BOARD MOVES TO EXPAND ACCESS TO DIGITAL LA COUNTY LIBRARY CARDS FOR CALIFORNIANS
Los Angeles, CA – As book bans increase across California and the nation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today took steps to expand access to eBook collections for Californians through LA County Library. This action comes as book bans increased by 28% during the first half of last school year with LGBTQ+-themed books comprising almost all of the top 10 books targeted for censorship in California schools and libraries. Supervisors Lindsey P. Horvath and Janice Hahn authored the motion, which calls for the expanded digital library card program to launch in October for Banned Book Week.
“I am deeply troubled by rise in bans on books that uplift the experience of LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and historically marginalized communities. LA County is prepared to expand access to literature throughout our state as others seek to ban it,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “We have an obligation to ensure that residents across California are able to consume literature that promotes inclusive learning and a truthful telling of our nation’s history.”
“Banning books doesn’t protect children. It walls them off from ideas, diversity, and opportunities to learn and grow,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “In LA County we uphold both freedom of speech and the freedom to read, and through the LA County Library system, we can help counteract the impact of book bans across the state and preserve access to these important stories.”
As Pride Month comes to a close, Los Angeles County is standing up for the students who are deprived of the literature that reflects the diversity of our great state by making our eBook resources available to California teens and residents. LA County Library has been nationally recognized for its award-winning work in justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as breaking down barriers to access, and is well positioned to support freedom to read for teens across our state.
“In this time of pervasive book challenges nationwide, and with recent increases in California, LA County Library fully supports the right to read and this motion to increase access to our eBook titles,” said Library Director Skye Patrick. “In our continuing efforts to break down barriers to access, and provide equitable service, we are in support of California residents’ fundamental right to access information. We are happy to be able to extend the availability of our digital titles.”
LA County Library will report back to the Board in thirty days with a plan to establish a program, including fiscal options, to be launched during Banned Books Week (October 1-7, 2023).
To learn more about the LA County Library and to sign up for a library card, visit https://lacountylibrary.org/library-cards/.