In recent months, public libraries all over the country have been doing their part to fight back against prohibited book titles. Last month, the New York Public Library teamed up with publishers of four banned books, releasing them as free e-books for everyone to enjoy.
Now, the Nashville Public Library is making its stance known, as well, with the release of limited-edition ‘I Read Banned Books’ library cards that remind readers of the invaluable importance of protecting the right to read.
“Your library card gives you free access to over two million books, e-books, magazines, DVDs, steaming movies, music, and more. Would you surrender your right to choose any one of them?” asks the library.
It cites that since the American Library Association (ALA) began tracking challenges against books in the 1980s, there have been thousands of complaints made across the country. Unfortunately, even back in 1953, the ALA had predicted such a frenzy in its Freedom to Read statement, saying that “the freedom to read is… continuously under attack.”
Thankfully, the charge against books seems to be led by a loud minority, with an ALA survey showing that 71% of readers are in opposition of removing books from their local public libraries.
To show your support for the cause, the Nashville Public Library’s has launched a ‘Freedom to Read’ campaign to celebrate intellectual freedom, and every reader can snag their own free library card to champion the idea.
Ed Brown, the Public Information Officer at the library, tells News Channel 5 that the campaign’s purpose isn’t to “push back” against those calling for the bans, but rather, to position the space as an alternative for where residents can find these “banned” books.
The 5,000 cards will be available online and at the 21 physical locations, with no cost to switch out your existing card.