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At the Libraries: Sex at the Library

In my library, we just get "soloists," but apparently it is the fantasy of many to have sex in the library, if the "Best of Craigslist: Library Sex" is to be believed.
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Speaking of provocative, Happy Banned Books Week! Here's an opinion piece meant to provoke, just in the nick of time. It's about when libraries should ban books! After all, according to the author, "unless you are willing to sacrifice your child at the altar of political correctness, it may be wise to question the age-appropriateness of some books." I can see her point, and yet, and yet...
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So much going on this week, and not just about banned books. October 1st is also an important day, Twitter users. It's Follow a Library Day! My library doesn't tweet, but there are lots of great ones that do—maybe even yours? Check out the details here and here.
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Should libraries be "outsourced" to private companies? The debate is raging in Santa Clarita, CA, where the city council has voted to hand over control to Library Systems & Services, which also operates "public" libraries in four other states. According to an executive at LSSI, "A lot of libraries are atrocious... Their policies are all about job security. That's why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement." Ouch.

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How about some good news, instead of the bad we've been hearing lately? Palm Beach, FL is building new libraries! That's great! But, uh oh, grey lining in those fluffy white clouds: Can the community afford it? And should they even bother, with the rise in (take a guess!) e-readers?
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Another bright spot: a library PSA made by New Jersey high school students!

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And some more good news, community-action style, from Chicago — parents are staging a sit-in at an abandoned school, demanding that it be turned into a public library. Power to the people!
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Uh oh — a war is brewing between Netflix and academic libraries using it to supplement their collections. Netflix "frowns upon" this action, but so far have said they won't be suing. Phew!
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Have you been wondering about metafiction, and its use in children's literature? Me, too! Well, we shall wonder no more, thanks to this handy video explaining its wide usage. There are some great books highlighted that I encourage you all to check out. I love to wow the storytime crowd with Ann Jonas' Round Trip and its metadrawings.

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I was emailing someone new and noticed that her email address had nothing to do with her name. Instead, it was a book character's name! That got me thinking about which book characters I might love enough to do the same. When I was younger, it would totally have been Claudia Kishi, but now? Maybe Isabel Dalhousie. Do you have a literary crush on a character?

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At the Libraries: The Best Books of 2013
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ThinkStock

Have you seen the best-of-the-year round ups yet? The New York Times, Amazon, and Publisher's Weekly are all very thorough.

I think I'm going with Longbourne by Jo Baker, but Thank You For Your Service was also a book I'll never forget. I'm very 'meh' on The Goldfinch. What was your favorite?

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Here are some hilarious ideas for organizing your library or book store shelves!

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New blog alert! If you want to know what it's like to work at a library via GIFs, try Librarian Problems.

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All those awards—won't someone think of the poor judges who have to read all those books? Here's one sob story. (Well, OK, it's not all bad, but it is pretty funny.)
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Books are great, but what are the best libraries of 2013? Funny you should ask... 

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One of my favorite round-ups every year is 100 Scope Notes' Children's lit year in miscellanea. Best Cake of the Year? Travis covers it!

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I guess I need to read this Emily of New Moon book, if she's #1 on the list of Classic YA heroines, huh?

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Nothing like a little library porn to brighten your new year!

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A big news story this year was Amazon's plan to use drones for delivery. But did you see what Waterstone's plan is? Way better.

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How about another great list? This one is the best librarians in pop culture! You have seen Party Girl, right?

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File this story under: Things about which we need more detail. A giant slide was built to move 22 miles worth of books. Tell me more, please!

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Here's some cool looking libraries in Mexico!

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Which book on your library shelf probably has herpes? I think this one is totally guessable, guys...
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Time to spotlight some great bookshelves. This one keeps you balanced. But this one is shaped like a robot, so it's basically no contest.

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Confess your secret shame here, librarians!

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I am kind of depressed that my state's most famous book is a Nicholas Sparks, but oh well. This is still a very cool map.

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Recycling books can be a lot harder than it sounds. Check out how one library was able to instead reduce and reuse 10,000 books!

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Let's get back to drones for the ending of our column. Have you seen the video of the NYPL shot by a drone? It's surprisingly beautiful.

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Happy New Year, everyone!

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At the Libraries: The Bookstore that Comes to You
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Just like a food truck, but less messy!

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These are great posters for reading. I'll take one of each; thanks!

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So, tell me straight: do you finish every book, or are you able to quit in the middle? I gave myself permission to quit a few years ago and it was VERY liberating. Life's too short, y'all!

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We've seen lots of tiny libraries, but I don't think I've seen THESE tiny libraries yet. Apparently there are ten in Manhattan—anyone seen or used one yet?

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Speaking of tiny, this 5-year-old, who has read 875 books this school year, is my tiny hero!

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Do books with girl characters have "girly" covers? One of my favorite YA authors, Maureen Johnson, inspired these great gendered cover flips. I think the David Sedaris is the best.

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Oh dear, these Park Slope parents have the most unusual library complaint.

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2131 books = a new world record and a bit of a clean-up nightmare, but I'm sure the Seattle Public Library would say it was all worth it.

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I love this art project—turn old bricks into books!

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Or, if you have old books instead of old bricks, you can turn them into sculptures instead.

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Or maybe you just want to paint some books? Check out these quirky watercolors for inspiration!

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Remember The World Book Encyclopedia? Ever done a "Dork Bowl?"

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Would you read these books, too? Maybe you should write one!

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If you need some heartwarming stories to read today, try the Libraries Changed My Life tumblr. They sure changed mine!

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I love it when we can end on a video. Here's a great one, but warning—it's pretty sad, as you can tell from the title:
Out-of-Work Librarian Blues.

Best of luck to her.

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Thanks as always for reading, and have a great June! See you all next month.

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