Nick Higgins
Gregg Richards

The freedom to read is a right everyone should be afforded. Nick Higgins, the chief librarian at Brooklyn Public Library, has ensured that this freedom will endure. Through the library’s Books Unbanned program—which allows young people to browse its digital collections, regardless of where they live in the U.S.—Nick and his team have led the charge to provide free access to books that are being challenged and removed from library shelves across the country.

We often hear about Superman and Batman, but in the real world, librarians are superheroes. They may be the first to know what a child or young adult is dealing with simply based on the books they are checking out. The Books Unbanned program has allowed thousands of teens across the country to read lifesaving books that otherwise would be unavailable. Nick Higgins’ dedication to fighting censorship will forever change the lives and trajectories of kids who rarely get to see themselves reflected on the page.

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Johnson is the author of All Boys Aren’t Blue

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