Library Visits

To check out books or use the computers you MUST have: a signed pass from your teacher and your SCHOOL ID.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Censorship


is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other such entities. (Wiki)

(comic from Smells Like Library

“Librarians consider free access to information the foundation of democracy.” 
― Marilyn JohnsonThis Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

Librarians often have to fight against people (parents, politicians, etc) who feel that certain books should not be read. Recently, a Texas school district had a list of book challenges:

Here's the full list:
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, flagged for its strong language. Alexie's autobiographical novel won the National Book Award.
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, flagged for sexual situations. Green's Young Adult novels have garnered a Printz and an Edgar award.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, flagged for a scene in which a teenager incites non-consensual sex with an adult.
  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls, which describes real-life incidents of abuse and domestic violence. Walls' book, the recipient of multiple awards, is currently in production as a film starring Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, apparently offensive for its depiction of Buddhist philosophy and a main character who has unmarried sex, including with prostitutes. Hesse won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946.
  • Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison, which features sexual imagery and a narrative involving incest. Morrison has won both the Pulitzer and the Nobel Prize for her fiction.
  • The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler, which came under fire for its true account of a woman who was raped in second grade and who later had an abortion as a teenager. Shipler was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, and won a Pulitzer for General Nonfiction. The book was being taught as part of an Advanced Placement English course.

Censorship, in the form of banning and challenging books, isn't just something that happened a long time ago. It is happening every year in schools and public libraries across the country and globe.

Come on down to your library and see what books we have available for check out that other schools and libraries have banned.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Banned Book Week

This week, Sept 21st - 27th is Banned Book Week. Libraries across the country are raising awareness of banned and challenged books. 

If an HSC student reads a banned book and writes a review for the library website, Ms. D will write a note for the student account and allow an extra checkout. For example, all students are allowed 2 books at a time. If you complete this quest, you will earn a 3rd book. This goes for frequent readers as well, many of whom already can already check out 3, 4, or 5 books at a time! ANY BANNED or CHALLENGED book off the ALA list will count! (list is here)

Every book on this shelf has been banned or challenged in schools and/or public libraries. 
There are so many more books too! 
Come on in and ask Ms. D about Banned Book Week. 

l8r, g8r  by Lauren Myracle: offensive language; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: offensive language, sexually explicit

Beloved, by Toni Morrison offensive language, sexually explicit

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley: insensitivity; nudity; racism; religious viewpoint; sexually explicit

Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause: sexually explicit

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee: offensive language; racism

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit,

My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult: homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence

Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling: occult/Satanism

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger: offensive language, sexually explicit,

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer: religious viewpoint and violence

The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier: nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violence

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide

Bless Me Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit

Crank, by Ellen Hopkins: drugs, offensive language, and sexually explicit

Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher: racism, offensive language

Remember: Knowledge is power. Power corrupts. So study hard and be evil. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Pieces of Eight

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, the word of the week is really a cool phrase: Pieces of Eight.

"The real de a ocho, also known as the Spanish dollar, the eight-real coin, or the piece of eight (Spanish peso de ocho), is a silver coin, of approximately 38 mm diameter, worth eight reales, that was minted in the Spanish Empireafter a Spanish currency reform in 1497.
The Spanish dollar was the coin upon which the original United States dollar was based, and it remained legal tender in the United States until the Coinage Act of 1857. Because it was widely used in Europe, the Americas, and the Far East, it became the first world currency by the late 18th century.[2][3] Aside from the U.S. dollar, several other existing currencies, such as the Canadian dollar, the Japanese yen, the Chinese yuan, the Philippine peso, and several currencies in Latin America, were initially based on the Spanish dollar and other 8-real coins. Diverse theories link the origin of the "$" symbol to the columns and stripes that appear on one side of the Spanish dollar." (Read more here)

Pirate Treasure is usually depicted as gold or silver pieces of eight! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Talk Like a Pirate Day, Sept 19th!

Avast ye, brigands. If ye be not a wastrel, scurry to yon Davy Jones' Locker and embark on a journey within a book! Aarrr!*

 Talk Like a Pirate Day Website

I'm a pirate! That I be!
I sail me ship upon the sea!
I stay up late - till half past three!
And that's a peg below me knee!

