Words can be dangerous. Though we tend to think of censorship and book banning as modern phenomena, the prohibition of books has existed since the creation of the written word. In honor of Banned Book Week, I want to take a quick look back at censored books in history. Traditionally the people who banned books considered… Continue reading From the Qin Dynasty to Concord, MA: A History of Book Banning
When I worked in a college library, I had to periodically go around and wake people from where they had fallen asleep in the book stacks, on tables, or in quiet corners. I didn’t wake them to be cruel but because the library had to close sometime, and they couldn’t spend the night even… Continue reading Sleeping in the Stacks
I’m tempted to say that librarians read everything, but of course that isn’t true. Like everyone else, librarians have their own book preferences, and there simply isn’t time to read everything. Discovering the differences in how people read makes The New York Times’s recent interview with Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress, especially interesting. In… Continue reading What Does the Librarian of Congress Read Anyway?
I was lucky. Growing up, two local libraries that were just a short drive away. But not all kids have access to that many books. In recent years, the town of Wellington in Carbon County, Utah has had a tight budget. Coal revenues have been falling, so the county commission has had to scramble to… Continue reading This Little Girl is the Hero Bookmobiles Need
In my first memory of seeing a Shakespeare play live, the fairies from a A Midsummer Night’s Dream enter the stage to the dulcet tones of No Doubt’s “Hella Good” and begin to dance. I don’t know what I had been expecting when I sat down in the theater, but it certainly wasn’t that. Seeing very modern… Continue reading Shakespeare Online: Saving the First Folio
“Earlier this year President Trump threatened to defund public libraries. First the library community responded with horror. Then people rallied by protesting, contacting legislators, and highlighting the ways that libraries serve places across the United States. It looks like all of that hard work has paid off. Despite the threat, libraries may receive funding after all. While determining the U.S.… Continue reading Libraries May Not Be Defunded After All, But They Are Still in Danger
When I first stepped into the main library on the campus at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), I stared upwards and blinked for a long while. You see, there was a giant blue cat hanging upside from the ceiling. Most libraries don’t have one of those. I hadn’t expected to be amazed by the libraries… Continue reading Cats, Card Catalogs, and Not So Little Free Libraries