Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

While we don’t have much in the way of leisure reading titles, we thought we might highlight a yearly recurring event within the library community.

Sometimes, a book may appear in a library collection, or become a part of a school curriculum, that the community may not agree with for one reason or another. Often, steps are taken to attempt to remove this title from the collection.BBW13_300x250

The American Library Association (ALA) promotes the idea that information should be free and uncensored, as well as made available to those that wish to access it, even if the subjects or topics are considered difficult, unorthodox, or unpopular. As such, once a year, the ALA holds an event celebrating this idea. This year’s events will take place from September 22nd through the 28th.


From the American Library Association webpage:

“Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”

Often, books are challenged or banned by communities with the best intentions – to protect others, mostly children, from difficult ideas and information. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom receives reports from libraries, schools, and the media on attempts to ban books in communities across the country, but it does not actually place bans on books. Instead, ALA works to ensure free access to information by compiling these reports into lists to inform the public about what is going on.

Here’s a list of the Top 10 Most Frequently Banned/Challenged books from 2000-2009!

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

You can view the full list of 100 here. The website also has Top 10 lists broken down by year, as well as the reasons behind why the books were challenged or banned.

Some libraries might be participating in the events ALA has planned. This year, sponsors will be hosting a “Banned Books Virtual Read-Out”, engaging in a party on Twitter, and hosting Google+ Hangouts with banned authors. Check with your local public library to see if they are planning to participate!



Download Thieme E-Books to Your iPad!

Did you know that Thieme offers offline access to their e-books? You can download e-books such as Color Atlas of Ultrasound Anatomy directly to your iPad and keep it for a year. You can read the e-book without Internet access, highlight it, take notes, and bookmark pages.

To get started:

  1. Install the iPublishCentral Reader App.
  2. Go to the library’s website.
  3. If you are not on campus, remember to log in for off-campus access..
  4. Click on “Online Databases.” Search for “Thieme” and click on the Thieme E-Book Library link.
  5. You will see a full list of the Thieme e-books. Choose your title and click on the “Download” link.
  6. This will take you to the Download page. You will see a download icon (green arrow) for the iPad. Click the icon and the “Open in Reader” file. Your title will download into your iPad’s Bookshelf within the iPublishCentral Reader App.
  7. Click on the book and start reading!

If you experience any trouble with this, please feel free to contact the library.


Spotlight on Health: National Cholesterol Education Month

September is National Cholesterol Education Month! Here are some things we learned courtesy of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website.

What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. There are two kinds: high-density lipoprotein (“good” cholesterol) and low-density lipoprotein (“bad” cholesterol). Having too much of the “bad” in your blood is bad for you; excess cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and form blockages. Due to this, too much cholesterol in the blood is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

What role does screening play?
High cholesterol doesn’t exactly have any symptoms, so many people do not know their cholesterol is too high. It’s good to have your doctor do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol levels. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that if you’re an adult aged 20 years or older that you should look into checking your cholesterol every 5 years. Depending on some other factors, you may need to do this check more often.

How can you prevent or treat high cholesterol?

Here are some lifestyle changes to consider!

  • Eating a healthy diet – avoid saturated fats and trans fats, as they are known to raise cholesterol levels. Some other fats, like polyunsaturated fats, can conversely lower the level of cholesterol in your blood. Eating more fiber is also useful!
  • Exercising regularly – Physical activity is also good for lowering cholesterol. 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week is recommended for adults by the Surgeon General.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight – Your cholesterol levels may raise and be much higher if you’re overweight or obese. It follows that losing some of that weight can help lower that cholesterol.
  • Not smoking – Quit as soon as possible if you do!

For more information, visit the CDC website to find more resources like useful links and additional reading. You might also find some helpful related information on heart disease in our Consumer Health LibGuide on our library website!


Teaching through the eyes of Google Glass

Back in February, we made a post about a competition Google was holding to determine the lucky group of people that would be allowed the opportunity to purchase and try-out their new augmented reality eyeglasses. That contest is long since over, and lots of folks have had the chance to utilize the cool new technology as part of the Google Glass Explorers community. Check out this video from Andrew Vanden Heuvel, a physics teacher from Grand Rapids, Michigan, as he uses his Google Glass to show his brother’s physics class the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland!