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Author Archive for Bond Drager



Video Staff Picks – with Terri

by Bond Drager on October 30th, 2013

 

In this episode of Video Staff Picks, Terri talks about these collection items:

Carrie and Me : A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett

Shirley Jones: A Memoir by Shirley Jones with Wendy Leigh

Anyone Who Had a Heart: My Life and Music by Burt Bacharach

The Great Gatsby: Midnight in Manhattan

Love Him or Leave Him by Loni Love

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

Live Fire by Michael Chiarello

My Lunches with Orson by Henry Jaglom

Festival in Cannes

Hell on Wheels

Video Staff Picks August: Sensory Storytimes and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House

by Bond Drager on August 16th, 2013

Video Kid Picks! Iowa City Kids Make Book Recommendations

by Bond Drager on July 22nd, 2013

Free people read freely; Dzhokhar doesn’t matter.

by Bond Drager on July 18th, 2013

By now many of us have seen the cover of the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine. It features a “selfie” photograph of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, an alleged perpetrator of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Commenters on social media have described the magazine as giving Tsarnaev a rock star treatment. The photo could just as easily be of Julian Casablancas or even Jim Morrison. Just as I would guess Rolling Stone hoped, it’s provoking strong reactions in people which include calling the cover “shameful,” “disgusting,” and “tasteless.” Several retailers have opted not to sell or display the issue, notably CVS, Walgreens, and more locally, Hy-Vee.

This post isn’t meant to be a “Staff Picks” in the regular sense. I probably won’t personally read the article in Rolling Stone about Tsarnaev and how his life turned tragic. I’d rather give time and credence to the victims of the bombing and many other tragedies which go unnoticed by the media, or volunteering in my community in some way. I would, however, defend unconditionally the rights of every patron to have access to this material.

According to the Library Bill of Rights, (which Iowa City Public Library has adopted as policy) libraries have a responsibility to provide information and enlightenment, and based on this core belief, we attempt to challenge censorship. The businesses that are not selling this issue of Rolling Stone are private entities and as such are well within their rights to stock whatever they’d like on their shelves. I believe that as a library we have a greater responsibility to our patrons that compels us to make materials available even if a person or group may find them objectionable. Iowa City Public Library does not censor materials based on these objections and as such, this magazine is available as part of our collection.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had controversial material on our shelves. A recent cover of Newsweek that depicted protestors under a headline “Muslim Rage” raised some eyebrows. A trend in young adult books (especially those marketed to young girls) with material that many would deem inappropriate has brought up questions. The novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” always seems to come up in these conversations.

Libraries have historically been known for defending intellectual freedom and privacy issues. The American Library Association holds an annual event called “Banned Books Week” in which libraries nationwide celebrate the freedom to read materials that have been banned or challenged. Many are surprised to hear popular titles like “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Brave New World” on the list of top banned or challenged materials.

These issues are certainly not limited to books. Recent revelations about the NSA and FBI have sparked debates about personal privacy, surveillance, and the transparency of information in the United States. Many library employees believe their role as champions of intellectual freedom is becoming more critically important as time passes and newer technologies are adopted. American Library Association policies “affirm that confidentiality is crucial to freedom of inquiry.” They also “affirm an ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiries.” Protecting patron confidentiality is a critical part of library culture. Libraries are committed to supporting free speech and open access to information.

Here at Iowa City Public Library, we host the annual Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival where we conduct panel discussions and show films related to these issues. Truthfully, attendance has been low in recent years. It is my sincere hope that with privacy, censorship, and access to information on peoples’ minds, we might begin a dialogue locally and increase participation. This year’s schedule will be released soon, but previous years’ events have included: a discussion of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and its impact on intellectual freedom, lectures on censorship, and a screening of the documentary “Barbershop Punk” which talks about internet service providers and access to information. I hope that if you have questions or concerns about these issues you will attend and participate this September.

Video staff picks with special guest John Kenyon of City of Literature

by Bond Drager on June 28th, 2013

Video Staff Picks: Travel Books with Kara

by Bond Drager on May 12th, 2013

Video Staff Picks: Celebrity Bios

by Bond Drager on April 26th, 2013

Staff Picks April 12, 2013

by Bond Drager on April 13th, 2013

Anne talks about Sebastian Junger’s book, War; Patty shows off a novel about high end art thieves and forgeries and a book about making cities walkable as they grow.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGa1p_ztM7I&w=360&h=275]

Video Staff Picks March 29, 2013

by Bond Drager on March 29th, 2013

Video Staff Picks – Mid-March 2013

by Bond Drager on March 15th, 2013
Video Staff Picks – Mid-March 2013 Cover Image

Check out these great recommendations!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR_t0OgX5KY&w=400&h=315]

Items mentioned include
Rififi
a film by Jules Dassin

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan

Safari: A Photicular Book
by Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann




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