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Books Unbanned

Black out poetry revealing the words “Reading Is Freedom”
Can you believe that some of America's youth are denied the right to read? Yeah, we couldn’t either! So, guess what we are going to do about it? We believe in your right to read what you want, discover yourself and form your own opinions.


Now, teens and young adults ages 12 to 26 living anywhere in the U.S. can access San Diego Public Library’s online collection of banned or restricted eBooks and eAudiobooks for FREE.




Read What You Want

Black out poetry revealing the words “Reading Is Freedom”

Are YOU with the BANNED? Book bans are a form of censorship that has no place in our community or our country. This is why SDPL, Library Foundation SD and our partners are joining a nationwide effort to give youth across America online access to banned and restricted books.

Explore the Books Unbanned Collection




Discover Yourself

Black out poetry revealing the words “You Belong Here”

Libraries are a place where everyone belongs. Many banned or challenged books are by or about Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), or LGBTQIA+ people and explore their experiences, stories, histories, and movements. Reading these books can help you understand yourself and connect to others.



Graphic Novels


Form Your Own Opinions

Black out poetry revealing the words “You Belong Here”

Across the country, teens and young adults are facing extraordinary attempts at book bans, censorship, and political challenges in their local schools and public libraries. Enter Books Unbanned. Started by the Brooklyn Public Library, this initiative is a response to the increasingly coordinated and concerning effort to remove access to books for teens and young adults covering a wide range of topics from library shelves. Learn more and join the fight!

Get a Books Unbanned Card

All black digital library card with the words "Books Unbanned" in white text underlined by white marker and SD Public Library logo in black text over white square background.

One of the best ways to fight censorship is to read banned books. Fill out the form to access SDPL’s online collection of banned or restricted eBooks and eAudiobooks for FREE, no matter where you live in the U.S. You can check out up to 3 books at a time and put up to 3 books on hold. No late fees or renewals! You can return a book anytime or it will automatically expire at the end of your lending period. And the best part? Your SDPL Books Unbanned card will NEVER expire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get a card?

Anyone ages 12-26 living in the United States can get an SDPL Books Unbanned card. If you live in California, own property in the City of San Diego, or are serving in the Armed Forces and stationed in San Diego County, you can apply for a San Diego Public Library card to access all of our collections and resources. Apply for a San Diego Public Library card.

How many books can I check out and have on hold?

You can check out up to 3 books at a time and put up to 3 books on hold.

How long can I check books out for?

Your lending period is 21 days.

How long will my card be valid?

Your card will never expire.

Can I access other Library resources?

This card only gives you access to our Books Unbanned e-book and audiobook collection.

What is the difference between this card and other Books Unbanned library cards like Brooklyn Public Library or Seattle Public Library?

Our collection has different titles than the Books Unbanned collections at Brooklyn  and Seattle  public libraries, and some titles that are not available in their collections may be available in ours. You are welcome to apply for and access any Books Unbanned collection to find the books you need. Don’t see what you are looking for? Suggest a title here.

I live, go to school, or work in San Diego. Should I get this card too?

Guess what? If you live, go to school or work in San Diego, you can apply for a San Diego Public Library card to access our full collection and resources. In fact, all California residents are eligible for an SDPL library card. You will find every Books Unbanned title in our main collection for SDPL cardholders. Apply for a San Diego Public Library card.

I already have a San Diego Public Library card, can I get this card also?

No need! SDPL Books Unbanned titles are also available in our cloudLibrary eLibrary collection for SDPL card holders. This card is intended for teens and young adults who do not have a San Diego Public Library card. Apply for a San Diego Public Library card.

Will you tell anyone what books I check out?

No way! As part of our commitment to intellectual freedom, we protect your privacy and keep information about you and your use of the Library confidential. It’s the law! Confidentiality extends to all records with identifying information about you, including your requests for materials and borrowing history. We will not disclose individual patron information except as necessary for the proper operation of the Library, upon your consent or as required by law.

What if I need help with my account or have technical difficulties?

No problem, cloudLibrary allows you to borrow and read a wide array of eBooks from the San Diego Public Library for free. How it works | Using a  Kindle - Nook |Video Tutorials: Navigating cloudLibrary | Mobile cloudLibrary. Still having trouble? Just email and we will be happy to help.

How is Books Unbanned funded?

SDPL Books Unbanned is 100% funded by the generosity of private supporters (not taxpayer dollars) through Library Foundation SD. The program resists book bans, promotes intellectual freedom, and cements our libraries as a place where everyone belongs. For every title purchased for the Books Unbanned nationwide collection, Library Foundation SD donors help expand the local collection with a copy purchased for the cloudLibrary eCollection for SDPL patrons.

Join supporters of SDPL Books Unbanned by reading banned books, protesting book bans, and/or donating to the cause HERE.

Learn More



Black out poetry showing "Books Unbanned" and SDPL logo