Thank your librarian, perhaps in haiku form

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 10-16 is National Library Week. To celebrate, the American Library Association is sponsoring a twaiku contest that ends Wednesday, April 13. Post your twitter haiku with the hashtag #nlwtwaiku for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift certificate. A selection of the best twaikus will be posted at, where readers can vote for the prizewinner through Saturday, April 16.

The American Library Association has released its list of the ten books most often challenged by patrons of libraries. Topping the list last year was And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, for reasons listed as,Homosexuality, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group.” See the whole list at GalleyCat, with links to free sample text from each book. Librarians may insist on quiet in the reading room, but they are reassuringly staunch advocates against censorship.

Amazon made news today by announcing the May 3 release of a Kindle with advertising. The new model, called Kindle with Special Offers, is identical to the current WiFi-only model but will be sold at $114, a savings of…drum roll…$25. Twenty-five dollars in exchange for viewing rotating screensaver and homescreen banner ads for the lifetime of the device. Seriously.

If you’re curious about the history of advertising in print books, this 2007 article by Paul Collins in The New York Times discusses forces that drove primarily cigarette advertising into books during the 1960s and 70s, and how authors reacted. Negatively.