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Do Any Libraries Accept Banned Books?

Absolutely, many libraries champion intellectual freedom and often accept banned books, seeing them as vital to a diverse and informed community. They stand as bastions against censorship, ensuring that varied perspectives remain accessible. Discover how these libraries are not just repositories of knowledge, but defenders of expression. What might your local library be safeguarding on its shelves?

There's a place where Huckleberry Finn, Jay Gatsby, Atticus Finch, Offred and many other characters that have been banned from some libraries live in perfect harmony. It's called the Matincus Island Library, and to get there you need to travel to Maine and then another 22 miles (35 km) off its coast. But the trip might be well worth it. The little island book depository accepts all books, regardless of whether they've been banned, canceled, challenged, or rejected elsewhere.

Eva Murray, an author who helped found the library in 2016, said the library is on a mission. "We are buying banned books in order to publicly push back against the impetus to ban books," she said. "To say, ‘If you don’t want it in your library, we want it in ours.'" If you go, don't worry about not having a library card. Nobody does. All books are loaned on an honor system, and no librarian will be there to tell you to keep the noise down.

It's OK to read this:

  • The Harry Potter novels were the most frequently banned or challenged books from 2000 to 2009.

  • After it was published, the classic James Joyce novel Ulysses was banned in four countries, including the United States.

  • The American Library Association lists more than 11,300 books that have been challenged since 1982.

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    • Located off the coast of Maine, the Matincus Island Library happily accepts books that have been banned in other places.
      By: Stephan Koscheck
      Located off the coast of Maine, the Matincus Island Library happily accepts books that have been banned in other places.