The month has flown by, but before it’s over I really want to acknowledge on my blog that October is library month in Canada! This month we celebrate our libraries and raise awareness of the vital roles they play in Canadian lives each day.
“More than just a place to find books, libraries promote cultural awareness, engage in the community, provide educational programs, support freedom of expression and so much more.”
Libraries have been evolving and keeping pace with the changing needs of communities today- when oblivious people (usually non-library-users) try to claim that libraries are becoming obsolete, they are met with fierce library defenders who realize the true value libraries continue to provide to their communities (despite recently enduring closures and/or huge cuts to their budgets).
This library of nothing but books and silence is a lie. It’s a myth of a previous time, and that myth gets in the way of us realizing an important truth: that our world needs libraries more than ever… in an age of technology and information, in growing inequality and social isolation, our world needs libraries. They’re essential.
Libraries, both here in Canada and worldwide, are thriving and doing more with their communities than ever before. They are reinventing their collections, their strategies, their programs, their services, and their physical spaces. Check out this slideshow article from of Chatelaine, “15 Of the Absolute Coolest Libraries in Canada” , and also Brian Bethune of Maclean’s: “How Public Libraries are Reinventing Themselves for the 21st Century“.
Libraries are not just places to consume- they are places to create, and places that engage with their communities.
“Librarians no longer have all of the answers. We no longer expect that we do the talking and you do the listening. We are building a world… where we share in these experiences, and we are co-creators in the experience that people are going to have in libraries.”
Here are some titles to check out for Library Month!:
These are just a few I’ve come across, and there are so many more awesome resources out there! Please let me know if you have any other favourite recommendations 🙂
This is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information for All by Kyle Cassidy
“In 2014, author and photographer Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate.com called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. Since then, Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like.”
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady and Amiko Hirau
“A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.”
Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill
“Neal Barton just wants to read in peace. Unluckily for him, some local Christian activists are trying to get his favorite fantasy series banned from the Americus public library on grounds of immoral content and heresy. Something has to be done, and it looks like quiet, shy Neal is going to have to do it. With youth services librarian Charlotte Murphy at his back, Neal finds himself leading the charge to defend the mega-bestselling fantasy series that makes his life worth living.
This is a funny, gripping, and relatable tale of life and local politics in middle America”
BIBLIOCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza
“There is untold wealth in library collections, and, like every good librarian, Jessica Pigza loves to share. In BiblioCraft, Pigza hones her literary hunting-and-gathering skills to help creatives of all types, from DIY hobbyists to fine artists, develop projects based on library resources. ”
Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes
“When twelve-year-old June Harper’s parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval.
But June can’t give up books . . .”
Library Wars: Love and War by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa
“In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it out for her!”