We're in the second day of National Library Week and there's still much more information to share than was first provided in the initial post. Running April 4-10, the theme for this year is "Welcome to Your Library," where people in the nation are encouraged to get out to their local library, read more, and take advantage of the great services your local libraries have to offer. However, I'll be focusing on three different areas about National Library Week in this blog, and that's the State of America's Libraries Report, the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020, and a contest anyone can enter to show your love for your library for a chance to win $100.
2020 brought many changes to libraries of all types as they had to meet the challenges and needs of serving a community during a global pandemic, which certainly brought unrest to people everywhere. Libraries had two decisions to make, to close with no services during height of the pandemic, or to find new ways of addressing the needs of the community and reaching out to them. As part of the 2021 State of America's Libraries Report, there will be a special emphasis on that topic. CLICK HERE to view that report in its entirety, which is put out by the American Library Association (ALA).
Highlights from that report also includes a look at censorship in 2020. 273 books were challenged for a number of reasons including language, sexual orientation, religious viewpoints, racism, drugs and alcohol, etc. The majority of these challenges come from parents, whom then report these challenges most frequently to public libraries, as compiled by the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. The Top 10 most challenged books from 2020 are the following:
- "George" by Alex Gino
- "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You" by Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds
- "All American Boys" by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
- "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson
- "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie
- "Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story About Racial Injustice" by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins & Ann Hazzard
- "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
- "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
- "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison
- "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas
Check out these titles from your library to read if you like. Remember, your library affords you with the freedom to read the items you choose and it's up to the reader to determine if those titles are beneficial to them or not.
Want a chance to win $100 Visa gift card this week? All you have to do is get in on the #MyLibraryIs promotional challenge. You have from now until Saturday, April 10 to participate, and you can simply do so by making a social media post to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and something you've read from the library that you love, your favorite thing about your library, what your library was able to do for you while at home during the pandemic? Once you have your thought, post on your account with the #MyLibraryIs hashtag and tag your library in our posts as well (@AbilenePublicLibrary). A single winner will be pulled from the entries to win the $100 and why couldn't that be you?
That's just a few more ways you can get in on the National Library Week fun. We'll be back tomorrow with even more to tell you.