This week is, of course, Banned Books Week. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. Nothing gets me in a tizzy faster than discussing the ignorance of banning or challenging books. I think few things demonstrate a narrowness of mind more than the reasons behind challenging books. I’ve read news articles over the years of school across the country attempting to remove one book or another from said school’s curriculum and/or library based on complaints from teachers and/or parents and/or random people in the community. Their reasoning is never sound and in some cases, the people voicing the complaints haven’t even read the book. They are simply basing their complaint on the opinions of others. It’s maddening.
In celebration of Banned Books Week, I usually choose a book or two from the challenged lists published by the ALA. This year, I’m rereading Saga Vol 1 (because it’s been so long since I’ve first read it) and Saga Vol 2. by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. I’d also like to try and fit in Brave New World by Aldous Huxley but with my school schedule and the books that I’m already reading, I might not have the time.
Please!! Take part in Banned Books Week by spreading the word, changing your Facebook profile picture, reading one of the books on the challenged lists, or just discussing the pros (if you can find one) and cons of challenging books with someone else. Raise awareness as to why removing books from libraries and schools impedes education. Help others to realize why you should read a book critically before judging it and deciding if it’s offensive in some way.
I’m kinda light on library articles this week. There were an overwhelming amount focused on the presidential debate and the Reagan Library. I did manage to find a few to share this week though.
Another library entering the digital age. I love how they lead this story with “Netflix-like service”. I think that is a brilliant way of bringing more people to the library. Additionally, the library states that this feature “expands what the library currently offers” and that they don’t foresee a decline in visitors. I know I’m biased, but I think libraries, more so than almost any other entity, realize the importance of integrating new technology with the traditional. Their goals are to reach more people in their community with services that enrich lives and libraries know how to do so in ways that bolster their relevancy. Again, I know I have a biased opinion, lol.
And on the other side of the coin…First of all, this article references a Pew Research study again and again, but doesn’t provide a link or even cite it in any way. I, for one, like to read such studies for myself and make sure that the referencing person isn’t interpreting the data in a way that benefits their story. This is lazy reporting, in my opinion.
Secondly, this assumption, “Overall, perhaps people aren’t visiting libraries as much because their relationship to the printed word, still a library’s core offering, is dramatically changing,” ticks me off. I am a reader. I am able to appreciate literature in all its forms, as most people are able to do. eBooks have their place, but to make the assumption that the printed word is going the way of the dinosaur is, well, presumptuous. And scary. Who wants to live in an entirely digitized world???
The article goes on and on, as could I, lol. I invite you to read it and interpret it for yourself. The comments were pretty interesting too.
On a more positive note…This is fantastic! This is an excellent example of integration and providing community resources. People use the library as a resource for studying for their driver’s license test or use the library’s Internet access to renew their licenses. It just makes sense that the library would be a perfect placement for these kiosks.
Have a few million dollars to spare? That’s all it takes to own the private libraries featured in this article.
Who doesn’t love a good controversial story? Any library has a finite amount of space making weeding a necessary function of a library. The removal of books occurs for several reason, including an excess of needed copies, a title not circulating, or a title is damaged beyond readability to name a few. Most, if not all, libraries have a weeding policy that governs the process. It hurts my heart to think that Jeff Scott may have abused that policy and unnecessarily weeded 39,000 books out of the Berkeley Public Library’s collection.
This is MY kind of library!! Seriously though, this is the type of event that allows the public to see that a library isn’t just for checking out books. Libraries educate and serve the public in all sorts of innovated, creative, and inclusive ways.
I absolutely love reading about Little Free Libraries. It tickles me how they are popping up in neighborhoods everywhere. I especially enjoy seeing the creativity that people put into the design of their LFL. Please, share with me any pictures or stories that you might have that are local to where you live.
This is so cool! You can go into this library and geek out on science. Some of the things this level 1 lab offers are DNA copying machines (and what the heck is that?!?!) and a 3D printer (really would like to get my hands on one of those). Again, this is such an awesome offering to the public and it’s FREE and such great PR for libraries.
September is national Get Carded month. If you don’t already have a library card (and why don’t you??) this is a great time to get one. Lots of libraries around the country are having Get Carded activities and events. Make sure and search for events near you and get out there and get your library card!!
I have a couple stories about libraries to share this week:
I don’t know what it is, but when artifacts and such are loaned between institutions, the story always grabs my attention. I guess this is why being a museum studies student suits me, lol. Here, the British Library is loaning the Codex Sinaiticus to the British Museum for a special exhibition. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the oldest bible in the world. The world! How amazing is that? The codex is part of an exhibition by the British Museum to study Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities throughout a 1,200 year period. The codex will be displayed along with other artifacts as well as two other religious texts, also loaned to the museum by libraries. The power and importance of libraries…
This project is being funded by a $380,000 grant and will include the digitizing of 435,000 maps. These are just of New York City. Wow!! According to the article, not only will this project make these maps more accessible to the public, but it will also help preserve part of NYC’s history. I wonder what the storage looks like for 435,000 maps too? This is a huge project and thus far, only 33,000 maps in the collection have been digitized. The NYPL has quite a ways to go before they can call this finished.
