“Banning books gives us silence when we need speech. It closes our ears when we need to listen. It makes us blind when we need sight.” – Stephen Chbosky, author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Each year, libraries and bookstores around the country celebrate our freedom to read during Banned Books Week. Since the first Banned Books Week in 1982, the American Library Association reports that over 11,000 books have been challenged or banned in the United States.
A challenge is when a person or group tries to “remove or restrict” a book from a library or school. Banning is when that item is removed completely from a library or school.
J.K. Rowling, Judy Blume, and Stephen Chbosky are among the authors whose works have been banned or challenged in the United States. As recently as last year, there were over 300 challenges reported to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.
The individuals or groups challenging these books have wanted them banned for a myriad of reasons. Anti-family (Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples), “depictions of bullying” (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie), and “controversial issues” (The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison) are just the tip of the iceberg. All three of these works were among the top ten most challenged titles of 2014 and are part of our “Read at Your Own Risk!” display.
Celebrate your freedom to read by checking out one of these books, on display in the library through October 5. During Banned Books Week, being held September 27 – October 3, stop by the Library Services desk to get a free Banned Books Week bookmark (while supplies last). And don’t forget search our Overdrive collection for downloadable challenged eBooks like The Hunger Games, Freakonomics, and Looking for Alaska.
Display co-produced by Amy Galante and Kristen Richards from Library Services. Kristen’s favorite controversial book is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Amy is partial to Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more scandalous literary picks from the Bentley community.
Summertime and the reading is easy…
I equate summer with reading. I’m sure this stems back to years of summer vacation from school. Wonderfully long stretches of time to spend reading Laura Ingalls Wilder, Judy Blume, Madeleine L’Engle, S.E. Hinton and Stephen King. Yes, there were lots of fun summer activities that kept me busy, but there was plenty of time to read the books I wanted to read, not just those assigned by my teachers.
As an adult it still feels like summertime is meant for reading. My summer vacations are shorter now, but the stack of books to read is just as high.
Now on display in the library’s lobby is a selection of summer reading books and audiobooks. Everyone’s idea of the perfect summer read is different, but hopefully something here will grab you. Maybe you’ll find a new release from one the ubiquitous bestseller or “best beach books” lists, or rediscover an old favorite to re-read. Don’t forget to check out the downloadable ebooks and audiobooks available from OverDrive. OverDrive is getting even easier to use – if you have an internet connection you can read most eBooks online and stream most audiobooks through your browser without using the OverDrive app.
If you don’t find something on the display, ask any one of us here at the library for a recommendation. We’ll be happy to tell you about the books we are enjoying this summer.* We would also love to hear about what you’ve been reading.
Have a great summer, and happy reading!
*So far this summer I have enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere (copy being purchased for the library soon), Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng and The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion’s follow-up to The Rosie Project. I’m currently halfway through Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, which I selected for book club this month. When I hit the beach later this summer I plan to bring Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and I Refuse by Per Petterson. I’m also trying to decide between two series – Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series and the Queen of the Tearling books by Erika Johansen. If you’ve read either, and have a recommendation, let me know! ~Lisa
Exciting journeys await you between the covers of the books in this month’s display. Experience the wilderness of Mt. McKinley with Christopher Johnson McCandless, as told by Jon Krakauer in the book Into the Wild. Learn how to make your garden a beautiful oasis with From Yard to Garden: The Domestication of America’s Home Grounds by Christopher Grampp.
There are so many wonderful places to visit across the United States; from the mountains of New England to Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Unfortunately travel can be expensive. If you are on a budget, or don’t have a lot of free time, why not check out a book? Travel to some of these wonderful places during your lunch break or while sitting at your local park!
Not a reader? Laugh along with John Candy and Dan Aykroyd in the 1988 comedy The Great Outdoors. Relive childhood memories of summer camp with Wes Anderson’s stylized film Moonrise Kingdom. Experiencing the outdoors doesn’t necessarily mean being outdoors!
If you already have camping plans for this summer, why not check out Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors, by Robin Donovan or The Great Outdoors Cookbook, by Sunset Magazine, for some inspiration on cooking in the wilderness.
From new and contemporary authors, like Cheryl Strayed, to old favorites like Henry David Thoreau, let the words of these individuals transport you to times and places of great adventure.
Summer is just around the corner! Everyone is eager to get outside to enjoy some beautiful weather. It is no wonder that June is National Great Outdoors month!
They work at the Library as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 2:00 a.m. During finals, they’re even here between 2 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. Filling printers with paper, processing new books, and assisting library users are just a few of their responsibilities. Who are these people? They are your fellow Falcons who work at the Bentley Library.
