Wednesday, November 14, 2012

censorship (again) (unfortunately)

I wish I could post this link with the words "presented without comment," but I can't really do that since the whole point of this blog assignment is for me to present my comments on certain issues. But the author of this article perfectly articulates my feelings. So with that, I give you this: How Utah School Officials Are Violating The First Amendment In Library Book Case. It's really hard for me to comprehend why this is still an issue in today's society. I don't understand why people feel the need to limit other peoples' freedoms (in this case, freely choosing library materials) just because they personally disagree with the content of those materials. Storing In Our Mothers' House behind the desk perpetuates feelings of hostility and intolerance towards the GLBTQ community. I say good on ya, Ms. Weber, for challenging this needless censorship. Because ultimately:
"Children come from all types of families, and the school libraries should serve the entire school community. The fact of the matter is that children with same-sex parents attend schools across the country – including in Davis School District. Removing books from the shelves won’t change that. Regardless of the race, sex or marital status of a child’s parents, they are part of the school community, and their families should not be hidden away as something shameful." -- Joshua Block

rebuilding New Jersey libraries

Caitlyn put up a post and I put up a comment on the on-going effort to re-open public libraries that have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. It's still incredible to learn of the extent of the damage and to think that many areas are still without power. Within her post are links to contribute to rebuild the New Jersey libraries. Definitely a worthy cause if I may say so.

pets at the library

I recently read this interesting post over at the blog of the Association for Library Service to Children and made this comment. I'd never heard of librarians keeping pets at the library to serve as teaching tools for young kids, but it makes a lot of sense and seems to be working for the author of the post. It's recommended reading for animal lovers!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

changes in teen spaces

I just read this post on the YALSA blog about possible changes we might see in teen spaces in the next few years. I also left this comment on my thoughts. They definitely present some interesting ideas on the future of teen spaces!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I realize I'm about a month behind with this (it happens sometimes), but I just spent some time exploring the ALA's site for information on banned & challenged books (linked here) and I recommend you do the same. The ALA writes we need to be aware of all attempts to censor literature, and that "Censorship can be subtle, almost imperceptible, as well as blatant and overt, but, nonetheless, harmful." I was also happy to see a quote from John Stuart Mill's On Liberty - sort of a nice little callback to 502! There's also a very informative timeline to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week (found here), highlighting significant challenged and banned books from 1982-on.

Overall, I highly enjoyed reading through the reasons people and institutions come up with for challenging classic books - most of which are, for lack of a better word, completely insane (in this author's opinion). I was pleased to learn that quite a few of the most highly challenged classics were required readings for me in both junior high and high school. Looking back on it from this point in my life, I'm thankful that my teachers assigned these novels despite the risk of complaints from parents and other school higher-ups.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

progressing toward normalcy

Like many Americans, I've been captivated by news coverage of Hurricane Sandy. As a lifelong Midwesterner, these weather events rarely have a direct impact on my life, but I've always had a tremendous interest in how others are able to recover from such storms. I can only imagine then that this story about the re-opening of public libraries in Staten Island shows that things are very slowly returning to normal in New York City and beyond. Public libraries serve as, amongst other things, a stabilizing, unifying place in our communities. That they're re-opening in these hurricane-stricken areas is a great sign.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

kids vote too

Election day is almost here, and in keeping with the political theme, I decided to explore what public libraries are doing to help youth become interested in the political process. I came across this article from the Denver Post detailing the efforts of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library (located in Broomfield, Colorado) in teaching kids about the importance of voting. Young children can cast their votes for their favorite stuffed animals as well as their favorite types of books. Teens, meanwhile, are able to vote for their preferred presidential candidate in somewhat more realistic mock election. The Broomfield Election Division even lent real voting booths to the library to add an air of authenticity to the experience.
Based on the article, it seems as though the children are having fun and learning a lot in the process, which is always an important part of youth programs. This particular program also allows the kids to relate to their parents by having them cast their votes in a mock election. And I am of the opinion that it’s never too early to teach youth about the importance of voting and participating in the political process. I’m glad the librarians at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library feel the same way.