Friday, January 25, 2013

A Dog, a Doll and a Duck Cake Pan...

...are just some of the unusual things libraries loan out. (click to see more) 

Monty, Yale's therapy dog.
At Yale Law School & Harvard Medical school students can check out a dog for 30 minutes at a time. (NPR Harvard Gazette)
“...therapy dogs have resulted in increased happiness, calmness and overall emotional well-being,” Blair Kauffman, the law librarian, wrote in an e-mail to students. (NY Times)
Kirsten, an American Girl doll who retails for $110, has become one of the most sought-after items at the New York Public Library, in the East Village. 
For some girls, Kirsten was the only way they could afford such a luxury item in their home. For others, it was the only way their liberal-minded parents would allow any doll into their home, refusing to indulge in gender stereotypes or what they considered to be an elitist hobby. (NY Times)
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
<< Letter to Thea Taube, the children’s librarian.
Ms. Taube said Kirsten exemplified the library as a community center that offered diverse services and lending materials.
“I tell the kids that the library belongs to them,” she said. “And I think that any child who could not afford that doll will remember the time they were able to borrow it from the library.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Practice of Whitewashing Book Covers

Publishing house Bloomsbury used white models on covers to represent non-white protagonists. After the huge online outcry the cover of Liar by Justine Larbalestier was retreated and replaced. 

The most dominant rationale we have seen for justifying whitewashing of covers is the simplistic argument: “Books with People of Color on the Cover DO NOT SELL.”

from Cover Matters: On Whitewashing