September 2010

“Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”
—Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

The week of September 25th through October 2nd has been designated as Banned Books Week this year by the American Library Association.  Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted banning of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

A list of the top 100 books that have been the subject of attempted bannings is available from the American Library Association at this link.      Come in to your library and enjoy reading a book that some people would rather you did not read.


The Dublin Library invites you to participate in the 4th annual one city, one book program, Dublin Reads, for the month of October, 2010. The book selected for this year is Pearl of China by Anchee Min.  Dublin Reads is an opportunity for the community to share the experience of reading and discussing the same book.  The program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Dublin Library and includes book discussions and other special events to enhance the experience of the book.

 We are so excited that author Anchee Min will be coming to the Dublin Library to read  from and discuss her book on Wednesday evening, October 20 starting at 7:00 p.m. 

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957.  During the Cultural Revolution she was forced to denounce Pearl Buck without ever having read any of her books.  At age 17, Min was recruited from a labor collective to appear in propaganda films.  In 1984, with the help of friends, she came to the United States.  Within six months, she learned

Author, Anchee Min

English and began writing.  Her books include the bestselling memoir, Red Azalea and the novels Katherine, Becoming Madame Mao, Wild Ginger, Empress Orchid and The Last Empress.

Pearl of China tells the story of Pearl Buck through the life of  her best friend, Willow Yee. In the southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, these two girls bump heads and become thick as thieves.  Willow is the only child of a destitute family; Pearl, the headstrong  and talented daughter of zealous Christian missionaries. Set against the backdrop of China’s tumulutous history, the story portrays Pearl Buck as seen through a friendship tested by imprisonment and exile, civil war and the Communist regime of Mao Tse-tung.

The journal Booklist writes “[Anchee] Min, a prime example of an indomitable Chinese woman, has made it her mission to reveal the truth about the lives of women in China, including Madame Mae, Empress Tzu Hsi, and now [Pearl] Buck…Ardently detailed, dramatic, and encompassing, Min’s fresh and penetrating interpretation of Pearl S. Buck’s extraordinary life delivers profound psychological, spiritual, and historical insights within an unforgettable cross-cultural story of a quest for veracity, compassion, and justice.”

We are so pleased that Mayor Tim Sbranti has agreed once again to lead a community book discussion!  Join him Monday evening, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Program Room. If that isn’t a good time for you, the Library’s two book discussion groups are opening their doors for people in the community to join them when they discuss the book.  The first discussion is this Thursday, September 23 at 12:30 p.m.   The evening book group will talk about it on Wednesday, November 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. 

In addition to reading Pearl of China, the library has purchased new copies of The Good Earth for people to revisit that story.  We will also show the  1937 classic film  on Saturday, October 9, starting at 1:00 p.m. 

As in previous years, the Library is offering multiple “read and release” copies of both books. Read and release copies do not have to be checked out from the library; you can just take one, read it, initial it, and pass it along to the next person — a neighbor, a friend, or a co-worker.  If you come across a “read and release” copy, let us know right here on this blog where you got it and what you thought of it!

To further immerse us in the culture of China,  a docent from Asian Art Museum will present a slideshow on Chinese Art on Saturday, October 16 at 2:00 p.m.  Check out the library’s display  for further reading on China and the Cultural Revolution.  

Copies of the book are now available at the Dublin Library, the Dublin Heritage Center and the Dublin Senior Center.  Join us!

Saturday morning booksale customers having fun!

The Friends have their Fall booksale going on this weekend.  Today the sale is open until 5:00pm; tomorrow, Sunday 1:00-5:00 and Monday Noon – 3:00.  There are so many donations and the selection is so wonderful that the sale is taking up BOTH the Program Room and the Community Room.  Children’s books, dvds and other media, special priced books, items for teachers are all in the Program Room; everything else is in the Community Room.  I’ve already heard from at least one person how much better that setup is to ease the crowding. Be sure to stop by and shop for bargains!

Have you ever looked at a photograph in an album and wondered what you were thinking when you snapped that photo?  Do your parents have photos of you in their album that you would love to remove and destroy?  If so, you’ll certainly enjoy the New York Times bestseller, Awkward Family Photos.   Choosing from photos on the their hit website, screenwriter Mike Bender and television show producer Doug Chernack  put together a compilation of photos of embarrassing and amusing situations that nowadays – due to the popularity of digital cameras – rarely get developed, much less placed in physical or online albums.  The photos are arranged according to topic – family portraits, siblings, mom and dad, vacation, birthdays, weddings, etc. 

I found myself laughing over several of these photographs and a few I could not resist showing to co-workers.  After reading this book, I decided to go through all those old shoeboxes containing photos I’ve yet to (or will never) place in albums and eliminate every photographic  faux pas to protect my reputation in the event of my untimely demise.

Awkward family photos / Mike Bender & Doug Chernack

New York : Three Rivers Press, c2010    818.602 BENDER

Calling all crossword puzzle fans.  Try your skill at our Collaborrative Crossword puzzle posted on the bulletin board in the Teen Area.   This interactive puzzle was the brainchild of one our creative teens.  It’s clever and fun! 

Do you know the ” heavy metal band fronted by Gene Simmons “?  That’s 81 across. Or how about  “this special pass will up the price of your ticket at the concert”?  That’s 61 down.

Grab your pencil and fill in your answers today!


The Alameda County Library Foundation is teaming up with the Oakland Raiders to sell specially priced tickets to Oakland Raiders home games from now until December 26th, 2010.  Take advantage of these specially priced tickets.  You can get tickets normally priced at $71 for as little as $45.  50% of the proceeds from each ticket sale will support the Write to Read program, which serves at-risk youth in Alameda County Juvenile Hall who have an average 5th grade reading level.  Research has shown that free and independent reading is the best activity to increase literacy. 

All games are home games played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, CA.  Note:  when purchasing tickets, used the special access code “Alameda.”    


This link  has all of the detail and links for ticket purchase

SEOJIN PARK for her art work Journey of the Lights

 The votes  from our “Make Waves Through Art” contest have been tallied and according to our 3  judges, Seojin Park received a total of 27 points out of a possible 30 and was awarded a $50 gift card to Target, graciously donated by our Friends of the Dublin Library.  According to one of the judges “ This work was the most successful because it reminds me the most of natural waves. The variety of media reflects the multitude of textures, colors and creatures that you will discover in the ocean. The use of found objects and beads reflects what I often see when visiting Northern California beaches. My eyes are drawn to this piece”.  

JENNIFER UNG, first runner up, received 25 points for  her entry

Along With the Waves

 DENISE LEE was awarded 24 points for

 Make Peaceful Waves Through Nature’s Serenity 

Judges were asked to grade each artist both on ARTISTIC MERIT and on the artist’s CONFORMANCE TO THEME.  Each category was assigned a grade from 1 to 5, with 5 being best, 1 poorest.  The contest winner was the contestant with the highest total score.

A big thank you to all of our teens for submitting your art work to our Make Waves Through Art contest and sharing your time and talent with the Dublin community.  The art work has elicited rave reviews and generated a lot of interest while spicing up our Teen Area.