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Posted on: August 29, 2014

Read a Banned Book


Read a Banned Book

August 29, 2014 (Helena, MT)—Throughout the country, most children are starting a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mockingbird," may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.
Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Slaughterhouse Five," the Harry Potter series, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series, remain available.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children. However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!

In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the ALA and Your Lewis & Clark Library are sponsoring Banned Books Week from September 21st thru September 27th, an annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship. This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society—the freedom to read freely—and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted.

On Thursday, September 25th in the Teen Space, Your Lewis & Clark Library is sponsoring a Read In @ Your Lewis & Clark Library. Participants will spend time reading from a book or graphic novel of their choice and can choose to share their experience in writing or in a photograph. Find the fun in the Read-In Room (also known as the teen space!)
Later that evening, join us for a screen of “Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle”a PBS documentary that chronicles the fascinating history of superheroes through comic books. This film is an excellent choice for this year's Banned Books Week with its focus on Comic Books, and a great teaser for the great comic book themed programs coming to our library in January 2015!

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view. The Lewis & Clark Library and thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits, and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened.

The American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the ALA; the American Society of Journalists and Authors; the Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores sponsor Banned Books Week. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses the observance.American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.

For more information log onto and remember, There’s Always Something Going on @ Your Lewis & Clark LibraryRead on...

Posted on: August 26, 2014

Stephen Ambrose Lecture Series to Feature Local Author Russell Rowland

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Stephen Ambrose Lecture Series to Feature Local Author Russell Rowland
August 27, 2014 (Helena, MT)—The Lewis & Clark Library Foundation is pleased to present “Revising the Western Narrative,” with author Russell Rowland as part of the Stephen Ambrose Memorial Lecture Series on Tuesday, September 23rd at 7PM. Rowland will discuss the importance of exploring the truth about our history in order to determine what we can do different in the future. Russell Rowland was born in Bozeman, Montana, in 1957. His first novel, In Open Spaces, made the San Francisco Chronicle bestseller list and was named among the "Best of the West 2002" by the Salt Lake City Tribune. Rowland's second novel, The Watershed Years, also garnered rave reviews and was a finalist for the High Plains Book Award for fiction. His third novel, High and Inside, tells the story of a former Red Sox pitcher who moves to Bozeman, Montana to try to rebuild a shattered life.
Rowland lives in his home town of Billings, where he teaches at MSU-Billings and offers private editing consultation. He has taught at Boston University and was a writer in residence at St. Mary's College. Book signing and reception will follow the lecture. For those of writers looking for some expert advice, join Rowland on Wednesday, September 24th from 9-11AM for “Writing from Personal Experience with author Russell Rowland.”
Participants are invited to join author Russell Rowland to learn about exploring their story through fiction. There will be exercises and examples of other peoples' work where they have either written about their own lives or told their story through fiction. Class size is limited so please call 447-1690 ext. 5 to register.

The Lewis & Clark Library Foundation was established in 1978 to support the Lewis & Clark Library system, beyond what tax monies can provide. In times of increasing demand for information in all formats, private support is critical to maintaining excellent library services. It is the goal of the Foundation Board of Directors, through the caring and generosity of like-minded citizens, to maintain long-term financial support for the public library.

For more information log onto or call Judy Hart, Director of the Lewis & Clark Library at 406-447-1690 ext 117Read on...

Posted on: August 20, 2014


Smartest C ard


August 20, 2014 (Helena, MT)—Every parent wants their child to succeed, and one of the simplest ways you can ensure your child’s academic success is by making a quick trip to the library. Se...Read on...

Posted on: August 13, 2014

An Evening with Alexander McCall Smith

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July 31, 2014 (Helena, MT)—Your Lewis & Clark Library and Foundation present “An Evening with Alexander McCall Smith” on Sunday, November 9, 2014 from 7-8:30PM with a book signing to follow at the Helena Civic Center. The event is free but tickets are required. Tickets will be available at the Lewis & Clark Library beginning Monday, September 15, 2014.
Alexander McCall Smith is the award winning author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series. He has written more than 60 books, including specialist academic titles, short story collections, and a number of immensely popular children's books. Referred to as our new P.G. Wodehouse, he is best known for his internationally acclaimed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, which rapidly rose to the top of the bestseller lists throughout the world.For more information on Alexander McCall Smith, visit his website at: For more information about his visit to Helena, log onto or call 447-1690Read on...

Posted on: August 13, 2014

Lewis & Clark Library Foundation Making a Great Library even Better!


Lewis & Clark Library Foundation Making a Great Library even Better!

The Lewis & Clark Library Foundation purchased eight Early Learning Stations to provide access to the learning tools necessary to help children succeed academically. These stations offer children the latest research-based, early learning tools to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in school. Unlike traditional PCs, these Early Learning Stations, offer dynamic all-in-one digital learning solutions for children ages two thru eight.

Local public libraries serve as a community hub for healthy child and family development and often the Lewis & Clark Library System is the only place that many of our county’s children can access educational programming and developmental resources. Thanks to the work of the Lewis & Clark Library Foundation, the Library has the opportunity with these Early Learn Stations to help bridge the early education and learning gap in our community.

