Church Leaders Call for Ban on LGBT Books, During Banned Books Week

By | Libraries, Literary Events, News | One Comment
Established by the American Library Association in 1982, Banned Books Week begins every year on the last week of September. The week celebrates books that have been censored or outright banned over the years and reminds us of the importance of information and freedom of speech, as well as showing us how books can be used tackle difficult or sensitive topics and themes.

To celebrate the week, a library in Rumford, Maine created a display featuring books that have, and continue to be, banned in various parts of the world. As you can imagine, books focusing on the topic of same-sex relationships are heavily censored, and thus the display featured several LGBT books such as Kabi Nagata’s My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and David Lev’s Two Boys Kissing. Both books have been released to great acclaim from critics but also face heavy resistance, with Two Boys Kissing being the fifth most banned book of 2016. Read More

New York Public Library Launches Insta Novels

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The New York Public Library is posting versions of classic books along with accompanying animations to its Instagram page in the form of Instagram stories to help encourage the digital generation to read more.

The Insta Novels are part of the NYPL’s new social media initiative to turn Instagram’s stories function into book pages. You can check out the new idea on their Instastory, right here.
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West Virginian Library Reverses Decision Not to Stock Bob Woodward’s ‘Fear’

By | Libraries, New Releases, News, Political | No Comments
A few days ago, it was reported that the Morgan County Public Library in Berkeley Springs, W.Va was refusing to stock the newly released, and much sought after, Bob Woodward book Fear, which takes a critical look at Trump’s time as POTUS. However, following an enormous backlash from local residents, which soon saw the story make headlines, the library has confirmed it will be lending out Fear.

Despite only being published last Friday, Fear has already proven to be one of the biggest books of the year and reportedly sold over 750,000 copies within its first day of sales, it is also the fastest-selling adult book since Harper Lee’s 2015 book Go Set a Watchmen.
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Being a Librarian in the 1800s Was Thought to Be a Dangerous Job for Women

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For many bibliophiles, the idea of being a librarian sounds like a dream come true. No doubt there’s plenty of work to be done, but being surrounded by thousands of books must help take the edge off. However, in the Victorian era, the role of a librarian carried a certain stigma to it, especially for female librarians.

As JSTOR Daily reports, in the late nineteenth century, Librarian Rosalee McReynolds wrote about the potential perils of being a female librarian. As life became more urbanized in the second half of the century, men began moving to more commercial work. Meanwhile, the idea that women should remain at home doing nothing as servants did all the work became a popular status symbol. McReynolds wrote: “Ironically, while a man was judged positively for hard work, he gained further status in accordance with the leisure enjoyed by his womenfolk.” Read More

An Enormous Ancient Library Has Been Discovered in Germany

By | Libraries, News | One Comment
In Cologne, Germany, the ruins of a large and ancient library have been unearthed which date back to 200AD. The building is thought to have housed over 20,000, not bad for a library built almost two thousand years ago.

As The Guardian reports, the ruins were first discovered in 2017 during an excavation project that took place on the grounds of a Protestant church in the city’s center. Cologne was founded by the Romans in 50AD under the name ‘Colonia’ and it remains one of Germany’s oldest cities. Archaeologists didn’t initially realise the ruins were once a library and were puzzled by the niches set in the walls for books. Read More

For the Eleventh Year, James Patterson Remains the UK’s Most Borrowed Book from Libraries

By | Libraries, Reading Habits | No Comments
Data gathered by the Public Lending Right (PLR) has found that James Patterson’s thriller books, along with thriller books in general, are the most borrowed books from UK libraries. For the eleventh year in a row, James Patterson has been crowned the most borrowed author from public libraries. In fact, his books have been borrowed over 22 million times since 2007.

As The Guardian reports, Patterson has stated he’s thrilled to be holding on to his crown, while also giving his support for libraries. “I firmly believe that better readers become better thinkers and I think libraries are an integral part of any community, as they are essential in helping to share and spread the joy of reading,” he said. His 2016 novel, Bullseye, was the ninth most borrowed book from UK libraries last year. Read More

Two Men Accused of Stealing $8 Million Dollars Worth of Rare Books, Including One by Issac Newton

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When we think about heists, we tend to think of thieves robbing banks for cash or priceless jewels, but the fact is there are plenty of rare books out there that are worth just as much as diamonds or gold. One such book is Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, also known simply as Principia. It is commonly regarded as one of the most important scientific books ever written and was where Newton recorded his work on the Laws of Motion. Last week, this important tome was the target of a heist from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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Banksy to Save Bristol Libraries!

By | Arty, Libraries | No Comments
British artist Banksy is best known for his graffiti art in and around Bristol, and all over the world. His art is a social commentary, blurring the lines between art and vandalism by spraying his stencil-art on the sides of public, and occasionally private, buildings.

After huge success and recognition Banksy wants to help his home city and community in Bristol. The historical city is facing major cuts to some areas that could see 17 of its 27 libraries close as Bristol struggles to fix a £1.4m shortfall. Mayor Marvin Rees confirmed with local press that the street artist-come-philanthropist had “come forward and talked about supporting us”.

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Leicester Unleashes ‘The Hulk,’ A Green Mobile Library for the Homeless

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The city of Leicester, England has revealed ‘The Hulk,’ a large, green, mobile library which aims to help the city’s rough sleepers and ease the struggle of being homeless. The van was gutted and has since had shelves fitted which allow it to store over 500 books, from Roald Dahl to Harry Potter.

As Leicester Mercury reports, ‘The Hulk’ was officially unveiled in a ceremony on Wednesday and is officially called The Roaming Readers. The mobile van was funded by the Help the Homeless charity and offers rough sleepers something to keep their minds occupied, while also serves as a place where you can charge your mobile phone. Read More

Bats Have Taken up Residence in Two 18th Century Portuguese Libraries, and That’s a Good Thing!

By | Libraries, News | One Comment
Most librarians probably wouldn’t be too pleased to find a family of bats living in their library however, in Portugal, bats have taken up residence in two 18th-century libraries and it turns out they’re very useful to have around. The bats in question live in the University of Coimbra’s library and the library in the National Palace of Mafra.

The bats actually play in important role in safeguarding the libraries books as they swoop over rare and ancient books and snap up bugs that could slowly but surely destroy rare tomes. The bats offer such a helpful service that they have been allowed to stay and are now a tourist attraction in their own right. Read More