Tag Archives: National Library Week 2018

National Library Week 2018 – Musings

Librarians are the true superheroes–they can help us find our best selves & carve out the future we want, instead of  what’s thrown at us. – Laurie Halse, author

This week (April 8-14) is celebrated nationwide as National Library Week 2018.  During the week, I have fervently devoted a good deal of time reading and pondering the expanding and necessary role of libraries in this, the “Information Age.”

By week’s end, I have once again concluded that what we should be celebrating is National Librarians Week.  Clearly it is people, not buildings, that shape the library experience today.  And never has the role of library workers been more essential for individual seekers of truth, for their communities, and to the fate of an informed and thinking democracy.

As week’s end, I’m at a loss for words to express the urgency I feel about the challenge facing librarians – and for decision-makers who determine the fate of libraries and librarians in a political environment neither recognizes nor values truth-seeking as a priority.

And so, as I grapple with confusion and concern, I look for hope in the words and thoughts of others.   I have sought for and embraced articulate defenders, those who understand and write about the range of ways in which librarians create community, inform decision-making, and preserve American values – with gusto.

Overwhelmed by concerns about critical and independent thinking in this democracy I turn to more articulate spokespersons to share their vision and hope for libraries and librarians. Try to take time this weekend to peruse, if briefly one of more of these thoughtful essays:

And, if we have the snowfall that’s predicted, you might want to take a quick look at some past blog posts on libraries and the critical thinking skills that inform and fulfill the hope that inspires this democracy.  https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/information-and-media-not-weapons-but-tools/

Democracy depends on an informed population. And where can people get all the information they need? —At the Library.” – Elliot Shelkrot,

National Library Week tradition — Top 10 Challenged Books

ALA’s ‘Most Challenged Books’ List

The American Library Associationreleased its annual Top Ten List of Frequently Challenged Books, included in the ALA’s State of America’s Libraries Report 2018, which “affirms the invaluable role libraries and library workers play within their communities by leading efforts to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.”

According to the report, libraries continue to face challenges–including the potential for censorship–to a variety of books, programs and materials. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom 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 or collections. OIF estimates that 82%-97% of challenges remain unreported. Overall in 2017, 416 books were targeted–direct attacks on the freedom to read. The most frequently challenged titles last year were:

  1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  4. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  5. George by Alex Gino
  6. Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  9. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
  10. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas