Happy National Library Week 2011!

I always forget that technically the start of the week is Sunday.  To me, Sunday marks the end of the week, because I have to be back at work on Monday.  In my head, if I have to work on Monday, it’s the start of the week, not Day Two.   The reason for this rant is to make you aware of National Library Week 2011, which runs from Sunday, yes Sunday, April 10 to Saturday, April 16th.  In America National Library Week is promoted by the American Library Association, an organization I feel quite strongly about.  The ALA is often embroiled in politics as it pertains to censorship.  The ALA is very much pro-1st Amendment and against censorship, which is understandable.  In fact, the ALA also sponsors Banned Books Week, which runs from September 24 to October 1st this year.

Photograph of three of Nevins Memorial Library's earliest librarians

The ALA’s stance on censorship pretty much echoes my own:  If you don’t like it, don’t read it.  If something offends you, then avoid it and don’t introduce your kids to it, but don’t ban it (unless it’s illegal).  You see,  self-control and self-censorship works best.  I think the Golden Rule and Common Sense applies.  That book that you like, perhaps the Bible, no doubt offends other people of another religious faith, how would you like it if somebody wanted to ban that?

The fact of the matter is that a public library, yes PUBLIC library, contains, and should contain, a myriad of books on a variety of subjects ─ some of which offends; some of which engages your critical thinking; and some that tickles your fancy.  If libraries were to ban books that people found questionable, eventually there would be no books left, because there’s always somebody who is offended by something, or dislikes a particular book or subject.  I applaud the librarians who stand up for the 1st Amendment and recognize that differing opinions are not always a bad thing…

Support your local public library!



Last refuge of a bibliophile

So, Sharkette sent me out to pick up some soap at Sam’s Club today.  Personal hygiene is exceedingly important, especially if you are in charge of multiple babies prone to spit, vomit, and poop.  Driving past the Decatur Public Library, out of the corner of my little eye, I spied:

Decatur Public Library

A book sale, oh my!!!

To the true bibliophile, they might as well have given gasoline to an arsonist or handed out Bud Light at an AA meeting: a used book sale sign gets them every time.  I immediately commenced a U-turn maneuver, doubled-parked, and blocked in the Book Mobile.  Actually, I didn’t do any of those things, I just said that for dramatic effect.  But I did decide to investigate the book sale while grabbing my handy Friends of the Decatur Public Library canvas tote bag!

The badge of honor

You see when you carry around a canvas tote bag, whose sale supports your local library, you automatically say to the world, “I can read, and I promote literacy.”

Books, books, and more books!

As I walked through the doors I got a welcome surprise:  today was fill-up-a-grocery-paper-bag-with-books-for-$5-dollars-each day!  Not only that, it was Non-Fiction Day!  Say it ain’t so, librarian?  Some of you might know that I’m a huge fan of non-fiction, so this was pretty much close to bibliophile nirvana for me.

Non-Fiction FTW!

I felt like a bandit hauling away three bags worth of books for only $15 dollars, but this was truly a win-win situation for everybody involved.  The Friends of the Decatur Library got some more cash to support their operations, and I got thousands of pages worth of reading.  What was even more encouraging was the amount of people, including plenty of children, that were hauling away books.  It’s heart-warming to know that in this age of cellphones, the internet, and television, people still enjoy turning the pages of a good book!


my non-fiction haul!!!