Archive for September, 2005

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

We have been experiencing intermittent access problems to the ARTstor image database. CTS is working with the technical staff at ARTstor to resolve the problems. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope to have it resolved soon. Thanks for your patience.

Friday, September 23rd, 2005
Banned Books Week 2005 is September 24–October 1.

What is Banned Books Week? The American Library Association writes,

Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. After all, intellectual freedom can exist only where these two essential conditions are met.” [http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/backgroundb/background.htm#wbbw]

Banned Books Week is about understanding censorship. The National Council of Teachers of English writes,

We can safely make two statements about censorship: first, any work is potentially open to attack by someone, somewhere, sometime, for some reason; second, censorship is often arbitrary and irrational. [http://www.ncte.org/about/over/positions/category/cens/107616.htm]

Did you know that people have tried to prevent the teaching of these books?

These books were all challenged — school or library boards removed them (or were asked to remove them) from school curriculum and from libraries — for different reasons. Books are challenged because they are perceived to be racist, violent, sexually explicit, and many other reasons. My favorite (found at The Forbidden Library) is that The Lorax was challenged for displaying hostility toward the logging industry!

Banned Books Week celebrates the fact that while the charges against the books may be true — The Adventures of Tom Sawyer does depict harmful racial stereotypes and attitudes about slavery — the books still have literary value. They can help us understand our past, and they can be valuable in teaching about issues that still face us today, like race, class, violence, the environment, and censorship.

So, this week, celebrate the freedom to read — read a banned book!

For more information on Banned Books Week, try the following links:

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

The CD sale last week was a big success — thanks to all of you who stopped by. If you missed the sale, check the Crane Library periodically — we’ll be selling the rest of the CDs in Crane during the fall semester.

Thanks for supporting the library, and we hope you enjoy your purchases!

Monday, September 5th, 2005

Are you a LiveJournal user? Now you can add the College Libraries News blog, and the Potsdam Reads blog, to your Friends list. We’ve syndicated our blogs in LJ for your convenience.

You can find the news here:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/potsdamlibrary/

and book reviews here:
http://www.livejournal.com/users/collegereads/

So, friend us, and enjoy! If there are any other ways we can make it easier for you to learn about what’s going on at the Libraries, leave a comment, send us an email, or put a note in our suggestion box.

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

The hurricane has passed, but the effects of the hurricane are just beginning. We are all shocked by the destruction we’re seeing, and many of us want to stay informed and learn how to help.

There is a lot of information available, all over the internet and traditional news media. Earlier this week, I posted a few online sources to check for evolving information. Here are a few more.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper is still publishing, but only online. You can find their reports on daily life in New Orleans at http://www.nola.com. The NOLA site also includes a web forum to talk with others about the disaster, and a “Missing Persons” board to help people find their loved ones.

MoveOn.org is hosting a guide for hurricane-related housing, where people can search for a temporary home or volunteer some space, at Hurricanehousing.org

Digitalglobe.com is providing the maps and images of New Orleans that you may be seeing on CNN tv reports.

There is also an extensive and growing list of resources being compiled by the Middletown Thrall Library, here in New York, available here: http://thrall.org/katrina.

And, as always, any of our reference librarians would be happy to help you find any information you need. Just stop by, send us an instant message (PotsdamLibrary), or an email. Finding information is what we do, and we’re glad to help you.