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Check Your Shelf

How I Accidentally Bought a Bookstore



Always books. Never boring.

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. One of the things I enjoy about freelance work (aka this newsletter) is the freedom I have in choosing how and when to get my work done. Sometimes it’s at Starbucks with an iced tea, and sometimes (like tonight), it’s on the couch with a movie and a glass of pinot grigio!

Attention librarians, booksellers, and book nerds! You can apply to become a Bibliologist for Tailored Book Recommendations and get paid for your bookish knowledge! TBR is a subscription-based book recommendation service where customers receive three hand-picked recommendations per quarter that are tailored to their specific reading likes and dislikes. Of special interest: bibliologists who can recommend across a variety of genres. Click here to read more and fill out an application.

Libraries & Librarians

News Updates

Librarians aim for better eBook accessibility.

Union workers at the Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) have voted to strike if an agreement isn’t reached by next month. Staff have allegedly not seen a growth in their wages over the last 15 years.

Budget cuts have left NYC libraries unable to fix their air conditioners during the recent heat wave.

Cool Library Updates

Baltimore County libraries implement a summer meal program to help families in need.

How Britain’s libraries provide much more than books.

Worth Reading

New York’s first Black librarians changed the way we read.

Book Adaptations in the News

Netflix has optioned Happy Place by Emily Henry for a series adaptation by Jennifer Lopez’s production company.

Julia Quinn reacts to the changes made in the Bridgerton series.

Chris Whitaker’s new novel, All the Colors of the Dark, is being adapted as a series.

Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi is being adapted as an animated film with Travis Knight to direct.

Percival Everett’s James is being adapted by Universal, with Taika Waititi in talks to direct.

We Were Liars adds Rahul Kohli to the cast (!!!).

Patrick Dempsey has joined the cast of the Dexter prequel, Original Sin.

First reactions to the film adaptation of It Ends With Us.

Trailer for Lady in the Lake.

A look back at The Notebook, which turns 20 this year.

Censorship News

Here come the public school closures.

Your 101 guide to fighting a local book ban.

Midwest Tape/hoopla “clarifies” their new ratings system.

Winning the culture war against queer kids’ books.

LGBTQ+ librarians grapple with attacks on books — and on themselves.

The truth and lies behind one of the most banned books in America.

How ALA president Emily Drabinski is on a mission to protect LGBTQ+ librarians.

Books teach and inspire us. Banning them is anti-democratic.

(Publisher’s Weekly, so possibly paywalled): Librarians celebrate comics in the face of censorship.

A small-town Texas librarian’s big stand against book bans.

(Paywalled): Cypress-Fairbanks ISD (TX) school board takes aim at the district’s library book challenge policy.

(Paywalled): Conroe ISD (TX) removed On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Was it due to low circulation, as the district claims, or is it due to the book’s LGBTQ content? It’s unclear. But Conroe ISD also recently voted to remove 19 books from classrooms while admitting that they didn’t actually read the books, so I’m not inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Ron DeSantis vetoed all arts and culture grants in the state of Florida. This amounted to $32 million in grants that had already been approved by state lawmakers, and unsurprisingly, he gave no explanation for this move.

A recap of The New Republic’s Right to Read celebration in Miami.

Regional School Unit 73 (ME) is seeking legal advice after one of the board members made a hurtful comment in response to the high school robotics team suggesting that they celebrate Pride Month on Facebook. Hope that comment was worth the cost of legal fees.

How Massachusetts libraries are navigating challenges to reading materials.

(Paywalled): The Great Barrington (MA) teacher who was the victim of a police search of her classroom and has filed a lawsuit against the town and the school has (unsurprisingly) resigned from her position.

The director of the D.R. Evarts Library in Athens, New York resigned after eight months due, in part, to the board president’s pushback against a Pride Month book display. Here’s an illuminating quote from the director: “‘They’ve been consistently resistant to my input. None of them use the library. They don’t interact with the community the way that I do, and for them to make a blanket judgment call like this for the book on behalf of the community, was…that was it for me.’”

“In direct conflict with Souderton Area School District Policy 706.1, Disposal of School District Property, the Republican controlled school board directors quietly disposed of 3,224 books from the high school library in June 2023.” This is in Pennsylvania.

How the Virginia Beach school district’s book review guidelines have impacted their partnership with the city library.

It looks like the Frederick County School District (VA) will be keeping Crank in school libraries.

South Carolina is poised to impose a draconian censorship regime on school libraries.

The Alabama Public Library Services director sent an email with guidance on how to comply with the likely new administrative code changes, but it hasn’t done much to assuage concerns. The Alabama Library Association has outlined their specific concerns here.

Related: The Ozark-Dale County Library (AL) will be reviewing their children’s collection for sexually explicit material in order to receive state funding. What a waste of staff time and funds.

The Prattville Library (AL) is poised to rescind their ban on LGBTQ+ books for minors.

(Paywalled): The plans to close three branches of the St. Charles County Library system (MO) has been officially scrapped.

“Francis Howell School District board members [MO] plan to introduce measures prohibiting classroom discussions on gender identity and require the board to approve every book purchased or donated in the district.”

“Members of the Alpena County Library board [MI] say moving or removing books in the children’s and teen sections that contain sexual content isn’t as easy as some believe and, at least for now, the books will remain where they are.”

Iowa Senator Sandy Salmon has been advising schools to use Moms For Liberty’s BookLooks and Book of Books for guidance in removing specific titles.

Idaho libraries brace for the new law restricting “harmful” materials.

Idaho Senator Scott Herndon, along with a half dozen other people, are pushing for the East Bonner County Library District to remove or relocate the Saga graphic novel series. However, the series will stay put, for now.

The effects that House Bill 710 will have on one-room libraries in Idaho.

(Paywalled): The privatization company that was bidding to take over the Huntington Beach Public Library (CA) has withdrawn their bid.

Books & Authors in the News

Acclaimed actor Donald Sutherland has died at 88. His memoir, Made Up, But Still True, is scheduled for a November release.

Award News

The 2024 Locus Award winners were announced.

The Outsiders won Best Direction of a Musical at the Tony Awards.

The 2024 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were announced.

10 Nebula Award winners to put on your TBR.

Pop Cultured

Season 2 of Mare of Easttown is in early discussions.

Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous

Meet the woman who accidentally bought a bookstore.

Why do we have a voice in our heads when we read?

a brown tabby cat looking at the camera and being unbearably cute

Again, I ask how on earth we’re supposed to get anything done at home when this little guy is around??

Well, that’s all folks! I’ll be back next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.