Tag Archives: Libraries

The book battle is escalating, with library funds on the line : NPR

May 4, 20235:02 AM ET, Heard on All Things Considered By Tovia Smith

Otter Bowman is one of many library staffers around Missouri scrambling to enact new policies around books selected for young readers. Libraries that don’t comply risk losing state funding.
Anna Huffman/Anna Huffman

The decibel level is climbing as some 20 preschoolers sprawl out on an alphabet-pattern carpet for story hour.

One toddler, who’s new to the group, is having a bit of a meltdown, so Otter Bowman, a library associate at the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Mo., goes for the surest trick she has and starts talking about “Junior,” the library’s bookmobile.

As usual, it gets the kids’ attention and the gaggle settles down so Bowman can begin story hour. “Hello! I’m Ducky Duckling,” she reads. “When I feel happy, I say, ‘Quack! Quack!’ ” The kids cackle and quack back.

Source: The book battle is escalating, with library funds on the line : NPR

War of words: The fight over banning books – CBS News

By Martha Teichner, April 23, 2023 / 9:32 AM / CBS News


Sunday Morning
War of words: The fight over banning books

“Catch-22,” Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle,” “The Great Gatsby,” Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” “Lord of the Flies,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” … classics, and every one of them banned in some places. Said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom, “There was somebody who objected to the profanity, or the challenge to the status quo.”

The Chicago Public Library put them on display, in defiance of efforts nationwide to ban books.

Source: War of words: The fight over banning books – CBS News

Book bans soar in U.S. schools, largely in Republican-led states – Los Angeles Times

By Alexandra E. Petri, Staff Writer, April 22, 2023 5 AM PT

Maia Kobabe, author of “Gender Queer: A Memoir,” poses for a portrait with the book, which was one of the most banned titles in U.S. schools last year.
(Josh Edelson / For The Times)

Fearing criminal penalties, public schools throughout Missouri removed hundreds of books from their libraries after state lawmakers last year made it illegal to provide students with “sexually explicit” material — a law that carried punishment of up to a year in prison.

The issue is playing out in public school districts and campus libraries across the United States, 1st Amendment advocates warn: Book bans, gassed up by state legislation pushed by conservative officials and groups, are stacking up at an alarming rate.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item...

Source: Book bans soar in U.S. schools, largely in Republican-led states – Los Angeles Times

When the Culture Wars Come for the Public Library | The New Yorker

A Montana county’s battle shows how faith in public learning and public space is fraying.

By E. Tammy Kim, April 20, 2023

Illustration by Emmanuel Polanco

Every public library is an exception. The world outside is costly and cordoned off, but here no one is charged, and no one is turned away. People browse for books and go online. They learn English, meet with friends, dawdle, nap, and play. For children, the public library is a place to build an inner life, unencumbered by grownups. Story time is an invitation to that experience. A librarian reads a book aloud to a huddle of kids seated cross-legged on the floor.

It’s part early-literacy tool, part theatre, and looks basically the same wherever it happens. The public libraries in Flathead County, Montana, a region of mountainous beauty bordering Canada and Glacier National Park, offer seven story times per week, for babies on up. Three scattered branch locations—in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Bigfork—serve a population of a hundred and eleven thousand people, spread out over five thousand rugged square miles.

When the Culture Wars Come for the Public Library | The New Yorker

Five Speculative Novels Set In Worlds Full of Books ‹ CrimeReads

By Hester Fox, April 12, 2023

From article…

The only thing better than getting lost in a library?

Reading a book about one, of course. Whether it’s the Library of Alexandria, the British Library, or your favorite local branch, libraries hold a special place in our hearts and imaginations as portals to all sorts of knowledge and different worlds. If books are a “uniquely portable magic,” as Stephen King says, then libraries are a wellspring of enchantment, places where our imaginations are given license to run free.

My upcoming book The Last Heir to Blackwood Library features a sprawling abbey on the windswept Yorkshire moors. When Ivy Radcliffe inherits the abbey in 1927, she arrives to find that there is a magnificent library kept under lock and key by the servants. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary library; the contents of the books seem to spill out into real life, and Ivy’s memory begins to fade with each passing day. Ivy will have to unravel the mystery that lurks at the center of the library if she is to have any chance of saving herself, as well as her beloved abbey.

If that sounds like your cup of tea, then here some other books you might enjoy that feature fantastical libraries, cozy bookstores, and stories that pay homage to the magic of the written word.

Source: Five Speculative Novels Set In Worlds Full of Books ‹ CrimeReads

FEATURE – Libraries in the Age of Artificial Intelligence | Information Today, Inc.

by Ben Johnson, February 13, 2023

Ben Johnson (bjohnson@councilbluffslibrary.org) is the adult services manager at the Council Bluffs Public Library in Iowa.

Screenshot of article online…

You can ask Google, Alexa, Cortana, Watson, or Siri—but will you be able to ask your local library? A century or so ago, electricity was a new, quasi-magical thing—a novelty with few applications. Back then, nobody could have predicted that it would give rise to telephones, production lines, and microchips. And yet, electricity transformed every industry, including agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. As a foundational springboard for so many new innovations, that novelty was the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century.

Now, in the 21st century, a new quasi-magical thing has come into our lives: artificial intelligence (AI). And just as it was in the early days of the electronic revolution, we are only beginning to grasp how completely this new technology will transform our daily lives. Nearly all of today’s emerging technologies are built on the foundation of increasingly sophisticated machine learning. Every major technology company is betting on machine learning, hoping to be a player in the coming revolution by developing proprietary machine intelligences to perform tasks that used to require human intelligence.

–from article

Today, our interactions with AI are mostly novel (“Siri, why did the chicken cross the road?”)—and the results crude—but so were the first lightbulbs and photographs.

Source: FEATURE – Libraries in the Age of Artificial Intelligence