Lemony Snicket Helps ‘Little Free Library’ Advocate Spencer Collins

A Kansas boy battling through a series of unfortunate events over his front-yard library is getting some support from author Daniel Handler.

Last month, 9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother’s Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines.

Singapore bans gay penguin book

Singapore has ordered the destruction of a children's book inspired by a real-life story of two male penguins raising a baby chick in New York's zoo after it was deemed inappropriate.

The National Library Board, which runs 26 public libraries in Singapore, pulled the book from the shelves this weekend and said it would "pulp" the copies of three titles, citing complaints their content goes against Singapore's family values.

The books are And Tango Makes Three, about a male-male penguin couple in the Central Park Zoo, The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption, which involves a lesbian couple, and Who's In My Family: All About Our Families.

News of library challenges rekindle memories

I have a friend named Pant who loves libraries.

Well, really, my friend’s name is Curt, but a few of us jokingly call him Pant because he owns only one pair of pants, which he wears all the time and are oddly clean and spotless.

And he really, really loves libraries.

Digital Resources in School Libraries

As a publisher of educational materials for students in K–12 schools for more than 34 years, I’ve collaborated closely with school librarians who deliver content and programming to the populations that we both serve.

With the advent of the digital revolution and the opportunities and challenges that this disruption provides, the school librarian is one of the most prepared professionals to make momentous choices on behalf of students. These choices comprise a broad range of options that include hardware, software, age appropriateness, access, pricing models, collaboration with classroom teachers and administrators, evidence of efficacy, and—perhaps most importantly—strategies for student engagement. The passion and enthusiasm with which my colleagues in the school library setting have embraced change and introduced new pathways of learning have inspired our publishing team.

How Libraries Can Survive In The Digital Age

Books as we know them are clearly in a state of flux. One in five Americans now read on e-readers or tablet computers, and most things that can be found in a book are little more than a click or touch away online. That trend has been the catalyst behind chain and independent bookstores closing at record pace. To avoid a similar fate, libraries across the country are trying to reinvent themselves and prove the digital revolution doesn’t mean the end of a book-lovers’ era.

Don’t you have the summer off?

While librarians at many academic institutions are considered faculty, many of them are also 12 month employees: we don’t get the summer off.

When folks tilt their head and furrow their eyebrows as they ask me “What do you do all summer? Read?” I attempt to refrain from pulling my hair out. Trust me, I’m not sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs.

Bound in human skin

Houghton Library contains countless curiosities. Perhaps the most disturbing example is Arsène Houssaye’s Des destinées de l’ame (FC8.H8177.879dc), bound in human skin.

In the mid-1880s, Houssaye (1815-1896) presented his recent book, a meditation on the soul and life after death, to his friend Dr. Ludovic Bouland (1839-1932), a noted medical doctor and prominent bibliophile. Bouland bound the book with skin from the unclaimed body of a female mental patient who had died of a stroke.

Literary Landmark: Yorkville Community School

Yorkville Community School on East 88th Street in New York City was dedicated a Literary Landmark in honor of children's book author Bernard Waber (1921-2003).

Waber used East 88th Street as a setting for his cherished Lyle the Crocodile picture books, starting with The House on East 88th Street in 1962. Lyle, a lovable and entertaining crocodile, lives in a typical brownstone on East 88th Street with the Primm family, and the Primm children attend a school much like Yorkville Community School.