When I was a little kid my Grandmother used to grudgingly take me to the Brooklyn Library on Flatbush Avenue. She wasn’t much of a reader and never understood how I could spend so much time looking at books. But I have a lifelong love of libraries and feel quite nostalgic about Brooklyn’s. Now, the Brooklyn Public Library is taking steps to make its massive catalog available to as many young people as possible.
Anyone in the United States between the age of 13 and 21 can apply for a free Brooklyn Public Library eCard, which gives access to 350,000 eBooks, 200,000 audiobooks, and online databases. Meanwhile, anyone who already has a Brooklyn Public Library card can now access a list of “frequently challenged books” online and through Libby, its online book-loan app.
Both projects are part of Books UnBanned, a campaign by the Brooklyn Public Library to challenge book bans and censorship in schools. The library is also offering other resources for anyone facing these issues in their town, including an effort to connect people with the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom in the event that they face a challenge at their library.