BookBrowse Wins Gold in the Modern Library Awards

Awards LogoWe are delighted to share some great news: BookBrowse has been awarded Gold in the inaugural Modern Library Awards!

Created by LibraryWorks and judged by librarians, the MLAs recognize the top products in the library industry. BookBrowse has been recognized as being an invaluable resource for libraries, providing the many great features that you have come to love: Exceptional reviews of the latest books, 'beyond the book' articles, recommendations by genre and theme, read-alikes, and resources for book clubs.

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Share Our Books: A Community Reads Program for Elementary Schools

Share Our BooksA couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of hearing Sara Pennypacker give a talk to children's librarians, during which she mentioned a program that she and a few of her children's author friends have launched:

"Share Our Books was born from a conversation a few of us children's authors had about how much we loved Community Reads. The idea is for an entire elementary school community from the principal and teachers to the bus drivers and nurses and, of course, the students and their families to share the experience of reading the same book at the same time. It's an honor and a joy to have our books chosen to help bond a community this way. What could we do to encourage more of it, we asked each other? The answer was obvious...provide the books."

The concept is simple:

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Banned Books Week "Celebrates" 30 Years

Banned Books Week (Sept 30-Oct 6) is celebrating, for want of a better term, its 30th year!

Banned Books Week logoBanning books has a long and ignoble history going back into the mists of time. Possibly the oldest known ban was against 5th century BC Greek philosopher Anazagoras who made the mistake of suggesting that the sun is "white hot stone and that the moon reflected the sun's rays" - which caused him to be exiled from Athens and all his writings burned.

Of course, through much of history it wasn't just the writings that got burned but the writers themselves. Indeed, it wasn't even necessary to put pen to paper to find oneself atop a bonfire, or other equally nasty fate - a word, a deed, or even the mere suspicion of a thought could have been enough. So, I suppose we should be grateful that in the USA today we've evolved from burning people to merely attempting to ban their books.

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Banned Books Week

Beware of the BookThis week marks the USA's 30th annual Banned Books Week (sponsored by half a dozen American library, bookseller, journalist and publisher associations; and endorsed by about half a dozen more.) During Banned Books Week, bookstores and libraries across the USA celebrate (for want of a better word) the books that have been challenged or outright banned from libraries with in store displays, readings and so forth.

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The World's Most Beautiful & Unique Libraries

Books have been inspiring people from all walks of life for many centuries, not least the architects who build the libraries to house them!

From the Vatican library, established more than 500 years ago, to modern buildings that are pushing the boundaries of the avant-garde such as The Czech Republic's proposed new national library, these six websites will take you on a tour of some of the most beautiful, inspiring and, occasionally, downright weird library buildings to be found in our wide world....

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How Libraries Stack Up

There have been mumblings in certain quarters recently suggesting that libraries are a waste of money in this day and age.

Pardon me, but I beg to differ; and this is why:

  • Two-thirds of Americans have a library card.

  • Every day 300,000 Americans get job-seeking help at their public library.

  • 13,000 public libraries offer career assistance. By comparison, the US Department of Labor offers 3,000 career centers.

  • Americans are six times more likely to visit a public library than they are to attend a live sporting event. US public libraries receive 1.4 billion visits annually.

  • Small business owners and employees use public library resources 2.8 million times each month to support their businesses.

  • 5,400 public libraries offer free technology classes - that's more technology training classes than there are computer training businesses in the US. Every day, 14,700 people attend free library computer classes - a retail value of $2.2 million.

  • Every day, 225,000 people use library meeting rooms at a retail value of $11 million. There are more meeting rooms available at public libraries than there are meeting rooms in all the US conference centers, convention facilities and auditoriums combined.

  • Most public libraries offer internet access - a vital resource for the approximate 1 in 4 people who do not have internet access at home.

  • Every day, US libraries circulate 7.9 million items. That's more materials than FedEx ships worldwide.

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