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Librarian Blog

About immigration

We've been conducting informal and utterly useless polls on our website for about a year now.

Most of them don't get a lot of response. But, the most recent survey about immigration did hit a nerve.

We had dozens of responses.

The most were in agreement with these statements: U.S. businesses that employ illegal residents should be fined heavily; and, There should be a real and workable path toi citizenship for immigrants now in this country. Just slightly fewer agreed with this: Elected officials who employ illegal residents should lose their positions. A just a few less agreed with this: All people in this country illegally should be sent back to where they came from.

So, this is a hot-button issue here, just as it seems to be everywhere else in America during this campaign season.

It's started

The big annual used book sale is under way at the Chapel in the Hills.

The Friends of the Library have sorted through and set out thousands of books for you to peruse, and they're all very, very reasonably priced.

Many of them are like-new books that we pulled from our shelves recently here at the library because they were duplicates.

The sale started at 3 p.m. today for Friends members.

But, it continues from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Don't worry about boxes for your purchases; they have them.


Not Armageddon

Remember e-books?

They were supposed to be the digital giants that ate paper by the trainload and drank ink by the barrel.

Well, they kind of started out that way.

But, now?

"The digital acocalypse never arrived, at least not on schedule," The New York Times reported late last week.

E-book buying has peaked, and now it appears that early adopters are going back to traditional print books.

Seems that, among other things, people like having books aroundl, and you can't have them if they're digital. Oh, and people are moving away from dedicated e-readers to smartphones, which are ubiquitous.
 It's not easy to read a book on an iPhone.

This is all good news for we librarians and for bookstores, many of which have already given up the ghost.

But, we'll never go back to a model of library that doesn't offer e-books for readers to check out for awhile.

Among others ...

The scuff-up in New Zealand about banning a book intended for young adults is not some isolated event.

I mention this because this is Banned Books Week, and this year's theme has to do with the banning of just such materials.

Over the years, I have heard about dozens of books considered offensive by this group or that group -- like "A Separate Peace," "Catcher in the Rye," "The Giver."

My take on the situation is that people are easily offended by just about anything, and that in the last two decades they have become more strident and more prickly about what bothers them or has the potential to bother them. A lot of us are just picky, picky, persnickety people, looking for things to be irritated about.

So, the list is long of books that in the past year have been listed as offensive. Banned Books Week.com put together a short list:

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon Books/Knopf Doubleday) 
  3. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston)
  4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing) 
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books/Simon & Schuster)
  6. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix/Scholastic)
  7. Chinese Handcuffs, by Chris Crutcher (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins) 
  8. The Giver, by Lois Lowry (HMH Books for Young Readers)
  9. The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros (Vintage/Knopf Doubleday) 
  10. Looking for Alaska, by John Green (Dutton Books/Penguin Random House)

Texts and tests

I had never thought about this:

If you're an instructor and your students are using e-books, you can arrange to track how those e-resources are used. Specifically, you can see how much time a student is spending with a text, something you could never ever do with paper books.

I discovered this by reading an abstract of a study of e-book use posted by InfoDocket. The study was conducted by Reynol Junco of Iowa State University and Candrianna Clem of the University of Texas.

They tracked e-text use time with more than 230 students at UT-San Antonio, not just for the heck of it but also to see if text use and final grades could have any correlation.

Not surprisingly, there is a direct correlation: The more a student uses the text, the higher his or her final grade.

That's intuitive, isn't it? But until now, unprovable.

Who knew?

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