Sunday, September 22, 2013

Banned Books Week

The 2013 celebration of Banned Books Week starts today! You can celebrate from September 22nd to September 28th with us at the library, at home and at school.

You've never heard of Banned Books Week? Banned Books Week is a national effort to celebrate the freedom to read and highlight issues of censorship and free and open access to information. What exactly does censorship mean? Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient by someone. This someone could be a school principal, a parent or a library patron that decides a book is harmful or inappropriate to read and doesn't want it to be available for anyone else to read either. This event brings together all aspects of the book community, everyone from librarians, booksellers, teachers and readers show support for the freedom to express ideas and read whatever you choose. 

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. Many books have been and continue to be banned across the country even today but part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that in many cases the majority of the challenged books have remained available. Thanks to librarians, teachers and community members who speak up for the freedom to read many controversial or challenged books remain available for children and adults to read.

You would be surprised to see many children's titles on the frequently challenged banned books lists, some of which may be family favorites! Did you know that the most challenged book of 2012 was the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey? 

For more information head to the Banned Books Week website or stop at the American Library Association's Banned Books Week website.  Both sites have lists of frequently challenged books, virtual read-out videos, and many resources. 

How can kids get involved?  Check out the Youth Free Expression Project  which supports the rights of youth to access information, as well as their freedom to question, learn, and think for themselves.Kids and teens aged 19 and younger are encouraged to enter their Youth Film Contest. Each year they challenge young people all across the nation to think about their First Amendment rights and the issue of Free Speech. This year's contest, VIDEO GAMES IN THE CROSSHAIRS, asks students to express why video games are important to you. We keep hearing claims about video games being too violent or making kids antisocial. This is the chance for young gamers to speak for themselves on this timely issue. This year's deadline is December 13th! You can also learn about one of the YFEP's initiatives, the Kids' Right to Read Project, an advocacy project that helps educators, students and local activists fight book challenges and censorship in general, by offering valuable support, advice and information.

Stop in the library this week to check out our display of banned and disputed juvenile books in the Children's Department. Snag a title to take home, it's a great way to celebrate your freedom to read!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Buckeye Book Awards

The Buckeye Children's and Teen Book Awards are the only awards selected by children and teens! Favorite books can be nominated January through March of each year.  The awards are broken into categories by age group: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and Teen.  The top selected books are narrowed down to five titles for each age group.  The rules for nominating a book are as follows:
  • The book must have been published within the past two years (If you want to nominate a paperback book, check when the hardcover book was published)
  • The book must be published originally in the United States
  • If a book is a part of a series that has previously been nominated, it is not eligible.  You can refer to past winners to verify here.
Voting takes place on-line between September 1 and November 10th.  Click here to vote!  The winners of each category are announced in December.  
Buckeye Children's and Teen Book Award
The Buckeye Children’s Book Award program was established in 1981 through a collaborative effort of the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association, The Ohio Educational Library Media Association, The Ohio Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts, The Ohio Library Council and the State Library of Ohio.

Nominations for the K-2 category: 
This is Note My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012)

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2012)
Mitchell's License by Hallie Durand, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Candlewick press, 2011)
Robot Zombie Frankentstein! by Annette Simon (Candlewick Press,
 by Catherine Thimmesh (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2011)

Nominations for 3-5 category:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012)
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012)
Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want To Survive the School Bus by John Grandits, illus. by Michael Allen Austin (Clarion Books, 2011)
Big Nate Goes For Broke by Lincoln Peirce (HarperCollins, 2012)
Lulu Walks the Dogs
by Judith Viorst, illus. by Lane Smith (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Nominations for 6-8 category:
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead (Wendy Lamb Books, 2012)
Okay For Now
by Gary Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2011)
Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn’t Run Away (Twice Upon a Time #3)
by Wendy Mass (Scholastic, 2012)
Tales From a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries, #3)
by Rachel Renee Russell (Aladdin, 2011)
The Death Cure (Maze Runner series #3)
by James Dashner (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2011) 

Come tell us about your favorites!  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

You've picked out a new backpack for the school year and stuffed it with cool new folders, pencils, pens and this year's textbooks. But have you forgotten to include your most important school supply? Your public library card, of course!

Visit for information on the many ways that public libraries are important community institutions and all the wonderful resources available to you at your local library! New to town? You can type in your zip code and find the closest library to your new neighborhood.

For students of all ages, the library offers great homework resources, study space and databases that you can access from home to help with those late night last minute projects. Not a student? Parents can enjoy checking out materials for entertainment or bringing young children into the library for a fun, educational storytime program with one of the children's librarians. Not a student or a parent? Fret not! Libraries offer great materials for you too! You can download an audiobook or ebook for your smart phone or tablet, check out a video game for your Xbox or listen to the newest album by your favorite musician.

A public library card truly is one of the smartest cards you can have, regardless of your age! Now is as good a time as ever to stop at your nearest library and sign up for a card today. Did I mention that library cards and all the great opportunities that come with them are always free? Yes, free! We librarians are all for free information for everyone and a library card is your ticket to a entire world of knowledge.