Have you ever been to a Human Library? Well, now’s your chance: the ID Weeks Library at USD will be hosting a Human Library on Wednesday, October 18th from 4 to 7 pm. It’s your chance to get to know some truly intriguing folks in our community.
The Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library will be spending the week of October 15-21, 2017, celebrating its Friends of the Library group as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.
The Friends of the Vermillion Public Library were established in 1986 and have raised many thousands of dollars in support over the years. Countless community members contribute annually to the Friends, and over 25 of these contributors actively volunteer their time to assist the group with fundraising efforts that include an annual literary lunch and a used book sale each month in the lovely Edie’s Book Shop.
“My parents introduced me to books at a young age and I have been a ‘reader’ ever since,” says Friends President Joyce Zimmer. “As a child in Vermillion, many a rainy summer afternoon was spent in the Children’s Library (the basement of the old library) where I could immerse myself in all sorts of adventures between the covers of a beloved book. Anything I can do now to foster this love of reading in others makes me happy. Our work crew for Edie’s is filled with others who love to read and the time flies by as we share favorite authors and books.”
The current advisory council for the Friends of the Vermillion Public Library organization includes Anne Dunham, Ann Stewart, Betsy Simons, Maxine Rodgers, Shari Kolbeck, and Sharon Donahoe.
Ann Stewart, long-time Edie’s volunteer and loyal VPL patron states, “Sharing a customer’s joy as they find that special book is one reason I enjoy volunteering at Edie’s book shop.”
Special attention throughout the week will include an honoring of our Friends Advisory Council during our Board of Trustees October meeting on Thursday, as well as social media and website focus on all the hard work achieved by the organization. Patrons are encouraged to consider becoming a member of the organization by filling out member forms that will be located at the Circulation Desk, and on our website.
“The Friends of the Vermillion Public Library bring much extra energy and enthusiasm into our library,” claims Daniel Burniston, Library Director. “They do a huge amount of hard work for the library through activities like Edie’s Book store. The funds they raise help give library staff much needed extra time and resources for activities such as creating, implementing and running our fantastic array of programs and services. The dedicated, voluntary work the Friends group does helps us make the library a better place for all of our community members; we greatly appreciate it and can’t thank them enough for all they do.”
National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united. For additional information, please contact the Edith B. Siegrist Vermillion Public Library at 677-7060.
It’s Homecoming Week at USD, which means it’s almost time for the big D-Days Parade. We’ll be there this year, so come on down and look for us this Saturday:) We’ll have some library swag, and will be walking with several other Vermillion cultural organizations. We can’t wait to see all your shiny faces!
P.S. There will be NO Story Times on Saturday morning, due to the Parade. Please share widely.
What’s your favorite banned book, Vermillionaires? Our Library Director, Daniel, is a big fan of the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. The VPL’s Circulation Supervisor, Jeff, counts Vonnegut’s Slaughter-Five among his favorites. Susan, our Public Relations Specialist, has always been profoundly impacted by all of Toni Morrison’s works. We want to know which banned books are meaningful to you; as well as any you’re looking forward to adding to your reading list!
Don’t forget that we’re celebrating Banned Books Week with a special promotion: weigh in on our facebook page, over on our instagram or twitter pages, or even in-person at the Library Circulation Desk with your favorite banned book, and you’ll be entered into a prize drawing – just tag #vermillionpubliclibrary and #bannedbooksweek. In addition, the first 18 entrants will get a ‘Words Have Power’ button!
Throughout the country, most children are starting a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.
Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges, including 323 in 2016. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About half of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.
It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Slaughterhouse Five,” the Harry Potter series, and the Hunger Games series, remain available.
The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!
In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the Edith B. Siegrist Public Library is celebrating Banned Books Week, along with the ALA from September 24-30th, an annual recognition of our right to access books without censorship.
Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view. The Vermillion Public Library and thousands of colleges, schools, libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits, and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened. The VPL will be drawing attention to Banned Books Week by sponsoring ‘I Read Banned Books’ promotion throughout the week. Patrons and community members are encouraged to review the ALA’s list of commonly challenged and banned books here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks/top10, and then either visit the Library in person, or post on the Library’s social media pages to share what banned books you’ve read, or are reading – just tag #vermillionpubliclibrary and #bannedbooksweek.
The first 18 participants will receive a ‘Words Have Power’ button, and three lucky patrons’ names will be drawn for prize packs at the end of the week.
American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read at your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.