Ask a Librarian

Celebrate Banned Books Week

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 28th, 2006

 The Daily Athenaeum, Editorial, September 27, 2006

The Daily Athenaeum reported Monday that this week marks the 25th anniversary of the American Library Association Banned Books Week, which runs through this Saturday.

To promote awareness of challenged and banned books, WVU Libraries is running a booth in the Mountainlair from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. throughout the remainder of the school week.

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WVU Libraries celebrates 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 27th, 2006

The Daily Athenaeum, September 26, 2006 

By Kathryn Gregory
Senior Staff Writer

The topic of controversial books in history usually brings to mind authors like J.K Rowling, J.D Salinger and William Shakespeare. Sometimes, books can even be banned from libraries because they are deemed too offensive.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the American Library Association's Banned Books Week. Banned Books Week was created to celebrate readers' freedom to read, said Sherry Steadman, library associate at West Virginia University.

“Harry Potter always gets challenged. Even the Bible, the dictionary and encyclopedia get challenged because people take offense to the language,” Steadman said.

To promote awareness of challenged and banned books, WVU Libraries have set up a booth in the Mountainlair this week from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through Sept. 29. It's designed to encourage people to read the banned books, Steadman said.

“We are here to let people be aware that people are trying to restrict your right to what you can read,” she said.

WVU does not have banned books. Books are typically not challenged in an University setting. According to Steadman, banning mostly takes place at public libraries and in school systems.

“A balanced, non-biased library collection is the building block of empirical research and academic teaching,” said Sophie Bogdanski, a librarian at WVU. “Books represent our history and culture through the ages. It reflects our story as human beings.”

In many cases, books are banned for offensive content relating to sex, profanity and racism, Steadman said.

Monongalia County's last book banning was in 1977 for "Our Bodies, Ourselves" by Boston Women's Health Book Collection.

“It was challenged because someone thought it was pornographic, encouraged homosexuality and was filthy,” Steadman said.

Google has joined Banned Books Week with an addition to its Web site. Web surfers can read about classic books which are continually challenged in the United States.

The Web site lists 42 of 100 classic books that are recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as some of the best novels of the 20th century, but are still challenged.

“It all comes down to a good author. The authors of books challenge us through their experiences, opinions and views,” Bogdanski said.

A library is there to provide, collect and preserve all books, regardless of their viewpoints and opinions, Bogdanski said.

“An author does their job by challenging us through the written word," she said.

For more information about banned books, visit the Mountainlair booth or the ALA Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.


Banned Books Week; Unique prestige bestowed on many well-known authors

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 25th, 2006

The Dominion Post, September 25, 2006


By Evelyn Ryan

The Dominion Post

Some of the best-known and popular books on library and bookstore shelves also hold the unique honor of being on the list of books some people want censored.

The list ranges from “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain to J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” stories to the popular juvenile series “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey.

Area residents have a chance to learn more about censorship this week at WVU, where librarians are focusing on freedom to read as part of Banned Books Week.

“Banned Books Week holds a great deal of significance for academic and research libraries,” said Sophie Bogdanski, monographs cataloging unit librarian for the WVU Libraries.

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Watch a Feature Film this Fall - For Free!

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
September 20th, 2006

Did you know that Media Services in the Downtown Campus Library has an outstanding collection of nearly 2000 feature films?

What are my borrowing limits?

WVU students, staff, and faculty may check out films for five days, up to five titles at one time.

How do I find out what films are available at the library?

You can look-up feature films in the MountainLynx Library Catalog or browse a list of them on the Media Services web site.

Other lists of films you can browse from the Media Services site include: New Media, DVD, VHS, Foreign films, Documentary films, Musicals, West Virginia, Horror films, Detective films, American drama, and Drama 20th century.

Directions for Access to the Film Collection 

How do I browse the entire collection?

  • Go to MountainLynx.
  • Select Subject Heading under Search By.
  • Type in feature films in the Search For box and hit enter.
  • Select the link called Feature Films and browse through the titles.

Another way to browse the collection of feature films is to select the list of feature films from the Media Services web site.

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Wilkinson Named Library Instruction Director

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 14th, 2006

Carroll Wetzel Wilkinson has been appointed Director of Instruction and Information Literacy for the WVU Libraries.

In the post, Wilkinson, the former Head of Access Services for the Downtown Campus Library, will oversee courses being taught by the Libraries and develop curriculum for future classes. She also hopes to work with interested faculty to integrate the intellectual principles of information literacy into their teaching.

“Carroll brings a strong interest in teaching and information literacy to this program,” WVU Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien said. “She also has a track record of collaborative efforts that bring different people together. She will be able to lead us in providing library instruction to WVU students in meaningful new ways.”


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More Computers !

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
September 8th, 2006

Students will find 40 additional computers available for research and writing in the Downtown Campus Library this semester. From Sunday through Thursday, the Computer Classroom on the lower level will be open as a lab from 5 PM until 10 PM. Computers in the classroom offer all the functionality of library public computers - including Internet, word processing, and spreadsheet applications.

The 30 computers in the classroom bring the total of public desktop computers in the Downtown Library to 210. The Media Services desk also recently increased the number of wireless laptop computers from 20 to 30. Students may borrow these machines for use anywhere in the Downtown Library Complex.


Another Tale of Two Cities

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
September 6th, 2006

Another Tale of Two Cities
Un autre conte de deux villes

a documentary by Michelle Gales
The transformation of two neighborhoods, the Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris
and Spitalfields-Whitechapel in London

Now & Then Productions
Screening Thursday September 7 at 5:30 PM
Downtown Campus Library
Room 104
Followed by Discussion with the Director

Another Tale of Two Cities invites you to be the detective, looking for clues in the images, the signs of change. And to be something of an archaeologist, too. These streets have a story to tell. And they are full of History: the French Revolutions of 1789, 1830, 1848 and the Paris Commune, John Wikes, French Huguenots and Jewish refugees. London Docklands, the Labour Movement and the famous East End solidarity. In fact, Another Tale of Two Cities, does not follow a traditional storyline, but an itinerary: three passages between these two cities.

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