Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan, Titan Of American Music, Wins 2016 Nobel Prize In Literature 10-13-2016 Colin Dwyer

Bob Dylan performs in Chicago in 1978. He is the first American to claim the Nobel Prize in Literature since Toni Morrison won in 1993.
Paul Natkin/Getty Images
Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. In doing so, the prolific musician became the first American to win the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Dylan won the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize. The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, announced the news Thursday.

The win comes as something of a shock. As usual, the Swedish Academy did not announce a shortlist of nominees, leaving the betting markets to their best guesses. And while Dylan has enjoyed perennial favor as an outside shot for the award, few expected that the musician would be the first to break the Americans' long dry spell — not least because he made his career foremost on the stage, not the printed page. Read more....

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Go Inside the Renovated New York Public Library Reading Room

Olivier Laurent October 5, 2016

The renovated New York Public Library Rose Reading Room / Ryan Fitzgibbon

A group of Instagram photographers got an early look at the Rose Room

It all started with a piece of plaster. On May 30, 2014, a piece of ceiling fell inside the New York Public Library Rose Reading Room. The stunning landmark space was forced to close for “about two weeks.” That turned into two years.

Now, the Rose Room is finally ready for its reopening. And the results are stunning. “I’ve been to the library for events or just to explore the space prior to the closure of the Rose Main Reading Room, but it’s clear that the heart and the history of the New York Public Library stems from this two-city-block-wide study hall,” says Ryan Fitzgibbon, the founder of Hello Mr. magazine. Read more...

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

How Banning Books Marginalizes Children by Paul Ringel

Oct. 1, 2016 [from The Atlantic]
Since the 1800s, attitudes about which books are “appropriate” for kids to read have too often suppressed stories about different cultures and life experiences. Comstock / Getty

Every year since 1982, an event known as Banned Books Week has brought attention to literary works frequently challenged by parents, schools, and libraries. The books in question sometimes feature scenes of violence or offensive language; sometimes they’re opposed for religious reasons (as in the case of both Harry Potter and the Bible). But one unfortunate outcome is that 52 percent of the books challenged or banned in the last 10 years feature so-called “diverse content”—that is, they explore issues such as race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, and disability. As a result, the organizers of Banned Books Week, which started Sunday, chose the theme “Celebrating Diversity” for 2016.

Since the inception of the American children’s literature industry in the 1820s, publishers have had to grapple with the question of who their primary audience should be. Do kids’ books cater to parents and adult cultural gatekeepers, or to young readers themselves? But as books that address issues of diversity face a growing number of challenges, the related question of which children both the industry and educators should serve has become more prominent recently. Who benefits when Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of Part-Time Indian, which deals with racism, poverty, and disability, is banned for language and “anti-Christian content”? Who’s hurt when Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings’s picture book I Am Jazz, about a transgender girl, is banned? The history of children’s book publishing in America offers insight into the ways in which traditional attitudes about “appropriate” stories often end up marginalizing the lives and experiences of many young readers, rather than protecting them Read more...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Donate Your Books to Prisons: What, Why, and How by Becky Stone
When you research how to donate your books to prisons, the same phrase comes up over and over again: that books are a lifeline for prisoners.

As someone who is fortunate enough that most of my experience with the prison system has happened through Netflix, I took that to mean simply that when you’re in the same small space day after day, it gets boring. But providing prisoners with books offers so much more than relief from monotony.

According to a Baltimore Sun article about Maryland’s prison libraries:

Many who are within a year or two of release use library services to prepare for re-entry — to get their GED, to improve their vocabularies and language skills. The recidivism rate in the United States varies, from 50 percent to as high as 67 percent in some states, and there are two main reasons for that level of failure: the employment challenge facing ex-offenders on the outside and the lack of preparation for re-entry on the inside.

Read more.... 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Inside the New York Public Library's new $23 Million Subterranean Book Vault

The New York Public Library just spent $23 million to create a gigantic storage space beneath Bryant Park to stash millions of books. Our Michael Scotto takes look.