Tag Archives: Libraries

There’s new pressure to ban books at schools : NPR

Attempts to remove books from school libraries have increased, spurred by activism from conservative parent groups and resistance to teaching socially progressive ideas in schools.

December 6, 20215:10 AM ET Heard on Morning Edition

By Nomin Ujiyediin

Photo by Rachel Claire on Pexels.com

TRANSCRIPT:

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: Attempts to ban books in schools are as old as books themselves. But there’s new momentum on book bans now that’s driven by conservative activists targeting local school boards. Nomin Ujiyediin of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports.

NOMIN UJIYEDIIN, BYLINE: Books about LGBTQ issues and race have spurred more conservative activism against school boards in recent months. It’s often the same books that are challenged, like “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins, because they deal directly with issues of sex, racism, violence and drugs. One group leading challenges calls itself No Left Turn in Education. It publishes lists of books and guides to help activists complain to their school boards. Andy Wells heads the Missouri chapter. He considers books like “The Bluest Eye” to be pornographic and argues they shouldn’t be in schools.

Source: There’s new pressure to ban books at schools : NPR

Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

Nancy Pearl, possibly America’s best-known librarian and recommender of books, shares her thoughts on choosing what to read, and when to stop reading.

By Rebekah Denn, Correspondent, November 16, 2021

Susan Doupe, Courtesy of Nancy Pearl

It’s not every librarian who has an action figure modeled after her. But Nancy Pearl, who was honored at the National Book Awards on Nov. 17, comes to her superhero status by her encyclopedic knowledge of books and powerfully engaging recommendations in almost every form of media.

In 1998, Ms. Pearl launched a program at the Seattle Public Library called “If All Seattle Read the Same Book,” which led to the worldwide group-reading phenomenon known as One Book, One City.

In 2009, Ms. Pearl’s ability to connect readers with the right book gained a wide following when she published “Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason,” which became a surprise hit.

More recent work includes “Book Lust” sequels, a novel, and a collection of author interviews. Known as “America’s Librarian,” Ms. Pearl received the 2021 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community for her work in expanding audiences for reading. Past recipients include poet Maya Angelou and NPR’s “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross.

Source: Nancy Pearl, ‘America’s Librarian,’ knows why people need libraries – CSMonitor.com

This library lets you borrow people instead of books. It just may help bridge our bitter divisions – CNN

By John Blake, CNN, Updated 7:14 AM ET, Sun November 14, 2021

Two women — one Muslim, one not — talk at a Human Library event in London in 2018.

(CNN)On a rainy spring morning in Muncie, Indiana, a White, middle-aged, conservative woman met a transgender woman for a date.

It did not start well. The transgender woman was waiting at a table when the other woman showed up. She stood up and extended her hand. The other woman refused to take it.

“I want you to know I’m a conservative Christian,” she said, still standing. “I’m a liberal Christian,” the transgender woman replied. “Let’s talk.”

Their rendezvous was supposed to last about 30 minutes. But the conversation was so engrossing for both that it lasted an hour.

It ended with the conservative woman rising from her seat to give the other woman a hug.”Thank you,” she said. “This has been wonderful.”

This improbable meeting came courtesy of the Human Library, a nonprofit learning platform that allows people to borrow people instead of books. But not just any people. Every “human book” from this library represents a group that faces prejudice or stigmas because of their lifestyle, ethnicity, beliefs, or disability. A human book can be an alcoholic, for example, or a Muslim, or a homeless person, or someone who was sexually abused.The Human Library stages in-person and online events where “difficult questions are expected, appreciated, and answered.” Organizers says they’re trying to encourage people to “unjudge” a book by its cover.

Source: This library lets you borrow people instead of books. It just may help bridge our bitter divisions – CNN

Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

By Brewster Kahle, October 22, 2021 1:21 PM EDT
Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. Member, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Internet Hall of Fame
Getty Images

When I started the Internet Archive 25 years ago, I focused our non-profit library on digital collections: preserving web pages, archiving television news, and digitizing books. The Internet Archive was seen as innovative and unusual.

Now all libraries are increasingly electronic, and necessarily so. To fight disinformation, to serve readers during the pandemic, and to be relevant to 21st-century learners, libraries must become digital.

But just as the Web increased people’s access to information exponentially, an opposite trend has evolved. Global media corporations—emboldened by the expansive copyright laws they helped craft and the emerging technology that reaches right into our reading devices—are exerting absolute control over digital information.

These two conflicting forces—towards unfettered availability and completely walled access to information—have defined the last 25 years of the Internet. How we handle this ongoing clash will define our civic discourse in the next 25 years.

If we fail to forge the right path, publishers’ business models could eliminate one of the great tools for democratizing society: our independent libraries.

Source: Will There Be Libraries in 25 Years?  | Time

How Memphis Created the Nation’s Most Innovative Public Library | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

You can play the ukulele, learn photography or record a song in a top-flight studio. You can also check out a book

By Richard Grant, Photographs by Ariel Cobbert

Cloud901’s maker space is equipped with such high-tech tools as laser cutters and 3-D printers. The workshop is open to all ages, not just teens. Ariel Cobbert

The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, a building of pale concrete and greenish glass, rises four stories in midtown Memphis. Walking through its automatic doors on a weekday afternoon, I hear unexpected sounds, muffled but unmistakable, almost shocking in a library context: the deep, quaking bass beats of Memphis hip-hop, plus a faint whine of power tools cutting through metal.

It’s difficult to summarize the myriad changes taking place in American public libraries, but one thing is certain. Libraries are no longer hushed repositories of books.

Here at the Central branch in Memphis, ukulele flash mobs materialize and seniors dance the fox trot in upstairs rooms. The library hosts U.S. naturalization ceremonies, job fairs, financial literacy seminars, jazz concerts, cooking classes, film screenings and many other events—more than 7,000 at last count.

You can check out books and movies, to be sure, but also sewing machines, bicycle repair kits and laptop computers. And late fees? A thing of the past.

Source: How Memphis Created the Nation’s Most Innovative Public Library | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

Celebrating the Librarians of SFF | Tor.com

By Stubby the Rocket, Wed Sep 29, 2021 10:00am 32 comments 7 Favorites [+]

From article…

Across fantasy and science fiction (with the occasional stop in horror), there are any number of amazing fictional libraries we’d love to visit—especially to meet up with the guardians of the stacks!

After all, what’s a fantasy story without an awe-inspiring tower full of potentially curséd books?

Or a sci-fi adventure without the cumulative knowledge of civilization stored somewhere to guide our heroes on their quest?

We decided it was time for an overdue celebration of the keepers of knowledge, from experts in Egyptology to far-future book-lovers fighting tyrannical governments to sword-wielding barbarians, we have a librarian for every occasion.

Editor’s Note: Lots of listing in the article, and check out the comments as well.

Source: Celebrating the Librarians of SFF | Tor.com