Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Banned Books Week: In the Night Kitchen

One of my favorite books that continues to be challenged in libraries is Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen. It is the 21st most challenged book between 1990-1999 and the 24th most challenged book between 2000-2009 (#7 in 2004!). 

What appeals to you about this book?I really love all of Sendak's work. Sendak takes kids seriously in a way that many adults don't- so his worlds are rich, vibrant, and full of real dangers. In the Night Kitchen is all of these things, and a little wacky, too. 

When/Why was this book challenged?
In the Night Kitchen has been challenged since it was published in 1970. Critics object to the young protagonist's nudity and some inferred sexual innuendo. This Letters of Note sums up the controversy quite well, and includes Sendak's publisher's reply to a librarian who burned a copy of the book in the early seventies. It bears remembering that not all librarians are perfect.

If you love Sendak, as I do, consider watching his interview with Stephen Colbert. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week: To Kill a MockingBird

Enjoy this guest post for Banned Books week by Grafton's own Emma Reger:

In 2011 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was number ten on the Most Challenged Books list, according to the American Library Association. The reasons? Offensive language and racism. The first time I read To Kill a Mockingbird was in a high school English class. I fell in love with it, as have many others. To Kill a Mockingbird is a well-known, well-loved book, and I find it interesting that it is banned for the presence of that which it is fighting against. What I enjoyed most about To Kill a Mockingbird was the message of acceptance and equality it advocated, and in order for Harper Lee to effectively highlight the injustice of racism, she needed to show its perpetrators and effects. The novel is real-world and authentic, with characters you can love and characters you can loathe. It is a book that rewards re-reading and reveals new details every time. Harper Lee is able to draw real emotions from her reader through the power of words To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my absolute favorite books, and I hope that in honor of Banned Books Week you choose to break a few rules and read it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Banned Books Week

Every year in September libraries and bookstores draw attention to book censorship. People challenge books in libraries and stores for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to offensive language, sexual themes, or violence.

Libraries and librarians strive to make information available to everyone and resist the censorship of materials. Librarians value varied collections full of opposing viewpoints and experiences. Next week Grafton library is celebrating some of our favorite books that have been challenged over the years. Make sure to stop by and see if your favorite has been challenged!

You can read more about Banned Books Week at http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/about.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Youtube Video Tutorials

Did you know that Grafton Library has a Youtube account? Check out MBC Library Reference (ASK) on Youtube, and watch many informative videos about how to get the most out of various library services. Check out this video on Finding Peer-Reviewed articles! Many professors want you to use Peer-Reviewed articles, and now you'll know how to find them!

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Paula and I have realized over the last few weeks how similar we look at first glance. To help you tell us apart, we have made a handy guide. 

If you're not sure, don't be embarrassed to ask. Really, we just care that you come to us for research help! E-mail, call, chat or text for research aid. Stop by the reference desk and guess our names correctly to win a totally rad Grafton pen!