Holly Cole, an LRS Alumni, was chosen to be an Emerging Leader with ALA for 2008. Holly is currently working as a Youth Services Librarian/Assistant Branch Manager with the Weber County Library System in Utah. Way to go Holly! We’re so proud!!
In 2006, there were a total of 63 challenges to books, materials, events, and exhibits in Colorado public libraries. This was the lowest number of challenges since 2003. Of the 115 public libraries in the state, 23 had a challenge during the year. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson was the title most often named in a challenge.
The first Index of Prohibited Books was drawn up by order of Pope Paul IV in 1559. The lists were issued 20 times through the centuries by different popes, the last issued as recently as 1948, and finally suppressed in 1966.
The origin of the term censor in English can be traced to the office of censor established in Rome in 443 BC. In Rome, as in the ancient Greek communities, the ideal of good governance included shaping the character of the people. Hence, censorship would have been regarded as an honorable task.
Sources: http://www.beaconforfreedom.org/about_project/history.html and http://encyclopedia.farlex.com/censor+(magistrate)
The first recorded book burning in the United States was in 1650. William Pynchon’s A Meritorious Price of Our Redemption was ordered destroyed by a court because the religious publication contained “errors and heresies.” The book was burned by the public executioner.
Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Boccaccio’s Decameron, Defoe’s Moll Flanders, and various editions of The Arabian Nights were all banned for decades from the U.S. mail under the Comstock Law of 1873. Officially known as the Federal Anti-Obscenity Act, this law banned the mailing of “lewd”, “indecent”, “filthy”, or “obscene” materials. The Comstock laws, while now unenforced, remain for the most part on the books today; the Telecommunications Reform Bill of 1996 even specifically applied some of them to computer networks.
50 years ago Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti contacted the ACLU to defend the publication of Howl. U.S. Customs officials had seized the books, stating, “You wouldn’t want your children to come across it.” A state court judge ruled that the poem could not be suppressed as obscene by local authorities.
In 2007, fearing repercussions from the FCC, in a New York radio station decided against airing Howl on the 50th anniversary, choosing to stream the poem on its web site instead.
The ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom reports there were more than 3,000 attempts to remove books from schools and public libraries between 2000 and 2005. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series tops the list of the most challenged books of the 21st century. Source: http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/bannedbooksweek/bbwlinks/topten2000to2005.htm
The Lorax by: Dr. Seuss was banned in the Laytonville, California School District on grounds that this book “criminalizes the forestry industry.”
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was banned as recently as August 2001, in Oklahoma for “racially charged language.” It was also banned from the Lindale, Tex. advanced placement English reading list (1996) because the book “conflicted with the values of the community.” Also challenged at the Warren, Ind. Township schools (1981), because the book “represents institutionalized racism under the guise of ‘good literature’.” Also challenged–and temporarily banned–in Eden Valley, Minn. (1977).
Sources: http://library.dixie.edu/new/whybanned.html http://title.forbiddenlibrary.com/
The Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Colorado Association of Libraries has information on how libraries can deal with challenges and other important information:
For more information about banned books visit:
Banned Book timeline
American Library Association
And finally a few quotes to end our Who Knew about Banned Books:
“Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.”
— Lyndon Baines Johnson, February 11, 1964
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – Who will watch the watchers?”
Just when you thought nobody was lookin’ libraries make the front page of the Denver Post! Although some of the “facts” quoted in the article weren’t strictly accurate (CO has 115 library jurisdictions, not 114), it was generally an informative, favorable piece about Colorado libraries.
Libraries attract record crowds: Public libraries evolving to meet demand for digital services By Kimberly S. Johnson
In 2006, Colorado had 1,420 school libraries staffed by 1,652 FTE staff–817 of them endorsed school librarians. Collections included nearly 14 million print books and a total circulation of 36 million. School libraries had 14.8 million individual visits and 1.5 million group visits, underscoring the library as a place for students to study, conduct research, meet with each other, and, most importantly, learn information literacy.
Sixty-two percent of college students said they would choose an electronic textbook over a new print textbook, according to a new study by Versaware.
15 states (alas, not Colorado) had ‘Sales Tax Holidays’ during the month of August – periods of time with no sales tax on certain school-related items.
“We expect more than 53 million students to be enrolled in the nation’s elementary and high schools this fall, and that’s even higher than the total enrollment in 1969 when the last of the baby boomers were still in school,” says Robert Bernstein of the U.S. Census Bureau.
The US produced 10 billion pounds of apples in 2006. The chances are good that the apples your children present to their teachers or enjoy for lunch were grown in Washington state, which accounted for more than half of the nation’s total production.
Average annual 2005 earnings of workers 18 and older with an advanced degree was $79,946. This compares with $54,689 a year for those with bachelor’s degrees, $29,448 for those with a high school diploma only and $19,915 for those without a high school diploma.
