Friday, 31 May 2013

Censorship: a dilemma

Censorship has always been something I've been quite intrigued and interested by, but have never really had a chance to apply to a real life situation. Until now!

There has been an adult fiction series- The Assassin's Creed that has been extremely popular with primary school aged children. I know that the video game has a rating of at least R16, so naturally staff are concerned that the content wouldn't be appropriate.

We had a discussion about it and decided all we could do was let the parents know if we happened to see them that the content may be too violent or explicit etc for the children. One of our concerns is that parents may question why staff are letting these books go out to junior borrowers.

I looked back over my old Children's Literature paper I did through the Open Polytechnic and most of the readings said that librarians are there to encourage intellectual freedom. I completely agree with this but also feel that there is a fine line between being neutral and non-judgemental  when it comes to what borrowers choose to read and making sure everyone feels that the library is a safe place for families to go.

I remember my Mum not letting me read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when I was 11 because she thought it was too dark. At the time, I thought it was ridiculous (and I was already halfway through it!) but now I realize it was a form of censorship that parents have a right to impose. As librarians we have a different role but I still feel that we should be looking after our impressionable younger borrowers while still giving them freedom to read whatever they choose.

Of course, the dilemma I mentioned in the title is that we aren't sure what to do about this series. Do we just ignore the fact that kids are getting the books out and leave it to the parents to censor? Do we put a restriction on the series? Do we direct them to another series similar to it but more age appropriate? Is this any of our business and should we just let it be?

What are your thoughts on this library issue? I'd love to read your comments/feedback here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter with the hashtag #censorship


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Movie Review: W.E.

 W.E. with:  Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D'Arcy, Oscar Isaac. (2011)

I thought I'd mix things up a bit and review this movie our library recently acquired, which I love. Directed by Madonna, this movie is set in the present day and also in the 1980's. It follows two women- one is the infamous Wallis Simpson, the other a New Yorker with the same name and a keen interest in her life. 

The thing I most enjoyed about the movie was the plot. It changes seamlessly between the two women. Modern day Wallis is somewhat obsessed with the real Wallis Simpson and visits an exhibit about her at a local museum every day. As she examines pieces on display from Wallis' life ( a cocktail glass for example) the film enters real Wallis' world and starts telling her story. Both Wallis' were victims of abusive marriages but I thought Abbie Cornish  (modern day Wallis) did a stellar job of portraying this.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. I thought the cast was perfect, the settings were beautiful and the fashion was gorgeous. The whole story had a very glamorous feel to it. The film felt very authentic, for her directing debut I thought Madonna did a great job. I highly recommend this movie.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Weekly inspiration ~ 13 - 24 May

I didn't post last week because I was sick with the flu :( So, this post will combine this week as well as last week. I feel like I say this every time, but, another busy week/s has just flown by! Here's what I've been up to & the things that have been inspiring me :)

Demystifying technologies: LIANZA event with Fiona ( @ukulelefi). We attended this event in Dunedin last Wednesday and I found the section on RFID very interesting. I'm all for it after seeing it in action and the awesome sorting machine one library has! You can see a clip of it here.

Google alerts: Why have I not discovered these earlier?! I'm finding them really useful for finding news about libraries and making sure I haven't missed any mention of Waitaki District Libraries or Oamaru on the internets.

Target plans to make over 25 school libraries: I thought this was really cool. The upgrade includes iPads, interactive white boards and 2,000 new books for each in-need school. The students also get to take home seven new books each! Props to Target for starting this great programme.

What has been inspiring you this week? I'd love for you to share you ideas or inspirations by either leaving a comment here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Book Review: Fallen series by Lauren Kate

This series is one I've been meaning to read for a while as I've heard so many people rave about it. At first I wasn't convinced as it sounded like every other YA series I've read. The first book took me to about half way before I really got into it. Luce, the main character annoyed me until I realised she was actually a lot more complex then she first came across.

BUT, after reading the whole series, I wasn't impressed. Maybe it was because I was comparing it to other YA series like The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. Whatever the case, it was definitely a struggle to get through the whole series. The plot was too slow paced for me and the characters seemed fake somehow. Even though Luce grew on me, there wasn't much about her that I could identify with, which is normally one of the factors that makes a book really enjoyable for me. 

So, I'm really gutted that I didn't love this series as I had such high expectations :(

Have you read this series? I'd love to hear what you think- just leave a comment here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter.

You can read other reviews of Lauren Kate's books here.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Kate de Goldi- Changing Faces, Changing Places

Last Friday night Waitaki District Libraries, along with the Janet Frame Eden Street Trust hosted New Zealand author Kate de Goldi. 

Kate is the author several books for children and young adults, including the award winning 'The 10pm question'. Kate also regularly presents book reviews on radio and televsion. In her talk she mentioned that she reads three books every week as part of this role! I wish I had that much dedication! 

Kate is an awesome speaker. She is so warm and engaging and really gets involved with her characters. One of the big themes of her talk was the importance of place in her writing. She mentioned that her books often feature 'real' places, like her old hometown Christchurch, but may not always be geographically accurate! 

Her style of writing really appeals to me, it is very down to earth but amusing at the same time. I also feel like I can relate to the characters which is always a feature in books I enjoy. If you are wanting to read one of Kate's books, I would recommend 'The 10pm question' which is excellent. You can check out some reviews of it here

If you ever get the chance to hear Kate speak, I would highly recommend it. 

The library filling up before the event.

Kate in action.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Weekly inspiration ~ 6-10 May

This week has been super busy, much like every other week of my life! Here are the things that have been interesting, inspiring or motivational to me this week:

Kate de Goldi:   Kate de Goldi will be speaking at the Oamaru Library tonight and I'm really looking forward to hearing her speak. I'm currently reading her YA novel 'The 10 pm question' and really enjoying it. Pictures of the event will be up next week on this blog and hopefully on our Facebook page as well.

ANZ 23 Mobile Things : I'm really excited to be taking part in this great initiative and can't wait to be even more technologically capable :)

Reading book reviews, rather than actually reading: I've been neglecting my inner book worm lately, so I've been making up for it by reading lots of book reviews on Good Reads, Amazon and random blogs. ( Seems kind of counter- intuitive though, doesn't it?) :)

I'd love to know what events, people or places have been inspiring you this week. Just leave a comment here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter


Friday, 3 May 2013

Weekly inspiration ~ 29 April - 3 May

Encouraged to lead: Our fabulous youth librarian Fiona Kerr's ( @ukulelefi) interview with Cath Sheard (@kiwilibrarian) about leading in New Zealand libraries

Social media types: I thought this article that my manager ( @vanzijlp)  forwarded to me was quite funny ( not sure if it was meant to be!)

Pinterest: Still obsessed with Pinterest! There are just so many awesome ideas and pretty photos and DIY ideas! It's also an excellent form of procrastination from my study :) You can follow my account here:

I'd love to hear what's been inspiring or motivating you this week, comment here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter