Tuesday, September 29, 2020

From the Director… Banned Books Week

Banned Books WeekI have been thinking about banned books week for a while. Should we have a display? Should we feature the books we have that have been banned? What exactly should we do about banned books week? Should we do anything?

The premise of banned books week comes from the idea that libraries are information hubs and they are not censored. Thus, the attention to banned books at a library is to bring attention to the censorship of these books.

Why is it these books are banned though?

Most if not all the books that find themselves on the banned/challenged list are books that cover in some way controversial subjects. Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer was banned because of racism. Harriet the Spy was banned because she wore boy clothes(sexuality?). The themes that find themselves on the list vary every year. This year 8 of the top ten are related to LGBTQIA+. The other two that are listed are Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood because of profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones” and then the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals.

It is my belief that books are written not just for entertainment but also to challenge us with our ideals.

Who is it that banned them?

Books are banned or challenged by review boards, individuals, administrators, etc. People that feel they need to protect others. There are individuals and organizations that believe it is their place to ban books to protect children. In reality, this is the job of the parent(s) or guardian(s), not anybody else.

You might ask, why is it bad to ban books?

It is bad to ban books because it is censorship. Censorship goes against the First Amendment. Authors in the United States have the freedom of speech. This includes the written word. This points to who is it that is wanting to ban books.

All of this said. Libraries have books that cover many themes and subjects. The Jennie Woodworth Library strives to meet the reading needs of the community in White Bluff and the surrounding area. We do have books that cover controversial topics. Yet, we also do not promote these topics. We encourage you to research. To help with this, we have a search computer in the library that allows you to search a book (or DVD) and read the summary and subjects. We also have the online catalog that has the same information available.

My thoughts as the library director and understanding that the premise of a library is encouraging the freedom of information, banned books week is every week. In a library, our focus is equal access to information. The intent is to give everyone in the community access to information and literacy. This is despite any barriers that may exist. Because of this, libraries are unable to censor books just because somebody does not like them.

Pick up a book and read. 

Book titles that have been banned

Monday, September 28, 2020

New Books to Finish September With

 We enjoy providing new books to the community here at our BIG little library. You will find the following books in the NEW section.


The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

World Without End by Ken Follett

World Without End is a best-selling 2007 novel by Welsh author Ken Follett. It is the second book in the Kingsbridge Series, and is the sequel to 1989's The Pillars of the Earth. World Without End takes place in the same fictional town as Pillars of the Earth — Kingsbridge — and features the descendants of some Pillars characters 157 years later. The plot incorporates two major historical events, the start of the Hundred Years' War and the Black Death. The author was inspired by real historical events relating to the Cathedral of Santa MarĂ­a in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett

It is 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages. England is facing attacks from the Welsh in the west and the Vikings in the east. Those in power bend justice according to their will, regardless of ordinary people and often in conflict with the king. Without a clear rule of law, chaos reigns.

In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined: A young boatbuilder's life is turned upside down when the only home he's ever known is raided by Vikings, forcing him and his family to move and start their lives anew in a small hamlet where he does not fit in. . . . A Norman noblewoman marries for love, following her husband across the sea to a new land. But the customs of her husband's homeland are shockingly different, and as she begins to realize that everyone around her is engaged in a constant, brutal battle for power, it becomes clear that a single misstep could be catastrophic. . . . A monk dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center of learning that will be admired throughout Europe. And each in turn comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate brings to life stories from actual "Lost Friends" advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold off.

Louisiana, 1875 In the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now-destitute plantation; Juneau Jane, her illegitimate free-born Creole half-sister; and Hannie, Lavinia's former slave. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following dangerous roads rife with ruthless vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and eight siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the seemingly limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987 For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, seems suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled oaks and run-down plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.

Young Adult

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Thank you Mr. J!

The DVD and CD-Book section has needed a little bit of attention for a while. We found that our DVDs were getting a little on the crowded side. Barring depleting our selection, the ideal situation would be to replace or expand our shelving. We aren't really in a place to buy new shelving units.

Mr. J and Brenda installing shelvesThis is where Mr. J comes in. The existing bookcases that the DVDs and CD-Books are in were measured and it was determined that we could easily add 4 shelves to the existing units to allow room for growth.

Mr. J enlisted our help and installed 4 new shelves to the DVD and CD-Books bookcases. This gives us much room to add to the collection.

We want to make sure that Mr. J as well as all of our volunteers and supporters know that we appreciate them immensely. If it weren't for community members like you, our library would not be what it is today.

Our library was founded on the community's desire of having the resource and services available to our town. We have grown immensely and want to continue doing so.

