Friday, September 24, 2010

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Saturday, September 25, sees the kickoff of Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. The website of the American Library Association, which originated the annual observance, says, “Intellectual freedom – the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular – provides the foundation for Banned Books Week, [which] stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.”

Most of the books spotlighted during Banned Books Week have been the subject of challenges about their inclusion in school or public library collections, or on students’ assigned reading lists. Books that have been challenged or removed include The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Twilight series, Huckleberry Finn, Gone with the Wind, the Goosebumps series, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, A Wrinkle in Time, and probably some of your favorites (I know some of mine are in the list above.)

Why is it important to talk about this? I think it’s because we are reminded that if you or I can ban a book someone else likes, then it’s entirely possible that a book we find important can be banned as well. Part of the price of an open conversation is that sometimes we might hear something we don’t like.

If you’re interested in continuing the conversation about what we read, join us on Thursday, September 30, at 7:00 p.m. in the Central Library Auditorium, 600 Soledad, when Dotty Griffith, ACLU of Texas Public Education Director, will discuss the Banned Books report for this year. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird, she will also reflect on the book’s significance for us today.

What books would you want to protect? Drop us a line and let us know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

¡Viva Mexico! The San Antonio Public Library celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

In 2010 nuestro vecino to the south is celebrating the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the Centennial of the Mexican Revolution, and the San Antonio Public Library is honoring this observance during Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15.

Join us at the Cortez Branch Library from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, for ¡Viva México!, a celebration in music, story and art of Mexico's battles for independence and democratic government.

All month long, there will be programs at branch libraries throughout the City. Pick up a calendar of events at your library, or visit our online calendar (click on "Hispanic Heritage Month" at the top of the page), and look for these activities:

Crafts, Humor and Short Stories - a series of short animated films focusing on the war for Mexican independence and the Mexican Revolution.

Rhythm of a Revolution - how corridos motivated the Mexican revolution, with special performances by Los Inocentes.

Children are also included, with El águila y la serpiente, a craft series based on the eagle and snake imagery of the Mexican flag. Call your branch library for details, or pick up a calendar of events on your next visit.

You're invited! All programs are free and open to the public.

Reminders: The Central Library, 600 Soledad, is open, even though renovations are underway.
The McCreless Branch Library, 1023 Ada Street, is currently closed for renovations

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The San Antonio Public Library invites young authors to try their wings!

For more than eighty years, the San Antonio Public Library's Young Pegasus Poetry Competition has encouraged young authors to try their wings. Open to all Bexar County teens and children eighteen or younger, the Young Pegasus Competition offers poets the opportunity to share their works with the community, and to have their talents recognized. Each year, these young authors are invited to submit their poems for consideration by the Young Pegasus judges. All poems selected are published in the Young Pegasus Poetry Anthology, and the writers recognized at the Young Pegasus award ceremony.

The call for entries for the 2011 Young Pegasus Poetry Competition opens September 15 and will run December 15, 2010. Poems may be submitted online, in person at any San Antonio Public Library location, or by mail to:
Young Pegasus
San Antonio Public Library
600 Soledad, 3rd Floor
San Antonio, Texas 78205

For more information and a list of competition rules, please go to http://guides.mysapl.org/youngpegasus.