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On the Road: Bibliotherapy for Hungarians Abroad

Last month I participated in a bibliotherapy session called On the Road geared toward Hungarians living outside the country. What a great idea, I thought when I saw the invitation. I was not disappointed. For those new to the concept of bibliotherapy, it implies guided reading, including subsequent conversation, for therapeutic purposes. The texts usually … Read More

Staff Picks: Intellectual Freedom Stories from a Shifting Landscape

As I was fixing up a summary of the latest library challenge in  Wyoming in Hungarian for KIT, a weekly newsletter on libraries, information, and society, it dawned on me how a picture of the threatened transgender magician can tell a thousand words. The issue, which points beyond the walls of the libraries, again, reminded me … Read More

Unlikable Characters

Does a book’s main character always have to be likable? If you think back on your favorite main characters, many were almost surely ones you liked, or at least admired or related to on some level. Even villains are sometimes not totally unlikable, especially when they have a powerful quality or a character flaw that … Read More

Reading Middlemarch

This post starts with a confession: Middlemarch, by George Eliot (pen name of Mary Anne Evans), is widely considered one of the greatest novels ever written––certainly the odds-on favorite for greatest English novel. It is my fiancée’s favorite novel and she has written about it extensively. She’s not alone––many of the greatest literary critics of … Read More

The Banned Books of Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives

Books have been banned, challenged, censored, or even burned by organizations, schools, and parent organizations for a lot of reasons.  What defines a banned or a challenged book?  A banned book is one that has been removed from the shelves completely.  Books that have been challenged are an attempt by a person or group to remove … Read More

Just Say Yes to Banned Books Week outside the United States!

Last week we celebrated Banned Books week in an event called BANNED: A Virtual Banned Books Read-Out & Discussions on the Freedom to Read at Rutgers. In my flash talk at the online event, I mentioned a library and information science-related weekly newsletter called KIT Hírlevél (Library, Information & Society News) in Hungary. The newsletter polled its readers … Read More

New Hungarian Law Challenges Librarians

A children’s book shredded in public by a member of the parliament. A poster outside a bookstore warning customers of books with “homosexual propaganda dangerous to children.” A mayor demanding that a book should be removed from a library display, upon (alleged) complaints from the public. Finally, a newsletter polling librarians whether professional organizations should raise … Read More