Tag: News

5 Times Library-Loving Cats Made the News

Everybody knows the Venn diagram of people who like reading and people who like cats is damn near a circle, but what about cats who like reading? Yep, seems people are pretty into them, too. Here are five instances of particularly persistent book-loving felines whose love of libraries made the news:

 

1. Max

 

Image Via The Washington Post

 

Max made the news back in 2017 with his relentless attempts to gain entry to his local library, despite the protests of his owners and staff. He was so persistent that the library was forced to put up a sign discouraging patrons from allowing Max into the library with them, explaining that it was in nobody’s best interest, least of all his own, for him to be in there.

 

2.  Browser

 

Image Via The Guardian

 

Browser the cat’s eviction from his library of choice sparked ‘international outcry’ when it made headlines in 2016. Thousands of people around the world expressed their support for the cat who resided, and still resides, at the library in White Settlement, Texas. After the local council decided to evict Browser on the basis that his presence prevented some members of the community from utilizing the library, other library patrons objected. The Guardian reports that at a local meeting regarding Browser’s fate, “a woman spoke about the history of cats in libraries. A man mentioned WebMD statistics on the low prevalence of cat allergies. Others talked about how the cat brought children into the library to read. A little boy was sad he had only been able to pet the cat once.”

Luckily for the town’s beloved Browser, the decision was overturned and he was allowed to remain at the library.

 

3. Dewey

 

Image Via iheartcats.com

 

Dewey, full name: Dewey Readmore Books, was deposited in the returns slot of a library in Spencer, Iowa when he was a kitten. Dewey captured the hearts of the librarians and became the library’s very own cat, even inspiring his own book,  Dewey: the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched The WorldNo YOU’RE crying.

 

4. Mu

 

Image Via Maynooth University

 

Mu is Ireland’s Maynooth University’s library cat, who very kindly provided an interview with a student journalist for the Maynooth University Times this past October. During the interview, Mu provided many insights into his life, including: “I have resided here for many a year, and, by many a year, I mean I do not understand the concept of time.”

 

5. Penny

 

Image Via Jezebel

 

Penny is another library cat whose proposed eviction sparked objection. Jezebel reports that she had lived at Massachusetts’ Swansea Public Library for nine years before her presence was raised as an issue due to concerns over allergies. A petition in favor of Penny on Change.org garnered over 1,800 signatures.

Patrick Higgins, the man behind the campaign to have Penny removed, was gobsmacked by public support for her, and, in response, gave one of the most ‘I’m the baddie in a children’s film wherein the cat is the hero’ statements of all time: “We’ve got pictures of the cat on Facebook laying on top of a laptop, and they think this is okay!” quoth Higgins, presumably slamming his fist on an oak desk. “I just don’t understand it. The cat has gone all over the world. You’ve got the petition with over 2,000 people over a freaking cat.” And what, Higgins?

Unfortunately, Penny passed away in 2014, but lived in her beloved library until her final days.

 

 

Featured Image Via The Today Show

The Rumford Public Library

Maine Pastors Seek to Ban Books from Library’s Banned Book Display

Banned Books Week is coming! That means that the period between September 23and September 29th is a time to recognize and celebrate works suppressed by censorship for dubious reasons. This years theme is “Banning Books Silences Stories.”

 

Not everyone is jazzed for Banned Books week. Specifically, a group of pastors in Maine are distinctly not jazzed. In fact, they are so devoid of jazz that they recently sought to have a local library in Maine ban books from the banned book table they’ve set up for Banned Book Week. And the repetition in that sentence makes me think of that one Tyler, the Creator gif which I’ll put here for your amusement:

 

"So you're just going to bring me a birthday gift on my birthday to my birthday party on my birthday with a birthday gift?"

 Image via Tenor

 

The display, pictured below, featured several works of LGBTQ literature, and this seems to be the rallying point of the complaint made. On September 6th, Dan Pears of Rumford Baptist Church, Justin Thacker of Praise Assembly of God, and Nathan March of the Parish of the Holy Saint co-wrote a letter to the Rumford Public Library which read, among other things: “children should not be subjected to early sexualization” and that the display preaches “far left political views that sees homosexuality as acceptable.” 

 

Display of banned books prominently featuring books on LGBTQ themes.

 

Here is the pastors’ letter in full:

 

The full letter sent to the Rumford Public Library

Image via Wonkette

 

Part 2 of the Letter

Image via Wonkette

 

The library in question has the support of both the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF). Even without the support of these organizations, the library, as a public institution, still has no obligation to curate its offerings based on the tastes of individuals or groups thereof in the local community. And the library said as much in the board meeting that was called to address the concerns of the pastors. 

