How Libraries Continue to Serve During the Pandemic

COVID-19 disrupted just about every aspect of life in America…and libraries were not immune. Officially, they’re book repositories, but public libraries also operate as community centers, technology access points, continuing education centers, after-school hangouts, and unofficial social services agencies. When the pandemic forced libraries across the country to shut down, their doors may have locked but their work never stopped. From finding creative new ways to continue regular services (e.g., curbside book pickup, e-library card sign-ups, virtual storytime) to offering pandemic-specific services, libraries have stepped up in a big way. The Bas Bleu community is full of library lovers (and February is Library Lovers Month), so we thought we’d share just a handful of examples of how libraries continue to serve during the pandemic. Continue reading

7 Black Librarians You Should Know

metal letters spelling "library" affixed to stone building

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it packs quite the one-two punch! Not only is it Black History Month, it’s also Library Lovers Month…and the perfect opportunity for Bas Bleu to celebrate the accomplishments of Black trailblazers in American library history. We can’t begin to profile all of the men and women who deserve a spot on this list, but allow us to introduce you to seven Black librarians you should know. Continue reading

Famous and Influential Librarians

Ask any avid reader where she first fell in love with reading and you will hear time and again: “at my local library.” No matter if they are big or small, these repositories of knowledge offer more than just stacks of books; they represent safety, freedom, a gateway into the wider world, to readers from all walks of life. And at the helm of those libraries—serving as guides, gatekeepers, and fierce advocates—are librarians. Continue reading

Banned Books Week 2015

BannedBooksWeek2015From September 27 to October 3, the American Library Association is observing its annual Banned Books Week. You may have noticed it’s an event Bas Bleu mentions every year, because we’re firm believers in celebrating the freedom to read, as well as the role of libraries as access points to knowledge for, well, everyone! But while the ALA certainly does yeoman’s work tracking censorship attempts in America, Banned Books Week isn’t just about protecting access to the books themselves; it’s a great opportunity to think about why we reject certain books in the first place. Continue reading

The Right to Read

CatcherHere at Bas Bleu, a banned-books list is more commonly known as a “to-be-read-immediately” list. Call it a remnant of teenaged rebellion, that phase in which we swiped our mother’s copy of Peyton Place or had our young minds blown by The Catcher in the Rye. Perhaps it’s borne of a democratic aversion to censorship. Or maybe it’s even simpler than that: We read controversial books because they often have the most to teach us. Continue reading