Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Censorship of Teen Books and Ways to Celebrate Banned Books Week

I found this great article while browsing the Canadian Huffington Post entitled Who Decides What Books Teens Read? and felt that I had to share it. I liked what the author had to say about teens and censorship, for example: "On the one hand you've got authors, fiercely passionate about telling the truth in their writing, in acknowledging the realities faced by teens and children no matter how dark or brutal. On the other you have adults willing to stand between that content and their child, to protect them from and nurture in them feelings and realities unconnected to anything unpleasant. The battle between these two ideologies may be a healthy one." I also found this NY Times article featuring 10 ways to celebrate Banned Books Week with children/students. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Banned Books Week 2011

Sept 24-Oct 1 is Banned Books Week. It is important to acknowledge these books and fight for against book censorship as everyone should have the right to read what they want to read. The National Council of Teachers of English have created this website to do just that, and there is also the program by the National Coalition Against Censorship. 

I am currently reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque as I've joined a Banned Book Club in Mesa. I've seen the 1930 movie but never read the book. Here is a short blurb on it. Next month the group is reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, which was banned by several school in the 70s and 80s, and is no. 66 on the ALA's list of Banned and/or Challenged Classics. I've already read that one and loved it. Here is the 2011 List for Banned Books in case you would like to read some of the books on your own. I've read 24 books on the list.

What banned books have you read that you enjoyed? How many books have you read off the 2011 list? Please share. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Job Frustrations and Time Passers

I am super frustrated at the moment because I interviewed for this awesome part-time Youth Services position at the Scottsdale Public Library Main Branch, and didn't get it, due to an overwhelming pool of qualified applicants (or something to that effect). Scottsdale has a super nice library system, which not only has amazing general library spaces but also a fantastic teen and children's section in the Main Library. The teen's section, called Knowasis, is glassed in and featured a study room, tons of computers, a stage and the YA books. They get 7-9K teens a year in there, which is a staggering amount of people. Most libraries won't see that number in several years. The children's area is broken down into picture books on one end with these totally cute mice chairs around a cheese table, and a castle at the other end for the older kid's books. They even have reading nooks in the castle turret. Each branch library is an early literacy center too, and they apparently have a very active summer reading program for all ages. 

I have applied for more positions before and since I interviewed for that job last week, but I really had my heart set on that position. It would be a good starting out position for me as it was actually in my area of expertise. I really just hope something else works out soon before I go completely stir crazy living here. I'm trying to occupy my time in some small way, and have decided to join a book club (something which I've surprisingly never done before despite being an avid reader for most of my life). I've joined a Banned Books group so far, and they are doing a discussion on Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, which I've never read but I've heard was really good. Have seen the silent film version of it though. There are a couple more groups reading interesting books that I want to check out in Oct/Nov.  There is also a ton of free festivals coming up in Sept/Oct that I want to go to, such as Oktoberfest, Greek Festival and the Best Fest. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

International Literacy Day

Today, Sept 8, is International Literacy Day. I know the importance of early childhood literacy after working with the South Carolina State Library to create a directory of South Carolina literacy organizations and to help with the literacy calendar for children ages 0-7 and their families ( One of my Facebook library groups posted a video about the holiday, and there was link to this video in it about the importance of literacy as education from the Ambassador from Bangladesh to the United Nations. It is a bit long but has a good message. 

Today is my first library job interview since I stopped working back in May. So wish me luck!