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Book Ban Efforts By Conservative Parents Take Aim At Library Apps

E-reader apps that became a lifeline for students during the pandemic are now in the crossfire of a culture war raging over books in schools and public libraries.

In several states, apps and the companies that run them have been targeted by conservative parents who have pushed schools and public libraries to shut down their digital programs, which let users download and read books on their smartphones, tablets or laptops. 

Some parents want the apps banned for their children, or even for all students. And they’re getting results.

A school superintendent in a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee, pulled his system’s e-reader offline for a week last month, cutting access for 40,000 students, after a parent searched the Epic library available on her kindergartener’s laptop and found books supporting gay pride. 

In a rural county northwest of Austin, Texas, county officials cut off access to the OverDrive digital library that local residents had used for a decade to find books to read for pleasure, prompting a federal lawsuit against the county. 

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