Support Intellectual Freedom: Read Banned Books!

San Mateo County Libraries prides itself on creating an inclusive sense of place and environment for learning. We foster a culture that supports free speech and intellectual freedom. To ignite growth through transformative experiences, we must protect the right to read and access information.

If you’ve been keeping up with recent headlines, opens a new window, then you know that libraries are seeing a growing number of book challenges, opens a new window asking for the outright removal of books, including ones on the LGBTQIA+ experience and books by Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) authors documenting the challenges they face. 

These perspectives should not be censored, as they’re an integral part of understanding the communities we live in.  Thanks to the efforts of the New York Public Library, opens a new window in conjunction with Hachette Book Group, opens a new window, Macmillan Publishers, opens a new window and Scholastic, opens a new window, we are offering a small collection of commonly banned books available with or without a library card through our SimplyE platform. The books being offered are:

Users can read these books for free on an iOS or Android 24/7. Please note that only King and the Dragonflies is available to users under the age of 13. Users can access these Unbanned Books via the SimplyE Books for All Collection.

No library card? Follow these easy steps from the New York Public Library:
  • Download Simply E on an IOS, opens a new window or Android Device, opens a new window.
  • As soon as you open the app, select Add a Library Later to browse the Books for All Collection.
  • Enter your birth year to verify you are 13 or older and get reading!
  • If you already have SimplyE downloaded to your device with a preferred library, select the icon in the top left corner and toggle to the Books for All Collection.

Additionally, San Mateo County Libraries is offering a collection of commonly banned books with no holds or wait times, opens a new window through our platform powered by Libby.

No Library Card? No Problem. You can simply choose to sign up for an instant digital card or apply for a library card online.

San Mateo County Libraries believes in the rights of the people to read books and form their own opinions and perspectives. Our role is to provide a place where curiosity, research and quests for answers can be informed by all perspectives.