Club

By DPLA, October 3, 2023.
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Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)  is pleased to announce a new partnership with the University of Chicago Library to expand The Banned Book Club. We launched The Banned Book Club in July 2023 to ensure that every reader in communities where books have been banned can access ebook versions of banned titles for free via the Palace app. This new collaboration between DPLA and the University of Chicago Library will expand access to The Banned Book Club to all readers in Chicago and the state of Illinois and underscores our shared commitment to ensuring intellectual freedom for all. 

The Banned Book Club provides access to more than 900 unique titles that have been the target of bans in communities nationwide. “In the digital era, it should no longer be possible to ban books, and we are thrilled to have the University of Chicago Library join us to advance this work,” said John S. Bracken, executive director of the Digital Public Library of America. “Overwhelmingly, these efforts to ban books are at their base efforts to remove Black, Brown, and Queer voices and experiences from our shelves. It is our goal to work together so that these stories remain available, for free, to anyone who wants to read them.”

The Banned Book Club collection is now available to the University of Chicago community and all Illinois readers via the free Palace app. The University of Chicago Library will also make physical copies of banned titles available for in-person borrowing. “Freedom of inquiry and expression are core values of the University of Chicago. We believe that knowledge enriches life, and protecting the right to read is fundamental for our University and our society. This partnership will ensure that the University of Chicago community and everyone in Illinois can access and enjoy these stories,” said Torsten Reimer, University Librarian and Dean of the University Library, University of Chicago. 

Readers can access The Banned Book Club through the Palace app, an e-reader available on Apple and Android. To start reading, 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 about The Banned Book Club, 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 to make public information more accessible. DPLA’s e-book work is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. To learn more, visit www.dp.la.

The Palace Project benefits libraries and their communities with a robust suite of content, tools and services for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks and other digital media, built by and for librarians with a nonprofit, open-source foundation. Funded by a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment from the Knight Foundation, The Palace Project is a Lyrasis program, working in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). To learn more, visit thepalaceproject.org.