I Love Libraries


Singapore bans gay penguin book 

Singapore has ordered the destruction of a children's book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York's zoo after it was deemed inappropriate.

The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled the book from the shelves this weekend and said it would "pulp" the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore's family values.


Literary Landmark: Lake Oswego Public Library 

The Lake Oswego Public Library designated the library a Literary Landmark in honor of William Stafford as the concluding event of a month-long Lake Oswego Reads program honoring Stafford.


Lemony Snicket Helps ‘Little Free Library’ Advocate Spencer Collins 

A Kansas boy battling through a series of unfortunate events over his front-yard library is getting some support from author Daniel Handler.

Last month, 9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines.

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The American Library Association's Legislative Action Center

Who can be a library advocate?  Anyone who cares about America's libraries!  Library advocates play a key role in educating our communities about why libraries and librarians are essential in an information society.  Read more...

Mobile Commons

Mobile Commons allows ALA to send text messages to a mobile list.  From there, advocates can connect directly to their legislators simply by responding to the text.  Mobile Commons also enables ALA to post click-to-call alerts on our webpages.  The alert connects advocates, whether they're on the mobile list or not, to their legislator's office simply by entering their phone number on our page and clicking "call."  Read more...


With New Learning Labs, Teen Programming at Local Libraries Goes Digital 

There’s some good news for libraries—and library patrons. The bleeding appears to have stopped. Library budgets—although not growing—are at least not shrinking any more, after years of tough going. 

The recession slashed the budgets of most public libraries in the nation, leaving them struggling to maintain services, including the higher-cost digital services that community residents have come to rely on. E-books, internet connections, and 3D printers are the “World Book” set of years ago—the expensive, scarce resource that libraries provide when families cannot.


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Singapore backpedals on gay-themed book destruction

Singapore has stopped its national library from destroying two children’s books with gay themes, after its decision in July produced a public outcry over literary censorship. Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim ordered that the books be moved to the adult section, where parents can borrow them for their children. However, it was already too late to save one title, Who’s in My Family? by Robie Harris, which had already been pulped by the National Library Board....

The Guardian (UK), July 18

Policy not followed in Little Brother dispute

The Escambia County (Fla.) School District is taking measures to ensure educators and administrators are aware of its policies on challenging educational material assigned to students. Washington High School Principal Michael Roberts came under fire from teachers, community members, and author Cory Doctorow in June when he unilaterally decided to end the school’s One School/One Book program that was to feature the YA novel Little Brother....

Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, July 21

Second attempt to suppress Part-Time Indian in North Carolina

Frances Wood isn’t backing down from her efforts to remove a controversial young adult novel from classrooms in the Cedar Grove Middle School in Supply, North Carolina. Wood has appealed a mid-July decision by a team of parents and educators to keep Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian on the shelves. She argued in her complaint, accompanied by a petition signed by 42 members of her Baptist church, that there are no positive qualities to the book and it is inappropriate for any age group....

Wilmington (N.C.) Port City Daily, July 18

San Diego library gets ready for Comic-Con

The San Diego (Calif.) Public Library is getting gamers geared up for the July 24–27 Comic-Con International. In June, the library launched an alternate reality game, inspired by the works of American literary icon H. P. Lovecraft, that participants say is the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming expo. Special Events Librarian Erwin Magbanua said the game involves players finding clues in the library and online to solve puzzles. SDPL is also issuing a limited-edition library card (above) officially licensed by Comic-Con. If you are attending, here are some activities recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund....

KSWB-TV, San Diego, Calif., July 21; Electronic Frontier Foundation, July 21; Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, July 23

Allen County focuses on employee wellness

After 30-year-old Courtney Pifer (on the left) started working at the Allen County (Ind.) Public Library in 2013, there was an unexpected benefit: She became more active and lost 15 pounds. Pifer said her healthy lifestyle changes were a result of the library’s in-house wellness program, coupled with an employee workout room at the downtown branch. The room is open to all 400 employees, although one piece of fitness equipment has been placed at the library’s technical services office....

Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette, July 6

San Antonio hosts Google Maker Camp

Five teenagers spend part of a summer afternoon in a circular room at the San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library’s downtown branch. They are using conductive thread, a coin cell battery, and a sewable battery holder to create soft circuits. Within an hour, the teens have crafted fun wearable technology with LED lights. For six weeks this summer, SAPL is hosting its first Google Maker Camp, where teens ages 13–18 can explore, create, and share in an easygoing yet educational space....

San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, July 23

Transforming a school bus into a book café

Jenny Granger (right), teacher-librarian at Emerson Elementary School in Snohomish, Washington, is delivering books to kids around town to beat the summer slide. She has turned an old yellow school bus into a bookmobile called the ‘Book Café.’ Now she’s spending her summer break bringing the library to kids in trailer parks and to places with activities for children. Inside the bus, the books are shelved in wooden boxes similar to those in a record store. That way kids can see the illustrations on the front as they sort through titles.”...

Everett (Wash.) Herald, July 17