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International library news

ALA reveals ‘most frequently challenged books’ in 2014

The American Library Association (ALA) has released the list of most frequently challenged books in 2014. Topping the list is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie, Andersen), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi, Jonathan Cape) and And Tango Makes Three (Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell, S&S). A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. Some of the common reasons cited for a challenge are ‘anti-family’, ‘sexually explicit’, ‘offensive language’, ‘political viewpoint’ and ‘religious viewpoint’. To see the full list of most frequently challenged books, click here.

New report explores state of US libraries

A State of America’s Libraries Report released by the American Library Association (ALA) during National Library Week has found that community perceptions of academic, public and school libraries are changing, with libraries of all types viewed as ‘anchors, centres for academic life and research and cherished spaces’, reports ALA News. The report found that attendance in library programs increased by over 50% from 2002-2012, with 92.6 million people attending four million programs offered by public libraries in 2012. Most public libraries (97.5%) now offer free wifi, along with free technology workshops, education programs, small business centres and 24-hour access to ebooks and digital materials. Almost 80% of public libraries offer programs that aid patrons with job applications, completing government forms, interview skills and CV development. Creative ‘makerspaces’ are also a growing trend in public libraries. The full report is available here.

US public radio and TV archives available through new website

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) has launched a new website providing access to American public radio and television content from over 120 public broadcasting organisations, reports the Library of Congress. As part of its American Archive Content Inventory Project, AAPB has selected and digitised audio and video content comprising 2.5 million inventory records. Highlights of the collection include an interview with Olympic runner Jesse Owens, recorded in the last year of his life; commentary from George Lucas on the original three Star Wars movies; and a TV interview with presidential candidate John F Kennedy. Library of Congress associate librarian Mark Sweeney said the project would ensure that ‘this creative history will be preserved and made available to future generations’.


Category: Library news