And, YES, we are accepting donations of DVDs and CD-Books.

DVD shelves     DVD and CD-Book Shelves

Thursday, September 17, 2020

TriStar Reads and the Jennie Woodworth Library

 White Bluff readers are awesome!

This summer while our programs were canceled to limit exposure to C19, TriStar Reads offered its FREE online Summer Reading Program.

The Jennie Woodworth Library participated in this program to encourage reading. Students had the opportunity to record their hours in reading for the chance at a prize from Tennesseans for Student Success. The program was available for students K-12 and each bracket (k-5, 6-8, and 9-12) a prize for the student that reads the most.

Students and/or their parents signup and logged their hours May 1 through September 7, 2020. (We will be participating again in 2021.)

In addition, teams were able to be formed and at the end of the summer, those teams were awarded a monetary donation based on their readers. The team for the Jennie Woodworth Library is JWL

We are excited to share that the Jennie Woodworth Library received a donation of $230. We will be using that money to further supplement our juvenile nonfiction books.

This donation would not have happened if it were not for our patrons. Thank you, thank you VERY much!

TriStar Reads will have the Summer Reading Program in 2021 as well and you can signup at https://p2a.co/67bxhdF make sure to use JWL as your team name so you can support your community library! Go ahead and signup now so that you can receive information via email. The program begins May 1, 2021.

We also would like to send our heartfelt appreciation to Mayor Linda Hayes. Linda is an amazing advocate of literacy for all ages. She has always supported the growth and reach of our library.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Absolute Exciting Addition to Our Library!

We are happy to announce that our media catalog is now available ONLINE, yes, ONLINE!

This is an awesome addition to our resources for YOU our PATRONS.

We needed to make an addition to our library that will help our patrons. Having our catalog available to our community will allow you to search our materials before you come to the library so you know what is available.

To login to your account, your username is the complete library card number and the pin is the last four digits of your card number.

Our NEW website address is www.JWLwhitebluff.com and our catalog is cat.JWLwhitebluff.com

Monday, September 7, 2020

Fall and Winter Programs


Sure, we have patrons and community members stopping by for a quick visit, but we miss having story and craft time. We miss having groups. We believe in protecting our community and being responsible as community members, so we are finding a way to reach out.

For our card holding members in good standing, we want to provide a little interaction. We will need some help doing this. And we will need a lot of understanding.

Starting September 12, 2020, we will have a monthly craft available for our juvenile patrons.

On Saturday, September 12th from 11-2, we will have a limited supply of our September Kids Craft. These are first come, first serve. Your child must be present and have their library card to receive one. (This craft is specified for 8 and up due to small parts.)

The Rules:

  1. Must be a card holding member in good standing.
  2. Only one craft per person. The child must be present with their library card.
  3. Understand that we have a limited supply and once they are gone, they are gone.

The Opportunity:

  • We would love for businesses or individuals to sponsor a month.
  • Or hope is to have a teen craft and a kids craft available monthly.
  • These craft kits are take and make. They are simple crafts.
  • We would love to include crafts for our older population as well. 
This opportunity is available because the community has always supported our library through volunteerism and donations. 

We do have a kids craft prepared for October. We are hoping to be able to encourage our community kids to have fun and enjoy. We also love feedback! While we are unable to do these crafts with you, we hope that you send us pictures of your completed projects!

In addition to the October craft, we will also be doing a costume contest for Halloween. More information about it will be forthcoming as we get into October.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Wrapping up August, Welcoming September

We have wrapped up August and jumping into September. This year is going by amazingly fast and extremely slow at the same time. What is important is that our library is here for our community and we love seeing our patrons.

For the month of August, we have had 220 people visit our library. We have welcomed 18 new patrons. This makes us excited to share our resources here at the Jennie Woodworth Library.

Our circulation in August was good as well:

  • 165 Books
  • 2 Audio Books
  • 26 DVDs
  • And the computers were used 60 times.

These numbers show that we have awesome patrons and we appreciate every single one.

September is Library Card Month

At the Jennie Woodworth Library, our library cards are free when you sign up. We require an ID and basic contact information as well as two valid phone numbers with voicemail. Make sure to stop by and get signed up!

We have some exciting programs coming that will require a library card in order to participate.


As part of the Town of White Bluff, we are abiding by the requirements that have been declared. You can see the full disclosure at COVID-19 effective immediatelyFace coverings are required. Materials are in quarantine for 72 hours once they are returned.

Summer Reading Program

Our summer reading program has come to an end. We will have news concerning the TriStar Reads program in the coming weeks. Thank you everybody for participating!