Have you ever wondered when the first library was founded? Or how old the oldest operating library is? Well, according to this article, the world’s oldest operating library opened in the year 859. The library has been undergoing repairs and rehabilitation to reopen to the public. It will do so in May 2016! Take a few minutes and read about this exciting project!
A new app, called Open eBooks is providing free ebooks to low income students. Children from low income families often live in print starved environments, and as a result are some of the most reluctant readers. This new initiative will provide these children with access to free reading material.
This is a topic that hits close to my job right now. As a school librarian I am faced with issues of book challenges and out right banning. While I won’t go into details on specifics of how my district handles these issues, I will say that the process can be frustrating and make my job more difficult than it needs to be. But, and this is a big but, that is not the issue. As a school librarian it is my job to encourage literacy and a love for reading. But when community members try to censor what students read, then it can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to get a reluctant reader to pick up a book.
This article discusses the issues facing classroom reading assignments across the country. While I have no issue with parents who want to protect their own children, I do have issue with parents who want to protect other people’s children. While the issue in question isn’t an outright book banning, it does tread closely in that it boils down to one parent trying to determine what is appropriate for children who are not her own to read. What policy is enough? At what point does an educator’s professional discretion come into play? At what point will all lesson plans need to be parent approved before they an be taught?
We are supposed to be fostering a love of reading, but when we can’t provide children with books which they need or want to read for fear of parental disapproval, the curriculum is walking a fine line between school curriculum and parental control.
Here me out. This post is not racist. It’s actually an appeal for greater diversity in books. It’s also a shout out to one little girl who made it her mission to find 1000 books with strong black female lead characters. You can read about it at this link. Marley Dias has surpassed her goal. Have you read any of the books on her list? What are your favorite diversity books? Let’s focus on books for African Americans here and discuss other diversity needs elsewhere.
Retellings have been popular for quite some time. We need look no further than much of what is coming out of Hollywood to know this is true with movies. According to this post, it’s true for books as well, especially YA literature. Marissa Meyer’s debut novel Cinder, is an ultra-modern/futuristic and feminist retelling of Cinderella. The book is also the first in a series, The Lunar Chronicles, which retells other similar fairy tales. Have you read a retelling lately? What was it and what did you think?