I love news, people, informational, anything and anybody that promotes libraries. So many people have the misconception that the only thing you can do at a library is check out books. Your local library is a community resource! This article from MPR News out of Minnesota highlights some of the things you can do with a library card. Granted, this might not be true of all libraries, some might off more or less resources or have different programs, but it still gives you an idea of the varied things a library has to offer. Items mentioned here are get homework help, utilize a notary public, attend storytime, or learn a language. Some programs my local library offers are genealogy assistance and read to dogs. You should check out your library and see what programs and services they offer to your community.
I am jealous! Our library doesn’t even have the funding to open seven days a week and they close early two days a week. Salt Lake City, however, is currently putting the plan together for their main library to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s phenomenal. The article says that these extended hours appeal most to students. As a student, and especially an adult student, I can see the appeal. This project is on a two year trial period and I would love to see the results at the end. What was attendance like? Did they have safety issues? How did their budget handle it?
Whew! October was a busy month. I tried to stick to a publishing schedule for this blog since it was new and I wanted to ensure a good base of readers. Life often intervenes as I’m sure other bloggers will know. Not only was October a busy blogging month, but it was a busy reading month as you can see from my previous post. I also make a Booktube video for my October Wrapup. I haven’t uploaded it yet though. I attempted to and had an error and haven’t had a chance to go back and retry. It’ll be up soon, though. As for what I’ve been up to so far in November…
So far this month, I have read three books. Three books that are completely outside of my comfort zone but I really enjoyed all three.
#1. Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan. I believe this was a book that I downloaded off of a Bookbub recommendation, meaning I either got it for free or really cheap. It appealed to me because I absolutely love the time frame in which the novel takes place, 1920-1940 and I also like immigrant stories. I didn’t realize when I read it that it was part of a series until I got to the last page and was like, “That’s it?!?!? This is how it ends?!?!” Yeah. I chose to read this book at this time because I’m trying not to start any new series because of my book buying ban. I mean seriously. I don’t want to read book #1 and then be desperate to read book #2 if I don’t already own it, ya know?? Grr.
#2. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. As I said in my review of We Were Liars I really respect Lockhart’s writing abilities and talents. After reading We Were Liars, I wasn’t too sure about her storytelling abilities, lol. I absolutely loved The Disreputable History though. It needs its own post and review.
#3. In the Woods by Tana French. This is another #1 in a series, but from what I can tell, each book is a stand alone. This one certainly didn’t have a cliff-hanger ending. I don’t think I’ve ever read another “series” of books that didn’t follow the same characters throughout. This series seems to be all about the Dublin Murder Squad as an entity rather than a group of people. I’ll definitely read book two because I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
What I’m reading right now is VIII by H.M. Castor. Very excited about this book. It’s YA so I should be able to read it fast enough to get to Atonement by Ian McEwan this week. Both books are library books and due on the 12th. Eeek! I might have to renew either one or both because three days isn’t a lot of time to read two book.
How’s your November going?
I had this post typed and ready to go except for inserting images and editing and Chrome crashed and I lost the whole thing. WordPress needs to have a periodic auto-save feature like Blogger has. Grrrrr!
I had a fantastic week of reading. I finished Gail Carriger’s Etiquette and Espionage and started and finished book two, Curtsies and Conspiracies. I loved them both. I wrote a review for both books over on my Goodreads account and may or may not expound on those reviews here on the blog.
Also this week, I made a trip to the library. I visit various libraries in the area pretty regularly for school, but I haven’t actually checked out a book in about four years. This has to make me the worst Library and Information Science student ever. With my self-imposed book buying ban, the library is the only option I have for new books until the New Year. I’m really happy with my trip though. Out of the four books I checked out, I started with The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness. Usually, I would never borrow the third book in a trilogy when I have already read the first two. However, I have the first two as eBooks so borrowing the third was no big deal. I’m on page 100 and so far, it’s been a slow go. Lots of chit chat with little actually going on. I’m patiently waiting for it to pick up.
I also started a new eBook last night. It’s The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich. I’m already familiar with his other works having read quite a few of them over the years. I’m definitely a fan and was really excited when I saw this YA novel as a “read now” on Net Galley. I just started it last night (late last night) and I’m already 20% into it. It was hard to put down and make myself go to sleep. Has anyone read this? There is only one review on Goodreads and I’m curious why it hasn’t gotten more. What about the cover? There’s something about it that I find striking. Maybe the colors?
This week, I anticipate finishing both of these books and have no idea which library book I want to read next. What do you suggest?
1. Atonement by Ian McEwan. This would be my first Ian McEwan novel. I really like the sound of the synopsis.
2. VIII by H.M. Castor. I’m am very intrigued by this book. I’ve read lots of books, fiction and non fiction, about Henry VIII but none that are in the YA genre too. I’m very excited to see how this book was written and compare it to other novels I’ve already read.
3. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Like I said in my review of We Were Liars, I admire Lockhart’s writing style so in order to give her storytelling another chance, I picked this book up. Also, it was the only Lockhart the library had at the time. Go ahead and suggest one.