13.6 million computers are available for classroom use in the nation’s 111,000 elementary and secondary schools; that comes down to 1 computer for every 4 students.
The average cost before financial aid for one year of a full-time master’s degree education at a public institution in 2003-04 was $21,900 (includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and other living expenses).
The average cumulative amount borrowed for a master’s degree for those graduating in 2003-04 was $27,200.
Back-to-school spending is estimated reach $17.6 billion, up from a poor showing of $13.4 billion last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2006 Back-to-School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey. Average back-to-school spending by category and family for primary and secondary school age children: 
* Electronics/Computers: $114.38
* Apparel/Accessories: $228.14
* Shoes: $98.34
* School Supplies: $86.22
For more Back to School Fun Facts visit:
Facts for Features at the U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/010218.html
IES’s Back to School Statistics at the NCES: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372
________________________________LRS.org Big Facts: http://www.lrs.org/quotable.php
U.S. Census Bureau, RadioZone: Quotes & Sound Bites: http://www.census.gov/pubinfo/www/radio/sb_03back2school.html
U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/education/009749.html
U.S. Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2003/cb03ff-11.html
Institute of Education Sciences: http://nces.ed.gov/das/library/tables_listings/show_nedrc.asp?rt=p&tableID=2146
Student Financing of Graduate and First-Professional Education, 2003–04: Profiles of Students in Selected Degree Programs and Part-Time Students (See Table 2.13.) at: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2006185
About.com: Retail Industry: http://retailindustry.about.com/od/sales_holiday/a/back_to_school.htm
Librarians who work with Spanish-speaking populations may be interested in two recent Field Initiated Studies entitled, Colorado Latinos and Information: Key Informant Interviews with Latino Organizations and Information-Seeking Behaviors of Spanish-Speaking Populations: An Annotated Bibliography.
These Field Initiated Studies are the result of a Service Learning Project completed by Catherine L. Meis, a graduate student at the University of Denver’s Library and Information Science program. The end goal of this study was to help AskColorado assess potential Spanish use of the AskColorado Spanish queue.
For more information, you may click on the above links or see our Field Initiated Studies section for more information.
ALA announced this week that the 2007 edition of the “ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Public and Academic” and “ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS – Public and Academic” are now available. Published by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), the survey reports the median salary for librarians is up 2.8 percent to $57,809 in 2007.
ALA Press Release & ordering information: http://www.ala.org/ala/pressreleases2007/august2007/alaapa07.htm
Do you want to know where library jobs are? Now you can see them on the map.
As the next step in its evolution, LibraryJobline.org now offers maps showing the location of current library job openings in Colorado and elsewhere. There are three ways to access the maps:
• Check out the locations of all current job openings at http://www.LibraryJobline.org/map.php,
• Search LibraryJobline.org at http://www.LibraryJobline.org/search.php and view a map of positions that meet your search parameters, or
• Login to MyJobline ( http://www.LibraryJobline.org/mylogin.php) and view a map of positions that fit your personal criteria
The study, ” Creating & Connecting: Research and Guidelines on Online Social – and Educational – Networking” looks at the usage of social networking by 9 to 17-year olds. Three groups were surveyed for the study: tweens and teens (9 to 17-year olds), parents, and school district leaders.
From the report…
* 59% of online students say they talk about education related topics
* 50% of online students say they talk specifically about schoolwork
* Less than 1% of all students say they’ve actually met someone in person from an online encounter without their parents’ permission
* 84% of school districts have rules against online chatting and 81% against instant messaging in school
Sections of the report include The Positives, The Gaps, Expectations & Interests, and Striking a Balance-Guidance & Recommendations for School Board Members. The study was conducted by Grunwald Associates and underwritten by News Corporation, Microsoft and Verizon.
The report: http://www.nsba.org/site/docs/41400/41340.pdf
Colorado public libraries’ historical circulation data is included in a recent study that is making the rounds on blogs, listservs, and email lists. Written by economist Douglas A. Galbi, “ Book Circulation Per U.S. Public Library User Since 1856,” is an analysis of library circulation trends from various sources going back over 150 years. Included in the analysis is Colorado library circulation data from 1920 through 2000, which appears in an LRS Fast Fact from 2003, “ Colorado Public Libraries Historical Data” written by Becky Russell.
Complete online circulation report from Galbi: http://www.galbithink.org/libraries/circulation.htm
More library data analysis from Galbi: http://www.galbithink.org/libraries/analysis.htm
Homepage for Douglas Galbi: http://galbithink.org/
LRS Fast Facts, “Colorado Public Libraries Historical Data”: http://www.lrs.org/documents/fastfacts/198_historical_pl_data.pdf
Thanks to Denise Davis at the ALA Office for Research & Statistics and Larry T. Nix, Library History Buff, for emailing this link to me.
The 2006 Metro Report is now available. The Metro Report consists of tables and charts of statistics from selected public libraries in metropolitan areas with operating expenditures greater than $1 million.