Banned Book Bonanza

Libraries around the country celebrate “Banned Book” week during the final week of September (or the first full week of Fall). My local library, the Lansing Community Library (LCL), decided to extend this celebration of reading freedom through the end of October, to give patrons a longer window of opportunity to explore this year’s top challenged books.

Interview with a Librarian

I asked Emily Stratton, one of LCL’s Youth Services Librarians, a few questions that I had about banned or challenged books and with her permission I’m sharing her answers here:

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a librarian?

I’ve always been a reader. Growing up as a military brat, reading was always something fun to do when we hadn’t made new friends yet or had our house items delivered to our new home. Though I received my bachelor’s degree in photography, I never stopped enjoying reading. I applied for an opening at Lansing Community Library after graduating college and began working there as a Circulation Technician in January of 2015 and fell in love with the job. A year and a half later, I’m now the Youth Services Librarian and plan on starting my Masters in Library Science next year.

What are your hopes for the program?

With our display and Banned Books Week, we’re hoping to get others excited celebrate their freedom to read and access to information. So many are surprised to find that their favorite book or a classic novel they read in high school has been challenged to be removed from an educational environment. Hopefully the displays we’ll keep up will spark conversations about why these are challenged and whether or not they agree. Maybe it will even introduce some new books to someone!

How long will the display remain up at the library?

Continue reading “Banned Book Bonanza”

American Day of Deliverance ~ John Adams

John Adams Quote.

It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

John Adams: letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

Article: International bill of digital rights: call from 500 writers around the world

International bill of digital rights: call from 500 writers around the world

Better even to hear from so many and not just the big corporations.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

Thank You Veterans

Thank you.

On this day, and every day, thank you.

For your service and your sacrifice.


“This year, we marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. We began to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. We welcomed our veterans back home from Iraq, and we continued to wind down operations in Afghanistan. These milestones remind us that, though much has changed since Americans first took up arms to advance freedom’s cause, the spirit that moved our forebears is the same spirit that has defined each generation of our service members. Our men and women in uniform have taught us about strength, duty, devotion, resolve — cornerstones of a commitment to protect and defend that has kept our country safe for over 200 years. In war and in peace, their service has been selfless and their accomplishments have been extraordinary.” — President Obama, Veterans Day Proclamation, November 11, 2012

“We are often reminded that, today, less than 1% of Americans wear the uniforms of our Nation. The sum of their service to the country, however, is beyond measure. Our rights and privileges as American citizens have been their gifts to each of us. We must not take those gifts for granted.” — Secretary Shinseki, A Message from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, November 9, 2012

“Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.” — Ulysses S. Grant

“Better to fight for something than live for nothing.” — George S. Patton

“We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

“A professional soldier understands that war means killing people, war means maiming people, war means families left without fathers and mothers.” — Norman Schwarzkopf

“Any soldier worth his salt should be antiwar. And still there are things worth fighting for.” — Norman Schwarzkopf

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” — Douglas MacArthur

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.” — Douglas MacArthur

To All Veterans: Thank You For Your Service and Courage

Veterans Day 11.11.11

I wish to honor and humbly thank all our veterans, past, present and future, for their sacrifice, courage and service in the United States Armed Forces, securing freedom and justice for all.

I find it fitting to publish my eleventh post in my Thirty Days of Thankfulness series at exactly the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year of the twenty-first century also known as Veterans Day.  As noted in an excellent post by a fellow blogger (ProSe), in less than three years we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, misnamed ‘the War to End All Wars.’  If you ever get a chance to visit the Liberty Memorial, a memorial to the fallen soldiers of WWI, in Kansas City, Missouri, I highly recommend you make a visit to the National World War I museum housed beneath the memorial.  Our modern day Veterans Day grew out of Armistice Day which commemorated the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, ending World War I, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

That Special Veteran in My Life

Ron promoted to Colonel during Desert Storm

I am especially thankful for my uncle and his service in the United States Air Force.  Thanks to his various deployments around the United States (and the world), I got to see most of the lower forty-eight states before I turned sixteen.  Nearly all our family vacations ventured to various Air Force bases in Montana, Arizona, Florida, Virginia and Colorado.  I remember when he was deployed to Thailand during the Vietnam War.  I caught pneumonia when we visited Ron in Panama City, Florida, because it actually snowed in Florida that year and was warmer back in Kansas and my mom didn’t think we would need any heavy winter clothes.  I also remember corresponding electronically with him while at college in 1984 via the university’s Digital Equipment Corporation VAX while he was deployed to Aviano, Italy, years before most of the world even dreamed about the Internet or e-mail or instant messaging or text messaging.  I received Christmas cards from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia before the first Gulf War.  I worried about him then and during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  I attended his retirement celebration  held at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Even though Ron wasn’t a pilot, I grew up wanting to be a jet fighter pilot or an astronaut.  I didn’t find out until my teens that women weren’t allowed to do the former (because it involved combat) and the latter involved way more science than I wanted to tackle then, although the math would have appealed.

For the last dozen years, Ron has enjoyed his retirement as a watercolor artist, a writer and a grandfather to five grand children with a sixth on the way (two girls and twin boys recently born to his son Wendell and his wife Kristin; as well as a girl from his son Eric and his wife Cayla, who is expecting their second child early next year).  When he’s not painting or writing or bouncing grandchildren on his knee, he reads much more than I do.  We discuss and debate shared reads and flip books each other’s way either by media mail postal rate or electronically via our Nook Colors.  When we actually get together for a family visit, I love to hear his stories about his father Ralph’s service during WWII and after as well as his own adventures around the world.

Yesterday, in his daily e-mail to family and friends, he remembered how much tougher military personnel have it today than when he was on active duty.  Ron did two years of nastiness (amid eleven years of overseas duty) out of his thirty year military career.  Soldiers today will spend half of their enlistment or career getting shot at.

Thank You Veterans!

Happy Veterans Day