eBooks for Low Income Students

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.

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Trigger Warnings for School Reading Assignments?

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.

 

Librarians vs. Government Spies

Librarians are protectors of your freedom to read. We help you find whatever information you are looking for and we don’t think it’s anyone’s business but your own when it comes to what you read. In fact, this premise is the third principle in the ALA Code of Ethics. In 2001, the USA Patriot Act brought this issue to the forefront. In 2013, with the actions of Edward Snowden, we saw that this issue is still in the forefront of the issues that librarians are dealing with. This article provides an overview of the issue.

Ptolemy, Sappho & Shakespeare at NYC’s Morgan Library

I love old documents. That’s probably why I decided to study library science generally and archival science specifically. It’s too bad I don’t have the ability right now to make it to New York. The “Works of Genius” exhibit at Morgan Library features works by three revolutionary minds. While I would love to see this, I would have to say that if I could only see one, I would chose Sappho. The fact that the fragments in this exhibit are the only known work remaining from her poetry just makes it so much more valuable.

Restoring the Hunley

As a historian and archivist, I’m interested in restoration and preservation of all types of primary source materials. And how more primary can you be than a Civil War submarine? Currently under preservation through the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, the Hunley will undergo several months of chemical baths to enable the sand and encrustations to be scraped off the hull.

 

New Phase in Restoring the Hunley

Friends of the Hunley

Is Dr. Seuss Violent?

I’ve never really thought about Dr. Seuss books as being overly violent. Recently a library in Toronto was asked to ban the book, Hop on Pop. You can read why the request was made, but it boils down to the fact that at least one individual thinks the book advocates children and violence towards parents. Banning books can be a touchy subject, but it’s one that I vehemently oppose. I believe that the right to information is greater than the “need” to protect society. I may not agree with what’s in a book, but I believe anyone who wants to read it has the right to do so.

The Magical World of Archiving Meets the Magical Arts

I recently stumbled across this article and thought that it is one of the most interesting archives I’ve stumbled across (at least to date). Reading about it takes me back to my childhood and dabbling in magic and slight- of- hand tricks. Of course, nothing I ever learned compares to the wealth of magical knowledge in The Conjuring Arts Research Center. But, the magic and history blend together and draw me back to a time when a little girl fell in love with the history of magic.

 

Maker Spaces

I was interviewing a librarian today for a project in my MLIS program. One of the things she was telling me about was the maker space in her library. I had not heard of maker spaces before. Basically it’s a craft space in libraries to allow patrons the ability to create things- a way to keep patrons off of technology for awhile. This is not to say that technology is bad. It’s just that most everyone can agree that many people’s lives are completely consumed with technology. So, the idea of a dedicated craft space in libraries is very intriguing to me.  Take a look at this website and let me know what you think.

The Makings of Maker Spaces

 

Also, here is a list of libraries that have a maker space.