Category Archives: Advocacy

Banned Books Week 2013

ALA Seal

ALA Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banned Books vs. Challenged Books

When a book is banned it is removed from a collection. A challenge is an objection raised by groups or a person to a book and is an attempt to remove the book from a collection or school curriculum. Banning restricts access of all citizens to those books that are banned.

“The American Library Association promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them. The following is a list of frequently asked questions on banned and challenged books:” Source:

Banned Books week  September 22-28, 2013 featured many events across the county. Of particular note Bill Moyers, the host of “Moyers & Company” a long-time supporter of Banned Books Week, has produced a video essay addressing the importance of our freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. “Censorship is the enemy of truth, even more than a lie,” said Bill Moyers. “A lie can be exposed; censorship can prevent us from knowing the difference.”

The Lawrence Public Library won the 2013 John Cotton Dana Award for its Banned Book Trading Cards. Their Facebook page contains the cards and a picture of the author.


Out of 464 challenges as reported by the Office for Intellectual Freedom the following contains the titles and authors of the ten most frequently challenged books in 2012:

  1. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  5. And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group
  6. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
    Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  8. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
    Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence
  9. The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit
  10. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence



Younger Americans Are Still Library Users

Pew released a report on June 25 2013 on library use and expectations of young Americans. Pew researchers found that young Americans, ages 16-29, are frequent “users of library technology and the Internet but are still closely bound to print.”Read the entire report at

Library Week Survey

If you are a student, staff and faculty at Scott Community College please take a few minutes to answer these questions about services at Scott Community College Library. Your answers will remain anonymous  The results of the survey will be published on the library blog and our Facebook page next Monday. The answers you provide will help us determine how we can better serve you. Thank you! Click here to access the survey.

April is National Poetry Month

The Academy of American Poets in 1996 declared April as National Poetry Month. Libraries, publishers, schools and poets celebrate poetry during this month and attend some of the readings, workshops, and other events. Go to to see this year’s programs, sign up for a free newsletter, find poems, and much more.
The Scott Community College Library has a display of poetry books. In the display, include books like Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, The Apple Trees at Olema by Robert Hass, Dream Songs by John Berryman, Lines and Mounds by Dave Oliphant and many more.
National Poetry Month- – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More A resource from the Academy of American Poets with thousands of poems, essays, biographies, weekly features, and poems for love and every occasion.

Pictures of Beautiful Libraries World Wide


Image via Wikipedia

View pictures of beautiful libraries around the world posted by Flavorwire. View them at In these reading rooms students learn from the vast collections of resources and collaborate on projects. This gives me a mind full of beautiful images.

Occupy Wall Street Library

The Occupy Wall Street Library was torn down and protesters ordered out from Zucotti Park in New York on November 14th, 2011. 

As a librarian and a supporter of a free democratic society, I fully support the Americana Library Association in their statement about the dismantling on this library. The American Library Association (ALA) says it condemns the seizure of the Occupy Wall Street People’s Library, which contained over 5,500 books, magazines, and other materials. “The dissolution of a library is unacceptable,” says ALA President Molly Raphael. “Libraries serve as the cornerstone of our democracy and must be safeguarded. An informed public constitutes the very foundation of a democracy, and libraries ensure that everyone has free access to information.”

I saw this on the Library Stuff blog and wanted to share these pictures from the Occupy Libraries Group on Flicker:

Information Comes in Many Forms

We all have heard that Smart phones are the latest and greatest trend. There is an increase in the number of people who own Smart phones.  According to the Pew, Internet, and American Life Project study, which was  released in July 2011, 35% of adults own a smart phone with the numbers of ownership being slightly higher at 44% for African-Americans and Latinos. Of those owners, 68% said that they used their phone everyday to go online and 87% access email from their phone. Another study by Morgan Stanley, predicts that more people will access the Internet from a mobile device in 2015 than do from a desk top computer.  

Traditionally, libraries were an ordered collection of books. Today, libraries have become places of unrestricted access to information existing in many formats. Libraries will continue to offer books and services designed to meet the needs of our patrons. Libraries are expanding beyond its walls.

A Different Kind of Library Created for the Same Purpose

A different kind of library was created in 2006 by Nell Taylor and a group of volunteers in Chicago. The Read/Write Library collects and preserves local self published pamphlets, books, and other materials by local citizens. Ms. Taylor dreams that one day the library’s collection will be a digital representation of Chicago’s cultural history.  

The reasons why we collect and preserve knowledge and culture will never change. The way we do those things has changed and will continue to change and grow.

The People’s Library

Christian Zabriskie, founder of Urban Libraries Unite, wrote inspirational article about The People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street in New York City in the October 18th of American Libraries.  Since the onset of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest, the People’s Library has been growing in materials and patrons.  Moreover, people’s libraries have been growing in popularity across the United States.  The People’s Library experiences distinctive and similar problems other libraries face. But despite the problems, the library staff is hard-working and dedicated.  

The entire article can be read at  In addition to reading the article, you can visit the People’s Library Blog at  After reading the article and blog, search through your books and donate the books you don’t want to the People’s Library. Donate as a supporter of the People’s Library and as an advocate for libraries.

The Value of Libraries

If you love libraries, you would like the article “Let-Them-Eat-Cake Attitude Threatens to Destroy a Network of Public Assets” by Scott Turow. Scott Turow is president of the Author’s Guild. Turow writes that budget cuts threaten the vital services libraries provide. Here are a few comments from his article:

 “Libraries are one of the greatest ways to “guarantee that we can maintain a well-informed citizenry.”

“Having the “mistaken belief that [libraries] are somehow anachronistic in an age when so many Americans have instant computer access to information through the Internet… is, frankly, a let-them-eat-cake attitude that threatens to destroy a network of public assets that remains critical to our society.”

Most important of all, perhaps, a library within a community stand as a testimonial to its values, and its belief in universal access to literature and knowledge.”

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