Tag Archives: Books

Report finds increase in attempts to ban books | KPBS Public Media

By Jade Hindmon / KPBS Midday Edition Co-Host, Andrew Bracken / Producer, KPBS Midday Edition

Published September 19, 2022 at 4:03 PM PDT

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A new report from the American Library Association found a rise in the number of book banning attempts throughout the country. To help counter the trend, libraries this week are commemorating Banned Books Week, whose 2022 theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Tarryn Mento/KPBS
Downtown San Diego’s public library is shown in this undated image.

“I should say, it doesn’t stop with just banning books. What we’re seeing across the country is they’re banning voices, modern voices, librarians, teachers,” said Patrick Stewart, CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation. “It’s gone beyond just the banning of a book, or a certain piece of literature or textbook.”

Stewart joined San Diego Public Library director Misty Jones on Midday Edition Monday to talk about their reaction to the report’s findings.

“It’s disheartening,” Jones said. “It is seeing just the increase in the number not only of challenges, but the extent and the links to what people are going for, these challenges going before school boards, the personal attacks on librarians and teachers for doing their job.”

Many of the books being targeted involve topics on race and sexuality.

Source: https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/09/19/report-finds-increase-in-attempts-to-ban-books

This Ivy League College Holds The World’s Largest Academic Library | Grunge

By Richard Milner, Sept. 8, 2022 1:21 pm EDT

Stack of old books

Alright, it’s time to talk text. Way back before people assumed that you could compress meaningful explanations into Tweet-sized blurbs, people read these super long tweets called “books,” and, uh … oh, you know those? The truth is, judging by the numbers, plenty of people still love cozying up to a piece of fiction, non-fiction, paperback, hardback, whatever, and having some peace of mind. It’s estimated that book sales will rise to $129 billion in the U.S. in 2023 alone (via Statista). Publishers’ Weekly reports that unit sales rose from 757.9 million to 825.7 million from 2020 to 2021. That’s individual books, mind you, an insane figure considering all the bugbear “death of publishing” rumors of yesteryear.

Globally, literacy is at an historical high. Back in 1800, only 12% of the global population could read, as Our World In Data shows. As of 2016, that number was 86.25%. Some countries like Finland, Ukraine, and Czechia for all intents and purposes have 100% literacy rates, per World Population Review. This doesn’t mean that people in those countries or elsewhere are actually reading every day, but judging by the aforementioned publishing figures, it seems like folks still love books.

So how many books do you have in your personal library? If you have to pause and count them, then congratulations. But no matter how many you’ve got, you definitely have less than the Harvard University Library, which has a jaw-dropping 21.8 million titles (via Guinness World Records).

Source: https://www.grunge.com/998872/this-ivy-league-college-holds-the-worlds-largest-academic-library/

On Maggie Bradbury, the woman who “changed literature forever.” ‹ Literary Hub

By Emily Temple, August 30, 2022, 9:40am

from article…

Ray Bradbury met his first girlfriend—and his future wife—in a bookstore. But they didn’t lock eyes over the same just-selected novel, or bump into each other in a narrow aisle, sending books and feelings flying.

It was a warm afternoon in April 1946, and 25-year-old Ray Bradbury—an up-and-coming pulp fiction writer—was wearing a trench coat and carrying a briefcase while he scanned the shelves at Fowler Brothers Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles.

Naturally, Marguerite McClure—Maggie—who worked at the bookstore, “was immediately suspicious.” Someone had been stealing books, but hadn’t yet been caught. So she struck up a conversation. “I expected him to slam his briefcase down on a pile of books and make off with a few,” she said. “Instead, he told me he was a writer and invited me to have a cup of coffee with him.”

Coffee became lunch became dinner became romance; Maggie was the first woman Ray had ever dated, but he managed all right, and they were married on September 27, 1947.

Source: https://lithub.com/on-maggie-bradbury-the-woman-who-changed-literature-forever/

Panic at the Library | Lapham’s Quarterly

The sinister history of fumigating “foreign” books.

By Brian Michael Murphy, Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Chained books in the Hereford Cathedral library, c. 1860. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

In late spring 1928 librarians in the rare book collections at the Huntington Library in Southern California noticed that something was feasting on the volumes in their care. Rail and utilities titan Henry E. Huntington had established the library in 1920, spending a small fortune to gobble up a number of the largest and finest rare book collections in a relatively short time, and creating a truly priceless set of artifacts.

Though Huntington died in 1927, he intended his collection to live on long after him, but as the librarians discovered, the volumes were literally too full of life. The problem with assembling a massive collection of books is that you necessarily collect the very organisms that feed on books.

Variously known as Anobium paniceum, the bread beetle, or the drugstore beetle, bookworms had been known to eat their way through “druggists’ supplies,” from “insipid gluten wafers to such acrid substances as wormwood,” from cardamom and anise to “the deadly aconite and belladonna,” wrote the librarian Thomas Marion Iiams, who led the preservation effort at the Huntington Library. He noted in an account of his struggles in Library Quarterly that the bookworm displays a “universal disrespect for almost everything, including arsenic and lead.” Iiams was new to the librarian profession and was certain that more experienced overseers of fine collections would have a solution to his bookworm problem.

In haste, Iiams wrote letters to much older libraries and repositories—the Huntington itself was only eight years old—to learn precisely how they rid their precious books of the pest. He was alarmed to find that no one, not librarians at the Vatican nor at the oldest libraries in Britain, could offer a definitive prescription for how to protect books against the hardy insect. A number of the librarians he consulted thought bookworms to be a myth, and thus offered no help at all.

Source: https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/panic-library

Internet Archive Seeks Summary Judgment in Federal Lawsuit Filed By Publishing Companies | Internet Archive Blogs

Posted on July 8, 2022 by chrisfreeland

–from article…

The motion for summary judgment, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Durie Tangri LLP, explains that our Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) program is a lawful fair use that preserves traditional library lending in the digital world.

The brief explains how the Internet Archive is advancing the purposes of copyright law by furthering public access to knowledge and facilitating the creation of new creative and scholarly works.

The Internet Archive’s digital lending hasn’t cost the publishers one penny in revenues; in fact, concrete evidence shows that the Archive’s digital lending does not and will not harm the market for books.

Source: Internet Archive Seeks Summary Judgment in Federal Lawsuit Filed By Publishing Companies – Internet Archive Blogs