Top 10 Challenged Books of 2017 Released!

The State of America’s Libraries Report has been released, including the Top 10 Most Challenged Books in 2017:

‘Most challenges (formal attempts to remove or restrict access to library materials and services) go unreported. But a combination of publicity for the new reporting form used by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and outreach by state intellectual freedom committees resulted in a sharp increase in the number and types of challenges reported. Public challenges and bans rose from 45 in 2016 to 91 in 2017. These 91 cases are summarized and sourced in the ALA Field Report 2017: Banned and Challenged Books, published by OIF in April 2018.’

OIF tracked 354 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2017. Some individual challenges resulted in requests to restrict or remove multiple titles. Overall, 416 books were targeted. Here are the “Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2017”:

1. ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’ by Jay Asher. (Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.)

2. ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ by Sherman Alexie. (Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curricula because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.)

3. ‘Drama’ written and illustrated by Raina Telgmeier. (This Stonewall Honor Award–winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”)

4. ‘The Kite Runner’ by Khaled Hosseini. (This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”)

5. ‘George’ by Alex Gino. (Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.)

6. ‘Sex is a Funny Word’ written by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth. (This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”)

7. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee. (This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.)

8. ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas. (Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curricula because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.)

9. ‘And Tango Makes Three’ by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole. (Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.)

10. ‘I Am Jazz’ by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas. (This autobiographical picture book cowritten by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.)

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National Library Week 2018

April 8th – 14th

We are celebrating National Library Week this year with the theme, “Libraries Lead.”

Highlights of National Library Week events at the Vermillion Public Library:

  • Participate in our new #bookface photo series
  • Design your own bookmark contest
  • Free Library Card Replacement Day
  • Sign the Declaration for the Right to Libraries
  • Friends of the Library Literary Lunch
  • Book discussion and signing with local author Jerry Wilson

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month each April is the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K-12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, bloggers, and, of course, poets marking poetry’s important place in our culture and our lives.

This month we are inviting everyone to create a poem on our Poetry Board! Rearrange the available words to form your own composition!

Freegal Update

To Our Freegal Users,

An all-new Freegal Music Service will launch on April 4th! On that day, the Freegal Music Site will be down for approximately 10 hours (11:00 pm CST April 3rd – 9:00 am CST April 4th). When it is back up, there will be an entirely new product and new apps for the iOS and Google stores. Patrons will be able to continue using their existing credentials, and all your playlists and stored music will be preserved.

Highlights of the new service include:

1. A completely new set of mobile apps that take advantage of new technology to allow the same robust website experience in the palm of the patron’s/customer’s hand. This is what the future of our service looks like – everything on the phone. Great discovery, great functionality and an intuitive and clean interface.

2. An emphasis on curated music. We know that of our almost 3 million users, 50% of them come to the site looking to discover music rather than finding something specific. To that end, we now have over 100 playlists to meet every mood or whim. New lists will be published weekly, and they are pleasingly displayed on the site and the apps.

3. A simple, clean and modern new interface to help the patrons/customers quickly explore the breadth and depth of our content base, which is now 15 million tracks and includes music videos and audiobooks.

Tom O’Day and Bronco Nell are coming to Vermillion!

The Friends of the Library will once again be partnering with OLLI and the SD Humanities Council for their 2018 Literary Lunch presenter, Living History Performer Ray Maple.

Wearing period costume, Maple will recall the life and times of early day Wyoming outlaw Tom O’ Day, who rode with Butch Cassidy and was involved in the botched Belle Fourche bank robbery. His tales include outlaws and famous persons of the 1880’s through 1930 when Tom died in Timber Lake, SD. He will also tell about Ella Smith, aka Bronco Nell, a partner and horse thief from Meeteetse, WY who was the last woman to serve time in the state penitentiary.

The Literary Lunch is open to everyone – you need not be an OLLI member to attend!

Tickets will be available at the Library front desk from Fri., March 23 through Sun, April 8.

Seating is limited, so get your tickets early for this fun event!