US – The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has introduced The Banned Book Club, a new initiative to combat the rise in book bans in schools and public libraries across the US. In partnership with creative agency FCB Chicago, DPLA offers free access to banned books for readers affected by bans.
The Banned Book Club uses GPS-based geo-targeting to create virtual libraries in communities where specific books have been banned. Readers can download these banned books for free on any hand-held device using the Palace e-reader app.
John S Bracken, executive director of Digital Public Library of America, said in a statement: ‘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.’
Supported by former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, The Banned Book Club stands as a digital solution to promote the free exchange of ideas and safeguard the right to access diverse literary voices and stories covering topics such as gender, race, identity and feminism – narratives known to educate and empower marginalised communities that some US politicians would prefer to censor.
With constraints like book bans reducing free access to educational resources on topics related to women’s rights, race and identity, employers should set higher diversity and inclusion targets to provide their team members with alternatives. Ensure your company is not only a safe space but also a learning space