Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Monday, September 27, 2021

Banned Books Week

We Read Banned Books
 This week libraries across the United States are recognizing "Banned Books Week".

Banned books week began in the 1980s after the Supreme Court ruled that school officials cannot ban books from libraries because of content in the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) case. While this ruling has stood, there are still books that are challenged and banned. Even in the event of banned books, the majority are still widely available.

One might ask why a book would by challenged or banned. We do have freedom of speech , don't we? We do, but sometimes that freedom is challenged. This is why the American Libraries Association Office of Intellectual Freedom exists. On an individual basis there may be books that come into question on their content because of viewpoints and bias, with freedom of speech and intellectual freedom we must realize that everyone has a right to create content as well as the right to consume that content. 

Reasons for challenges
There are many reasons that a book may be challenged. Often the reasons come down to viewpoint or changes in society. There are many books that are considered classics that have been put on the list because what was accepted when the book was written, is no longer accepted in society.  These topics are often religious point of view, racism, prejudice, violence, political point of view, language, sexual themes, and others.
Here at the Jennie Woodworth Library, our goal when we purchase books is to provide content for our community. We believe in intellectual freedom. Libraries are meant to be a place of knowledge and research with information from all points of view. We encourage our patrons and their families to use our online catalog to search for books they are interested in. We have added the subject "Banned and Challenged List" to the books we have that are on the lists. We know often when people are reminded about banned books that it peaks their curiosity.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

You may view the entire Banned and Challenged Books List for 2020 here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Curbside Service

Curb side service at JWL
One of the amazing things that has come from the insanity in 2020 is businesses and such have made curb side service work.

While we have ALWAYS been glad to accommodate the needs of our patrons, we feel making it official is best.

How does it work? Pretty easily for our patrons that have their cards.
  • Go to and sign in to your account using your library card number and pin.
  • Browse the catalog and reserve the books/materials that you would like. We currently have a limit of 2 items.
  • OR call us with your selections and we can take care of it that way also.
  • We will call you or email you when your items are ready. We limit the hold for 5 days before returning them to shelves.
  • When you arrive, you can either come in and get your items or call us and let us know you are here.
  • Once you are finished with the items (14 day loan) you can drop them in the book return that is on the north side of the building (facing the fire hall)

Conditions of Curbside Checkout:
By using our curbside service, you the patron, acknowledge that you will abide by the Jennie Woodworth Library checkout agreement. Materials are checked out for 14 days at a time. If those materials are late they incur a $0.25 fine per item per day. Renewal after the item is late does not remove existing fine. In addition, in order to use our curbside service, your account must be in good standing.

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