Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Celebrating the Hero Librarian and the Importance of Reading Banned Books

On August 3, Peter Chase, Director, Plainville Public Library, and Chair, Connecticut Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, will speak on "Why You Should Read Banned Books."  Peter was one of the "Connecticut Four" -- librarians who sued the Attorney General of the United States over the FBI's use of National Security Letters.  Since 2006, when their names became public, they have received awards from library and intellectual freedom groups.

The Middletown Rotary meets at 12:15 at First and Last Tavern, 220 Main Street.  A fee of $14 is charged.

Banned Books Week, from September 25 - October 2, is the only national celebration of the freedom to read.  It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries.  More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982.  The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities.  People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent.  They object to profanity and slang, and they protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups--or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.

The speaker on the 24th will be Jill Dugas Hughes, Executive Director, Connecticut Library Consortium, on "Libraries Working Together in Connecticut."  CLC is a statewide membership collaborative serving all types of libraries by initiating and facilitating cost-effective services, creating and supporting educational and professional development, and helping libraries to strengthen their ability to serve their users.  The Mission of the Connecticut Library Consortium is to: Provide a forum for the sharing of information, ideas, and expertise Facilitate and create partnerships among different types of libraries and statewide and community agencies who share the same goals Identify trends and promote the effective use of technology in libraries Support the continuing education of library staff through programming and training opportunities Leverage the buying power of its member libraries to provide materials and services to libraries of all sizes in all regions of the state Our speaker on 8/31 will be Carol Taylor, Director, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Connecticut State Library, on "Providing Library Service To People With Disabilities." LBPH is both a unit of the Connecticut State Library and a member of the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LC/NLS) network.  It lends books and magazines in two special formats -- recorded Talking Books and Braille. LBPH serves approximately 9,000 patrons with Talking Books and another 300 with Braille books.  Carol sums up her library's mission:

Library services should be a right and a privilege for all citizens.  By providing alternative format books and magazines to meet the recreation, educational and informational needs of persons who have difficulty with print media, our special library aspires to the philosophy, That All May Read.

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