8 In 10 Adults Still See Libraries as Sources of Credible Info

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Photo by Sanwal Deen on Unsplash

With the terms of what constitutes “news” or even “facts” ever more in question, most Americans are comfortable depending on public libraries to help guide them toward reliable sources. A new study cited by the Pew Research Center reports that at least seventy-eight percent of adults believe their local library can steer them toward information that is “trustworthy and reliable.” In fact, the public’s growing fear of being bamboozled by “fake news” may actually be working in our libraries’ favor, as “about six-in-ten adults (sixty-one percent) say they would be helped at least somewhat in making decisions if they got training on how to find trustworthy information online.” Chances are, your local librarian will be able to help you with that very objective.

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What Would You Lose?

by , August 30, 2017, first appearing in Library Journal

Library Advocacy PosterU.S. libraries battle unprecedented challenges to federal support; you can help—and if you don’t have a copy yet, you can download and print the PDF of our poster, sponsored by Gale Cengage, highlighting services that libraries stand to lose without federal funding. These services were drawn from states’ 2013–17 plans for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds granted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Read it, post it in your library or around your community, and start a conversation.

Post Censored Due to Unfit Content

It’s Banned Books Week!

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What is Banned Books Week?

That’s an easy one. It’s an annual celebration of your right to read whatever you want.

And why is it important?

This answer is longer, but still pretty easy. I’ll keep it to three main points.

First off, in this country and at this time, it’s pointless. To begin shutting down or cutting out ideas, perspectives and lifestyles that a specific person, or group of people, doesn’t understand, identify with or approve of solves LITERALLY NOTHING. For anybody. Including those that are attempting to challenge or ban the material. Nothing makes a book shout, “Check out what I’m about!” louder than someone else shouting not to check out what it’s about. Plus, even if “they” hypothetically manage to ban a book from a library or school there are hundreds of other places that a determined reader can go to get it. Pointless.

Second, one persons obscene or unfit material is another persons broadened horizons. Reading about something does not make you automatically believe what you have read, but it does help you to be aware of and consider other perspectives. There is evidence that reading encourages and increases empathy. Empathy – generally listed as a positive human quality… by, like, everyone. The other big reason that a lot of books with violence or sex or bad language or “adult situations” and so on, are challenged, especially books for teens and younger readers, is to “protect the children!” But here’s the thing, when those topics are addressed in books for younger readers they are done so from the perspective of younger characters and talked about in a way that is accessible and appropriate to that age group, helping the reader come to terms with and learn about the fact that whatever it is exists in the real world. Ignoring it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and censoring it will just create kids who are blind-sided by it when they encounter it as they get older.

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Third, no one likes to think about human rights and civil liberties in “use ’em or lose ’em” terms, but… It’s a potentially slippery slope – 1 banned book can become ten banned books, can become one hundred, can become state approved reading list only. It’s a little dramatic, I know, but it has happened, and, historically speaking, cultures (or, call a spade a spade, regimes) that make a habit out of banning books are often just around the corner from burning and destroying them (and occasionally their readers). Also, not typically super-happy places to live. I’m just saying.

So, there you are. Banning books – pointless, counter-productive and oppressive.

Support your right to read what you want – READ A BANNED BOOK TODAY! 

If you need help finding one (there are lots) you can find lists here.

Thank you, millennials.

Not something that gets said very often, but according to the Pew Research Center public libraries might start saying it more.

PEW MillennialsMillennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries

A new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation.

Relatively high library use by Millennials might be related to changes that many public libraries have undergone in the past 20 years. Previous Pew Research Center surveys have documented how extensively people use computers and internet connections at libraries, as well as how interested they are in extra services such as literacy programs for young children, meeting spaces for community groups, and technology “petting zoos” that provide opportunities to explore 3-D printers and other tech gadgetry.

You can find the full article here.