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Guest Post by S. B. Julian
Is making the shelves of Little Free Libraries more diverse an appropriate role for their stewards? Emblems of diversity already, these little book nooks give pleasure by not being “stewarded” at all. Ideally, you never know what you might find in one. You don’t have the feeling that someone has pre-engineered your discovery. Continue reading “Diversity of Little Libraries Lies in their Non-curated Nature”
Tennessee Becomes Second State to Propose ‘Parental Review Boards’ for Public Libraries. Publishers Weekly.
The controversial bills propose to give elected “parental review boards” the power to decide which “age-appropriate” materials can be accessible to minors within a public library, with librarians who don’t comply with the board’s decisions subject to prison time.
“Public librarians around the country are often put in the uncomfortable position of standing up for free speech in their own institutions, and refusing to take down a book simply become some members of the community object,” Tager said. “Apparently the sponsors of this Act feel that this should be treated as criminal conduct when it’s actually librarians simply doing their jobs.”
Patti Smith on Libraries and the Transformative Love of Books. Brain Pickings.
In Year of the Monkey — her unclassifiable, symphonic exploration of dreams, love, loss, and mending the broken realities of life — Patti Smith recounts how her local childhood library nurtured her inner life, tilling the soil of her becoming.
In consonance with that lovely parenthetical line from one of Nikki Giovanni’s poems celebrating libraries and librarians — “(You never know what troubled little girl needs a book.)” — Smith writes of the endearing, almost unreasonable devotion with which she sought solace for her nine-year-old troubles amid the stacks.
Jail Librarians… You just can’t make this stuff up!
A Missouri bill intended to bar libraries in the US state from stocking “age-inappropriate sexual material” for children has been described by critics as “a shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning” that could land librarians who refuse to comply with it in jail.
Under the parental oversight of public libraries bill, which has been proposed by Missouri Republican Ben Baker, panels of parents would be elected to evaluate whether books are appropriate for children. Public hearings would then be held by the boards to ask for suggestions of potentially inappropriate books, with public libraries that allow minors access to such titles to have their funding stripped. Librarians who refuse to comply could be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.