Posted in Industry News

Banned Books Week 2017

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, but I can’t ignore Banned Books Week.

So many of the top challenged books of 2016 are children’s and young adult books. Would I let my children read sexually explicit or violent books or books with excessive profanity (as determined by me)? No, because as a parent, it’s my job to parent my kids. I don’t leave this responsibility up to my neighbor, my congressman, or my local library. It’s my job.

Banning books is a suppression of first amendment rights. Challenging books based on your personal belief system is ignorant, presumptuous, and oppressive. I respect your right to have your own personal beliefs and ethics but don’t force them on me. That’s not your job.

There is one positive thing about banning/challenging books:  it raises awareness of topics that some people would prefer that society remains ignorant of like LGBT, growing up and maturing, what it means to be transgender, opposing viewpoints, sex education, and what some people believe to be excessive profanity or sexually explicit. Knowledge is power and understanding opposing viewpoints is to understand someone who isn’t exactly like you.

I welcome Banned Books Week every year and enjoy thinking about, looking at, and even rereading the banned/challenged books residing on my bookshelves and acquiring new books every year as well. I hope that by raising awareness and spotlighting these books every year that one mind, at least, is changed and encouraged to be more accepting and open.

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Posted in Reading

Reading Equals Better Writing

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I often get teased for using “big” words on Facebook and in every day conversation. It’s gotten to the point where it’s annoying and seems insulting. I don’t use “big” words to show my intelligence level or to belittle others. Maybe I have a more extensive vocabulary than some people, maybe, but if I do, it’s because I READ. I read a lot. Almost every time I read a new book, I run across a word that is new to me. I always look up words that I don’t know in a dictionary. I have an English degree and have almost completed my Master’s in Library and Information Science. Do you really think I can get degrees in these fields and not be exposed to a lot of words???

I ran across an article on Book Riot today written by college Composition professor, Jessi Lewis. She says that in her experience, her students that read books outside of assigned reading, or for fun, often have better writing skills than their peers who don’t. Lewis says, “…it often feels as though if they missed out on reading at certain points in their lives, it will take lots of catching up to get them back to that golden point of grammar-comfort.” This is true also of expanding your vocabulary. It’s not rocket science, it’s common sense.

Lesson of the Day:  Pick up a book and read it.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Library News Roundup: Week of August 24rd

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I have a couple stories about libraries to share this week:

British Library will lend world’s oldest bible to British Museum

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…

How the New York Public Library digitizes its vast map collection

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.

What you can do with your library card (other than check out books)

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.

SLC’s downtown main library could be 1st in nation to try 24/7 schedule

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?