According to Lewis & Clark Library Director Judy Hart “these Early Learning Stations provide content that supports the Six Skills and Five Practices as part of the Every Child Ready to Read initiative from the Public Library Association.”

For more information on the Early Learning Stations, or the Lewis & Clark Library Foundation, contact Lewis & Clark Library Director, Judy Hart at 406.447.1690 ext 117 or jhart@lclibrary.orgRead on...

Posted on: August 13, 2014

Lewis & Clark Library Receives the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant


Lewis & Clark Library Receives the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant
July 22, 2014 (Helena, MT)—The American Library Association (ALA) and the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation presented the 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Innovation Grant to the Lewis & Clark Library, for their project "Graphically Yours." On hand to receive the award at the ALA 2014 Annual Conference in Las Vegas were Lewis & Clark Library Teen Services Librarian Heather Dickerson and Information Desk Assistant Eric Walliman.Dickerson and Walliman collaborated on the grant application and are excited about how receiving the grant will impact the Lewis & Clark Library. “Graphically Yours” includes the development of the graphic novel collection and a month-long slate of special graphic novel and comic programs to engage patrons.
Receiving the grant is a huge honor for the Library explains Walliman, “our collection is relatively small but experiences major use; receiving this grant will allow us to expand our collection and offer an even broader selection of graphic novels to our patrons.” Walliman goes on to explain that while the genre is popular with young adults, it has wide spread appeal to multiple audiences, “text books are using the format to address different learning styles; there are studies that indicate that the use of graphic novels for ESL students increases the student’s success with learning the language; and it isn’t a coincidence that the most popular movies are based off of comic books, it’s a format that appeals to all readers and all learners.” According to Dickerson, the goal of “Graphically Yours” is to celebrate the genre of graphic novels, comics, and manga and encourage a complex form of reading. The grant will allow the two to expand the Lewis & Clark Library’s collection to address demand. “Our graphic novel collection is very popular. One of the special things about this grant is that it includes the whole Will Eisner catalog and this year’s nominees for the Eisner Awards, which identify the best work in the format,” explains Dickerson. “We’re really excited to add more breadth and depth to the collection.”
In addition to buying more materials, the grant also includes funds for programming. Dickerson and Walliman are excited to develop and offer programming for patrons based on the graphic and comic format. “Patrons can look forward to a month of graphic novel related programming, including a ‘Series to Screen’ book discussion where participants will read and discuss the comic book and compare/contrast with the movie,” explains Dickerson.

Dickerson and Walliman are also working on special programs designed to illustrate why graphic novels are so popular and educational. “Tweens and teens who read graphic novels, comics, and manga generally read at least one grade level higher. They also navigate the complex relationship between images and print that is fundamental to the development of digital literacy skills,” explains Dickerson. “It’s pretty exciting to be able to chart new territory at our library, this is a new programming format for us and I think that patrons will enjoy the new offerings,” explains Walliman.

The Lewis & Clark Library was one of two grant recipients of the more than 75 applications received by the ALA. The 2014 Will Eisner Graphic Novel Growth Grant was presented to Ypsilanti District Library, Ypsilanti, Mich. Their project "Graphic Novels in Healthcare: An Opportunity for Growth" expands their medical graphic novel collection and offers programs where healthcare professionals and careers learn how graphic novels and comics can help with patient treatment and recovery.Each of the grants awards the winning libraries with a $2,000 voucher to purchase graphic novels from the distributor-partner—Brodart, $1,000 to host a graphic novel-themed event, and a $1,000 stipend to attend the 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Additionally the winners will receive the Will Eisner Library (a graphic novel collection of Will Eisner’s work and biographies about acclaimed writer and artist) and copies of the graphic novels nominated for this year’s Will Eisner Awards at San Diego Comic-Con.
The grants, funded by Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation, are administered by ALA's Games and Gaming Round Table and the Graphic Novels & Comics in Libraries Member Initiative Group. Jury member John Mack Freeman said, “It was really exciting to see so many innovative ideas coming from such a wide range of libraries. Just like graphic novels themselves, the applications for this grant proved that there is no one size fits all way to incorporate these works into patron communities. We had applications from all over the country and from school, public, and academic libraries. This grant provided a fantastic opportunity for libraries that embrace graphic novels to continue to expand their impact.”
Nancy Gropper of the Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation says: "It has been very gratifying to work with the ALA in the development of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants for Libraries. Will Eisner spent his lifetime working to prove the value of comic art narrative as a valid literary form and deeply hoped that comics and graphic novels would one day become a part of every library's collection. We thank the many librarians who have helped make these grants possible, those who have applied, and we congratulate the two 2014 winners."About The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation
The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation fosters innovation and creativity in graphic literature, sequential art and comics. It encourages others to continue and build upon the legacy of Will Eisner, who broke new ground in the development of visual narrative and the language of comics and was the creator of The Spirit, John Law, Lady Luck, Mr. Mystic, Uncle Sam, Blackhawk, Sheena and countless others. For more information about Will Eisner visit

About ALAEstablished in 1876, the American Library Association (ALA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization created to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. More information on the grant and the application process can be found on the ALA websiteRead on...