Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week

A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone. -Jo Godwin

It's here! Banned Books Week is our favorite time to celebrate those works which have been challenged, suppressed, protested, stifled, censored, restricted or, yes, banned.
Visit to see some of these titles -- you might be surprised to see one of your favorites on the list!

Why celebrate this week? The ALA explains it this way:
"Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States...
The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings. Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections. Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society."
Visit facebook to see more photos of our Banned Books display, or stop by the library!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Word to the wise

I posted this junk email we received at the library because it's so cartoonishly obvious.

Needless to say, if you receive an email congratulating you for winning the "Microsoft World Lottery," and unsubtly asking you to open an attached file, please don't open it. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

After the Spill

The Reader's Advisor has a list of books to read after the September 2 oil rig explosion (and, of course, the BP spill in April). Two of the titles here are:
  • Oil on the Brain by Lisa Margonelli - Starting at a local gas station, Margonelli sets off to meet the people behind the pump, who lead her deep into the economics, politics, chemistry, and culture of petroleum. Along the oil supply chain, through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and the NYMEX oil market, she finds unexpected delights and troubling contradictions.
  • The Prize by Daniel Yergin - The Prize recounts the panoramic history of oil -- and the struggle for wealth power that has always surrounded oil. This struggle has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, and transformed the destiny of men and nations. The Prize is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of this history is enormous -- from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm.
    The cast extends from wildcatters and rogues to oil tycoons, and from Winston Churchill and Ibn Saud to George Bush and Saddam Hussein. The definitive work on the subject of oil and a major contribution to understanding our century, The Prize is a book of extraordinary breadth, riveting excitement -- and great importance.
Click on the titles to see our catalog and request a copy. Happy reading!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Readers and e-readers

If you're an avid reader, at some point you've probably grappled with the issue of e-readers. Is it worth it to spend $200 or more on a gadget when you could be spending it on books themselves (or reading books free from the library)? Is reading a novel from a screen the same as reading from a page? Can you get away with reading trashy books on a Kindle since no one will see the cover? :)

The debate has been going on for years and may never be settled. I saw an article, though, with a slightly different perspective. Emma Silvers writes:
"Out of every argument I've heard in favor of e-readers -- no dead trees, portable research, "it's the future," etc. -- my least favorite might be the central point of the thing: the fact that it allows you to choose from thousands of books at any given time. I simply don't want that kind of potential for distraction. Would I have ever made it through any book by Herman Hesse if I'd had the choice, with a press of a button, to lighten the mood with a little Tom Robbins? Will anyone ever finish "Infinite Jest" on a device that constantly presents other options?"
The whole article is here at and is worth a read. What do you think?

[For the record, I have an e-reader (Sony PRS-505) but pretty much only use it for public-domain titles I can download for free.]