As a small token of thanks, we ask our seniors to select a book or film, which is then affixed with a bookplate in their name.
This year, dedications have been made on behalf of these Class of 2015 graduates:
Stop by the New Books area of the library to view a display of their selections, or visit the Library Student Employee Dedication Pinterest board to view photos of the dedications.
On behalf of the entire Library staff, we thank you for all of your hard work and commitment. Best of luck and congratulations!
Perhaps you’re at a gathering of people of the sort that requires a name tag, and you need to make some small talk. Possibly you need to get up to speed quickly on a topic that you don’t know much about, or maybe you just enjoy learning about new things. Whatever your motivation for picking up a print or audio book to learn about something new, this month’s display aims to transform you into an Instant Expert. I’ve chosen books and audio books of varying lengths and on a variety of subjects from all parts of the library’s collection. You can reacquaint yourself with the Guinness Book of Records (a personal favorite of mine from childhood), find and implement a business model that makes sense for your company, read about how swampy Boston marshland became today’s Back Bay, brush up on your language skills, learn How to Measure Anything, and a lot more!
If you’d prefer to watch streaming videos, take a look at our Films on Demand collection, where you can watch episodes from the History Channel’s Modern Marvels series, view some TED Talks, or find other videos of interest.
To start the process of becoming an expert on your new favorite topic, come to the Library to browse the display, look at the entire list in the catalog (if you’d like, click the “Request it” link we’ve provided to place an item on hold), or visit the Reference Desk to see titles that are on the list but that aren’t currently featured on our display shelves.
I hope you’ll enjoy adding to your areas of expertise!
This month’s display is a collection of bildungsromans. That’s the original term for the young adult novel. Classically, young adult literature features a coming-of-age tale such as Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Nowadays, the term young adult has morphed to become known as reading-age group. Folks often use “young adult” to mean fiction for teens. Sometimes, when adults read a young adult book, such as Harry Potter, they may face ridicule from their friends, colleagues, family, and even strangers! If that happens to you, now you can explain that young adult is not a dirty word.
If you are reading Louisa May Alcott or John Green, remember that they have the same DNA. Young Jo March and Hazel Grace Lancaster are cut from the same cloth. Jane Austen, Cameron Crowe (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), and Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero) all capture the sense of what was like for teens during specific time periods and in different regions.
A selection of young adult books and audiobooks will be on display in the library through April 13, 2015. You may also browse our young adult eBook collection through Overdrive. Below are instructions on how to locate them in Overdrive.
Filed Under: displays
Did you know that the library has cookbooks? With winter and the holidays approaching, my colleague Erica and I have decided to share the Bentley Library cookbook collection with you for culinary inspiration.
We’ve chosen books about cuisines of specific countries and regions, dietary choices, and food items, to name a few ways the display can be sliced and diced (pun intended, of course!). We’ve also selected a few chef memoirs, biographies, kitchen helps and food science titles, and some recent films on DVD.
To feast your eyes on what we’re offering, come to the Library to browse the display, look at the entire list in the catalog (if you’d like, click the “Request” link to place an item on hold) or view selected display titles on Pinterest. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please ask at the Reference Desk.
Filed Under: displays
“Is the cinema more important than life?”–Francois Truffaut
Have you always been curious what Alfred Hitchcock was really like? Has the life of Oprah Winfrey or Katherine Hepburn always interested you? Cinephiles rejoice! The Bentley Library’s latest display features biographies, autobiographies, and collections of interviews of filmmakers, actors, and actresses and DVDs of the films they made or starred in. American masters, international cinema’s best, stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and more contemporary denizens of the silver screen are all to be found on this display.
Come by the library to check out the display or take a look at the list of the titles in our catalog. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, inquire at the Reference Desk.
Filed Under: displays
Some of the most important and interesting nonfiction published within the past year is now on display at the library. These books have been pulled from the stacks by our reference librarians to showcase titles that may have escaped your notice when they were originally added to the shelves. You will recognize some of these titles and authors from the bestseller lists, while others were chosen based on recommendations from professional and scholarly review sources.
Stop by the lobby to browse the display. We will continue to add new books that catch our eye as they arrive, so check back often!
Filed Under: displays
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France
The library’s new display features our animal friends like Marley the dog, Alex the parrot, and Babe the pig. The collection of nonfiction, fiction, and film focuses on the special relationship between humans and animals, exploring how animals affect us and how they can “awaken” our souls. Come by the library to make a new furry friend!
Visit the library to check out the display in person, take a look at the Pinterest board, or see the entire list of materials in our catalog. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please come ask at the Reference Desk. Enjoy!