Talk Like a Pirate Day is a yearly day to talk like a pirate. "Why?" you may ask. 

“Because it's fun!” Fun breeds creativity, creativity breeds curiosity and curiosity is the mother of learning. Dressing like a pirate is optional. 

 Develop a pirate vocabulary:
Aarrr!: Pirate exclamation. Done with a growl and used to emphasize the pirate's current
Ahoy: Hello
Avast: Stop and pay attention
Beauty: a lovely woman,
Belaying Pin: a small wooden pin used to hold rigging in place. Sometimes used as a
bludgeoning weapon.
Cutlass: Popular sword among pirates
Davy Jones' Locker: The bottom of the sea. The final resting place for many pirates and
their ships. As far as anyone knows, there was no real person named Davy Jones. It’s
just the sprit of the ocean, firmly a part of pirate mythology since at least the middle of
the 18th century.
Disembark: To leave the ship
Embark: To enter the ship in order to go on a journey
Foul: Turned bad or done badly, as in ‘Foul Weather’ or ‘Foul Dealings’
Grog: A drink that pirates enjoyed
Hornpipe: a single reed instrument, also a dance.
Keelhaul: Punishment. Usually tying the sailor to a rope and dragging him under the ship
from stem to stern.
Lubber: Land lover. Someone who doesn't want to go to sea.
Matey: Friend or comrade
Ne’er-do-well: A scoundrel or rascal
Pieces of eight: Spanish silver coins that could actually be broken into eight pieces, or bits.
Two of these bits were a quarter of the coin, and that’s where we get the expression
“two bits” for a quarter of a dollar, as in the cheer, “Two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar
…” (Do we feel a math lesson coming on?)
Plunder: Treasure taken from others
Rigging: Ropes that hold the sails in place
Saucy Wench: A wild woman
Tankard: A large mug, for ale
Wastrel: A useless man
Weigh anchor: Prepare to leave
Yardarm: Extended from the mast and used to hang criminals or mutineers or, more
prosaically, to hoist cargo on board ship

(*Translation:  Attention, don't be a loser, come down to the library and check out a book! Yay!)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Liminality

Mr. Evans' class is doing research on the vocabulary in The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. One of the words was something even I didn't know. So I looked it up!


1 :  of or relating to a sensory threshold

:  barely perceptible
:  of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition :  in-betweentransitional <in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt>

Origin of LIMINAL

Latin limin-, limen threshold
First Known Use: 1884

And Wikipedia says:
"In anthropologyliminality (from the Latin word lÄ«men, meaning "a threshold"[1]) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual's liminal stage, participants "stand at the threshold"[citation needed]between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes." 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thank you Spaceship Charlie!

I did Reddit Gifts for Teachers 2014 and received some fantastic books. Click here for my Reddit Gifts post. Come down to the library to see and check out these books!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Did I Miss Anything?

Did I Miss Anything?

Tom Wayman

Nothing. When we realized you weren’t here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

     Everything. I gave an exam worth
     40 percent of the grade for this term
     and assigned some reading due today
     on which I’m about to hand out a quiz
     worth 50 percent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

     Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
     a shaft of light suddenly descended and an angel
     or other heavenly being appeared
     and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
     to attain divine wisdom in this life and
     the hereafter
     This is the last time the class will meet
     before we disperse to bring the good news to all people
          on earth.

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

     Everything. Contained in this classroom
     is a microcosm of human experience
     assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
     This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

     but it was one place

     And you weren’t here


Monday, September 8, 2014

Library Word of the Week - Delayed

Friday was very busy! So our Library Word of the Week is a little delayed... 


verb (used with object) 
to put off to a later time; defer; postpone:
The pilot delayed the flight until the weather cleared.

to impede the process or progress of; retard;hinder:
The dense fog delayed the plane's landing.
He delayed until it was too late.

Liz from Top Shelf Comix is delaying studying by playing video games! Oh no! 

So very sorry for the delay!