The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the recipients of the Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant. Nine Massachusetts libraries were included in the second round of grantees.
The libraries include:
|Belding Memorial Library
|Field Memorial Library
|Millbury Public Library
|Sargent Memorial Library
|Dighton Public Library
|Town of Southborough
|Scituate Town Library
|Elizabeth Taber Library
|Whelden Memorial Library
Participating libraries receive training in how to lead conversations through an ALA e-course on basic facilitation skills; host at least one conversation (in-person or virtual) with community members on a chosen topic; and receive $3,000 to support community engagement efforts. Grant funds may cover a range of expenses, including staff time and collections and technology purchases.
You can read more about the project in this press release.
It’s humpday of Banned Books Week 2016. This year’s focus is on diversity in literature; books that get banned or challenged are disproportionately written by diverse authors.
For the uninitiated, Banned Books Week is “an annual event celebrating the freedom to read… it highlights the value of free and open access to information, [and] brings together the entire book community; librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types, in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.” More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982, according to the American Library Association (ALA).
Throughout the U.S. at libraries, schools, universities, and other institutions, “read-a-thons” and “read-outs” of books banned over the years will increase awareness of both censorship and the importance of the freedom to read. This year, virtual read-outs from around the country are featured on their own YouTube channel as well.
2015 Book Challenges in Detail
(from the Banned Books Week website)
- Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
- Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
- I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
- Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
- The Holy Bible
Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
- Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
- Habibi, by Craig Thompson
Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
- Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
- Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).
September is National Library Card Signup Month, and with back-to-school season in full swing, the American Library Association reminds us: “Children who use the library perform better in school and are more likely to continue to use the library for lifelong learning.”
Plus, kids who have library cards are just plain objectively cooler. Just ask Snoopy:
Follow I Love Libraries on Facebook and Twitter and the hashtag #LibraryCardSignUp to join the celebration on social media. ALA has a promotional kit available for libraries to use in their buildings and online, too.
And if your library is doing something special to celebrate, please let us know! We’d love to share your stories and photos here, or Facebook and Twitter.