I Love Libraries

Features

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.

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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.

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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.

Take Action

 

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...

Showcase

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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News

Miami-Dade libraries avoid draconian cuts

Commissioners voted 8–5 late on July 15 to slightly raise the property-tax rate ceiling to avert layoffs at the Miami–Dade County (Fla.) Library. The commission adjusted the ceiling so that they could eventually authorize $8 million more than the $44 million Mayor Carlos Gimenez proposed, bringing the library budget to $52 million. That’s more than the $50 million the library had this year, but far less than the $64 million advocates wanted. Many blue-shirted library supporters appeared for a public comment session that lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes. Gimenez has until July 25 to decide whether to veto the commission’s decision....

Miami Herald, July 16; WPLG-TV, Miami, July 16; Every Library blog, July 16


The miseducation of Cape Henlopen School Board

Several Cape Henlopen (Del.) School Board members indicated a willingness to reconsider their June vote to remove The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth from a freshman summer reading list. It had cited foul language, not sexual orientation, as the reason for its action. At a July 10 meeting where librarians and a parent criticized the board for its decision, Margery Kirby Cyr, chair of the Delaware Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee, urged board members to follow the written policy on challenges (PDF file). The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (PDF file) and the author also sent letters of concern. A local bookstore is giving away a free copy of the book to any teen who asks for it....

New Castle (Del.) News Journal, July 10–11; Huffington Post Blog, July 7; Lewes (Del.) Cape Gazette, July 11


Looking for Alaska under attack in Wisconsin

A parent in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has decided that John Green’s Looking for Alaska is not a book her high school daughter should read. She has also decided it isn’t fit for any student in the district, so she filed a complaint against the acclaimed and popular novel. Parent Ellen Cox wants the book banned for sexual content. The Waukesha school district appears to be following a formal review process in considering Cox’s complaint....

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, July 11; WISN-TV, Milwaukee, July 11


Teens stay green in Cupertino

Creating a thriving garden is now one of the many learning resources for teens at the Cupertino (Calif.) Library. For just over a year, the library courtyard has been home to a garden that is entirely maintained and cared for by teens from local schools. To date, the Green Teen Volunteer Garden program has seen more than 30 teens work together to grow tasty organic vegetables that are delivered to the West Valley Community Services food pantry....

San José (Calif.) Mercury-News, July 9


San Diego County librarians get mohawks

The Vista Branch of the San Diego County (Calif.) Library set out in 2013 to break a new record—one million checkouts in one year. To gain momentum for their book-loving crusade, Library Director José Aponte and five other male library staffers promised to cut their hair into mohawks if the goal was met—and it was. Aponte and his staff threw a party for their Vista community on July 11 as they got their new coiffures. Watch the video (3:06)....

KNSD-TV, San Diego, Calif., July 13; YouTube, July 13


Hartford’s summer feeding program

A unique partnership between Hartford (Conn.) Public Library, End Hunger Connecticut!, and Hartford Public Schools is helping to keep many of the city’s children fed throughout the summer months. The library is serving a free, healthy lunch to kids at all 10 branches, every weekday through August 15. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) visited the Barbour branch on July 11 and helped serve sandwiches, fruit, and cookies to about a dozen children. Murphy is one of the legislators who supports the bipartisan Summer Meals Act of 2014....

Connecticut Public Radio, July 12


Singapore libraries to pulp Tango

State-run libraries in Singapore have deemed a children’s book about two male penguins raising a baby chick inappropriate and will destroy all copies following complaints the content was against local family values.Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim supports the decision to pulp all copies of And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, as well as The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption and Who’s in My Family: All About Our Families by Robie Harris, which portrays nontraditional families. Other books have apparently been pulled as well. Nearly 5,000 people have signed an open letter and a petition calling for the books to be put back. The decision also prompted a July 13 reading of the books on the steps outside the National Library. Watch the video(13:46)....

The Guardian (UK), July 12; National Library Board of Singapore, July 8; Straits Times(Singapore), July 10; Wall Street Journal, July 13; YouTube, July 13