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BPL News & Information

Banned Books – A History

by Public Service Associate Owen

Yesterday marked the beginning of Banned Books Week, a week that aims to celebrate the freedom of literary expression. Book censorship is a rising problem in the United States, with the American Library Association reporting an “unprecedented” number of book challenges, as well as The New York Times dictating in January that “parents, activists, school board officials and lawmakers around the country are challenging books at a pace not seen in decades.” For whatever the reason, there has been a consistent rise in censorship attempts; Banned Books Week is an effort to both raise awareness in opposition to these attacks on literary freedom and to celebrate the books that have been targeted. I hope to lay out a brief history of book censorship, especially in the United States, to provide context as to why this week is so critical.

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BPL News & Information Programs Recommendations

Summer Gardening

by Public Service Associate Owen

Other than the shock of spring, summer is far and away the most verdant time of year. It is the perfect time to get the overalls on, find your gardening gloves and trowel, and spend hazy days in the garden. If you’re the sort of person who finds fulfilment on your knees in the soil, or even if you simply appreciate a good house plant, then this blog is for you! I’d like to highlight our extensive plant and gardening section here at the library, as well as shout out a fantastic event we’re having here involving plants and gardening that you won’t want to miss!

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Recommendations

Summer Tunes

by Public Service Associate Owen

Summer is moving right along as we go deeper into July and look towards August. In a past blog, we’ve covered some delightful beach reads for you to enjoy if you’re spending a weekend by the lake or by the ocean – but what if you want to jam out to some summery music while doing so? Do you have a road trip coming up and need something to listen to? Are you simply looking for some new music? Luckily for you, this blog will delve into some of my favorite music to listen to during the summer, across all sorts of genres. Whether you’re working on your tan, having a cookout with friends and family, or are simply enjoying the warmer weather, these albums, pieces, and songs will help you embrace the warmth of the season!

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Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Beguiling Biographies

by Public Service Associate Owen

Biographies! Across the many realms of print and literature, there are many topics, subjects and styles that stand out. But none stand out quite like biographies, as this particular brand of non-fiction revolves around the lives of single persons. They cover the trials and tribulations of the lives of all sorts of famous people, from Julius Caesar to Cesar Chavez. Thus, biographies are an efficient, excellent way to live vicariously through some of the most famous and influential people to ever exist. There is so much to discover about the idols, villains, actors, innovators, leaders, stars, and extraordinary humans of our lives, and one of the best ways to do so is by getting your hands on a good biography. So, in this blog, I will be highlighting four intriguing biographies of four very different yet equally remarkable people. From Henrietta Lacks to Winston Churchill to Frida Kahlo, each biography tells a thrilling tale of some of life’s most colorful characters.

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BPL News & Information Programs

Standing Up To Censorship – Program Preview

by Public Service Associate Owen

Despite the protections of free speech that are enshrined in our Constitution, there are still those present in our society that wish to impose censorship in the literary world. Books are being challenged for their content and are being banned from schools and libraries at an alarming rate. It is important now, more than ever, to stand up to the growing encroachment of censorship and book banning, as it can be a slippery slope that ultimately leads to a fearful, closed-minded, and mistrustful society. This is why Bexley Public Library is determined to help stand up to censorship, and we invite you to do the same as part of our two-part Standing Up To Censorship program. Parts I and II of this program can be attended both in-person in the BPL Auditorium, as well as online via Zoom.

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Booklists BPL News & Information Recommendations

A Day On: Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Bexley and Columbus

by Public Service Associate Owen

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a towering figure of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. Today, we honor his legacy, his commitment to non-violence, and his incessant will to see America through to true societal equality. While it can be easy to treat Martin Luther King Jr. day as just another holiday or day off, I believe it is important to take action on a day like this. Ohio state Senator Hearcel Craig calls Martin Luther King Jr. Day “a day on, and not a day off, because of what Dr. King represented and his focus on service.” So, if you are looking for ways to get involved and to honor Dr. King’s legacy, I have compiled some materials, resources, and events to plan a day of service around.

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Booklists Staff Book Reviews

Columbus Reads

by Public Service Associate Owen

Our humble capital city of Columbus is one of the nicest places to live in the state, and perhaps even the country! If you’re optimistic enough, that is. Often scoffed at by those who don’t reside here and often underappreciated by those that do, I am here to sing the praises of our state capital and to highlight some of the books that provide insight into what makes Columbus a special place to live. From the Statehouse to the Chill, here are four books about Columbus!

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Recommendations staff favorites

Staff Favorites 2021

by Public Service Associate Juliana

Welcome to our yearly round up! Each December it’s become Bexley Library tradition to collect a sampling of our favorite releases from the past 12 months. We hope this year’s compilation inspires you this holiday season! For even more great recommendations, listen to our recent podcast episode, “Best of 2021!”

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Booklists Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Books I’m Thankful For

by Public Service Associate Owen

I find Thanksgiving to be a wonderful holiday, where friends and family can gather with purpose to be thankful for each other and for what has gone well in their lives. This is the time of year where I am most attentive to what good is around me and what has shaped me as a person. This is especially true with books, which have had such a profound effect on how I was raised and how I view the world today. In this blog post, I will briefly elaborate some of the literary works that have had a substantial impact on my life. In doing so, I hope to both open your eyes to some of these monumental works, as well as to encourage you to reflect on some of the authors and books that have affected your life in a positive way.

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Recommendations Staff Book Reviews

Indigenous Heritage Month

by Public Service Associate Owen

November is National Indigenous Heritage Month, and as such it is an honor to use this space to feature some works of prolific indigenous authors. As Americans, it is of vital importance to recognize the peoples of this continent who were here prior to settlers and colonists. By highlighting some great works of indigenous authors, including the one book that brought indigenous literature into the mainstream, I hope to at least pay some respect to those whose voices were often silenced.