‘I read banned books’ library cards offered at Nashville library

A new library campaign encourages everyone's freedom to read.
A new library campaign encourages everyone's freedom to read.(NPL)
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 6:55 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) - The Nashville Public Library launched a unique campaign last week to promote reading banned books.

Library officials said they promote everyone’s freedom to read by offering a free, limited edition “I read banned books” library card. The goal is to get 5,000 cards into the hands of readers across Davidson County, WSMV reported.

The promotion is in response to McMinn County Schools in January removing Art Spiegelman’s acclaimed graphic novel “Maus” from the school district’s curriculum and Williamson County Schools’ removal of Sharon Creech’s “Walk Two Moons” in February.

“I want Nashvillians to know: Nashville Public Library will always respect your Freedom to Read – to determine what you read and don’t read independently and exercise your role in determining what your children read,” said Kent Oliver, director of Nashville Public Library. “This campaign is our way of bringing our community together in our shared Freedom to Read, which is essential to sustaining our democracy.”

The library said the American Library Association has been tracking challenges against books since the 1980s and have recorded thousands of challenges made in cities across the United States.

The Freedom to Read campaign works by having all Davidson County residents and existing library card holders obtain a new or upgraded card at no additional charge.

Customers can sign up for their card on the library’s website or in-person at the library’s 21 locations. The campaign ends May 26.

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