Thanks to so many lists of antiracism books circulating over the past ten days, copies of must-reads like Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be An Antiracist and Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism have become difficult to land, if you want a hard copy anyway. Booksellers big and small, from Amazon to Mahogany Books, a black-owned bookstore in Anacostia, are saying titles are out of stock or on backorder.The DC Public Library has been experiencing a different version of the same problem. A spokesman for the library says it saw demand for those two books, among others, “shoot up exponentially” after the killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day. That week, the number of holds placed on White Fragility, for example, went from less than 10 a day to nearly 150 holds per day by the end of the week.
Librarians looked into how they could meet the surging demand for books about race and ended up changing their licenses on a number of e-books and audible books, so customers will no longer have to wait for certain titles and can check them out instantly.
The Library now has unlimited downloads available for the following e-books:
Why We Can’t Wait, by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement, by Charlene Carruthers
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo
The Library now has unlimited downloads of the following audible books:
Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable,
So You Want to Talk about Race, by Ijeoma Oluo.
Note: The DCPL site may say “1 of 2 copies available” or “1 of 29 copies available,” etc., but the actual number of copies, according to a library spokesman, is indeed unlimited, so there should not be an issue with check-out.