 

An article published by Wonkette has reported that, “after a brief hubbub and a rather pitched fuck-tussle,” the library stood its ground and refused to take down the display. The article also reports that author and Maine resident Katrina Ray-Saulis said that one of the letter-writing pastors “verbally expressed that he would like to pursue the destruction of all books regarding homosexuality in the library.”

 

In a satisfying end, the meeting concluded with a unanimous vote to preserve the display, with Board of Trustees chairperson Carolyn Kennard saying, “By moving that (display), it would be a form of censorship that we cannot do, under any circumstance.”

 

"Yes!"

Image via Gifer 

Featured Image Via Wikipedia.

Fire Story

Graphic Novelist Who Lost Home in Wildfire Creates Beautiful Comic

The California firestorm devastated hundreds of families and has left forty-two dead. Among the many who lost their homes was graphic novelist Brian Fies. As difficult as it must be for his family, his community, and him, Fies transformed the loss of his home into a brief comic called ‘A Fire Story.’

 

Fire Story p1

Image Via Brian Fies

Fire Story p2

Image Via Brian Fies

 

As heartbreaking as it is to see this happen, Fies’ comic is extraordinarily creative. His style is light and cartoonish, which makes gives the reading experience kind of an ironic feel. You can’t help but laugh when he yells at his neighbor through bad reception, telling her she’s lost her home. It’s kind of funny.

 

Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, Fries talked a little about the process of writing a comic dealing with a really fresh wound. He wrote:

 

‘A Fire Story’ was done under duress, much faster and rougher than I normally would. I drew it with Sharpie markers and colored highlighters on terrible pulp paper because they were the only art supplies I could find at Target, the only open store within 20 miles of home. That’s part of the point: how the comic was made reflects the circumstances it was made in.

 

It’s always difficult to see photographs of tragedies, but it’s almost worse seeing the wildfire depicted in such a personal way. Fies thinks of himself as a sort of “graphic journalist.” One of his previous works, Mom’s Cancer, was a sort of self-therapy for Fies when his mother got sick, but it was also about witnessing and recording the truth of a situation. Considering comics is obviously a visual medium, it’s odd this sort of thing is done so rarely. Though, some nonfiction graphic novels do come to mind: John Lewis and Andrew Aydin’s March, Craig Thompson’s Blankets. Hopefully other artists take Fies’ approach. It’s powerful.

 

Fire Story

Image Via Brian Fies

Fire Story

Image Via Brian Fies

 

Read the full ‘A Fire Story’ on Fies’ blog here.

 

Feature Image Via Brian Fies

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‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Synopsis Revealed

Just one day after the official logo for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the new play being developed by J.K. Rowling, was released, even bigger news has broke. Rowling previously stated that the two-part play will not be a prequel, and as it turns out: IT’S A SEQUEL.

If you need a moment to compose yourself, we completely understand. 

Courtesy of http://bit.ly/1OWa8U6 

Pottermore released this synopsis, stating that the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series:

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

 

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Many thoughts are running through our heads after reading that synopsis. Is Albus ‘dark’? Or does this mean Harry and Albus will have to come together to, once again, fight forces of darkness. Whatever the plotline, one thing is clear: we are finally going to know what happens after ‘Nineteen Years Later.’

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be performed in London’s West End summer 2016, and will feature a cast of over 30 actors. According to Pottermore, tickets go on sale for those who have registered for priority booking at 11am GMT on Wednesday, October 28, and opens to the general public on Friday, October 30 at 11am GMT (7am EST; 4am PST for the super dedicated.) 

What do you think about this new information, and will you be heading to London next summer? Check out the official website for more details. 

Image courtesy of Giphy

Featured image courtesy of http://bit.ly/1jDYdPu

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Pottermore is Undergoing a Complete Website Redesign

Harry Potter fans should prepare themselves for a whole new online experience. Pottermore, the official fan site for the franchise, is getting a complete redesign.

Susan Jurevics, the new Pottermore CEO, is the force behind the redesign. Her goal, she told the Bookseller, is the better address the audience that actually uses the site: a group that is largely young adults and females.

Because of these demographics, the new site will focus less on introducing new readers to the franchise and more on catering to longtime fans. Die-hards will be rewarded with more in-depth content that reflects the multi-faceted franchise that the series has become. The new site will emphasize the Potter world beyond the seven famous books, diving in with information about the new Harry Potter stage play and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie.

The new site is going to be mobile-first, reflecting its user base’s tendency to make use of tablet and smartphone devices instead of laptops and desktops. Other technical changes will make it easier for search engines to index.

J.K. Rowling’s writings will also take a center stage. Jurevics says that she envisions the new Pottermore as a platform for Rowling to showcase her latest writing. In keeping with that, the new Pottermore logo uses J.K. Rowling’s handwriting as a font.

The new site will be rolled out at some point in the next few weeks. Check out the Bookseller’s full report here.

 

Stephen L., Staff Writer