Library life

Happy Banned Books Week!


This week, libraries and bookstores across America are drawing attention to the many books that have been challenged and banned. From often-challenged books, like Beloved and the “Captain Underpants” series, to surprising challenges, like Charlotte’s Web and the dictionary, Banned Books Week celebrates our freedom to make our own reading choices.

Jacqueline Woodson, award-winning writer who most recently took home a 2014 National Book Award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, has this to say on the topic:

“I definitely can understand parents having objections. As a mom, as someone who wants to protect my children in any way that I can, I can kind of get inside the heads of people who are saying, ‘This is not okay,’ only because they’re fearful. That’s where I can begin to have the conversation. I think people are willing to talk about anything if you come to it with kindness. But there are all these conversations that I fear are not being had, and as a result, we get banned and challenged.”

(The rest of Woodson’s discussion, entitled “It’s Banned Books Week Again. Can We Stop Yelling at Each Other About It?”, is available here.)

Curious about what titles made the list of Top 10 Most Frequently Challenged in 2014? Here’s the definitive list from the American Library Association. In the spirit of the week, the ALA also encourages you to take a selfie in front of a bookshelf (a “shelfie”) and/or with your favorite challenged or banned book, with the hashtags #BannedBooksWeek and #IReadBannedBooks.


Image credit: geralt on Pixabay.


Coming up: Graduate & Professional Schools Day


Are you considering a career in law, business, medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, public health, social work, or another field that requires further schooling?

Are you still exploring your options for professional or graduate education?

Would you like to network with the staff of some top programs, including Johns Hopkins University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Alabama?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’re in luck — Graduate and Professional Schools Day is quickly approaching on Monday, October 5, and it’s right nearby at Alabama A&M University from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you don’t have transportation, don’t worry — contact your department chair or Career Development Services for a ride.

For more information, contact CDS at 256-372-5692 or drop by their office at Patton Hall 101.


Image credit: DarkoStejanovic on Pixabay.


Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Folk dancers, Peru

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when we can learn about, commemorate, and celebrate the history and contributions of Hispanic cultures. As the event’s official website explains, “Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.”

“Why is it celebrated from September 15 to October 15?”

This event is designed to encompass several important days in Hispanic cultures. To begin, September 15 marks the independence of five Hispanic nations: Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. The next few days recognize the independence of Mexico (September 16) and Chile (September 18). October 12 is another important holiday in many Hispanic countries. It’s usually celebrated as Columbus Day, to commemorate the man who first brought Spanish culture to the New World. However, in many places, the day has been re-dedicated as Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity (Argentina), Day of the Race/Day of the Hispanic People (many countries), Day of the Americas (Uruguay and Belize), Day of Indigenous Resistance (Venezuela), Day of the Cultures (Costa Rica), or Indigenous Peoples’ Day (many U.S. cities), to shift the focus onto the local people whose lives were changed by Columbus’s journey.

Palace of Fine Arts, Mexico City

“What is the library doing to honor this event?”

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the library will have several displays of books and media by prominent Hispanics and about various Hispanic cultures.  We encourage you to borrow these materials and learn more about this rich heritage.

We will also be honoring Hispanic Heritage Month here on this site, with articles and reblogs. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact the site administrator at rbrothers[AT]oakwood[dot edu].


Image credit: verdibustamonte0 and photos71 on Pixabay