Mr. Gutenberg’s Bible

Gutenberg Bible

Image by NYC Wanderer via Flickr

The first section of the Gutenberg Bible was published on this day in 1452.  Why is this important?  Because this was the first book ever printed with movable type, paving the way for an explosion of printing and publishing that changed the world.

 Johann Gutenberg was a printer in Mainz, Germany.  Before he developed his movable type system, books were printed by carving the text for each page onto a block of wood or other material, which obviously took a lot of time.  With movable type, the printers just needed a set of letters which could be quickly arranged in frames, cutting down the time it took to prepare each page for printing.  Books could be made faster, and became less expensive.  More and more books were printed and more and more people could afford to buy them.  People became exposed to new ideas and things haven’t been the same since.

 If you’d like to learn more about Gutenberg and his Bible, read Gutenberg: how one man remade the world with words by John Man (686.2 Man). 

 If you’d like to browse through a virtual copy of this famous book, visit the British Library.  If you’d rather see a real copy, visit The Huntington Library in San Marino, where one of the few copies of the Gutenberg Bible printed on vellum (animal skin) is displayed in the gallery.

Snapshot Day is Coming


The Montclair High School Library is joining libraries across the state in participating in “Snapshot:  One Day in the Life of California Libraries” on October 4, 2010 to show how important academic, public, school, and special libraries and library systems are to the state of California. This Snapshot Day has been developed by the California Library Association (CLA).

 On October 4th, Montclair High School Library will compile statistics, customer comments, photographs, and other data chronicling a typical library day.  The results collected at Montclair High School Library will be added to those of other libraries across California, by CLA, to show how libraries provide invaluable services to California citizens.

 Kim Bui-Burton, CLA President and Director of the Monterey Public Library, “I invite all California community members of any age to visit their library on this historic day and be a part of this first ever “snapshot” of California libraries.  Every kind of library provides unique and irreplaceable services; we know this because in communities across the state library usage is rising, and demand is growing for books and other resources, knowledgeable staff assistance and computer/Internet access – despite budget cuts, reduced hours and programs.  We believe this California libraries ‘snapshot’ will show the essential library services and life-changing experiences that California’s communities depend on, especially during these times of severe economic distress.  We look forward to capturing this “day in the life of California libraries” to demonstrate to decision makers the extent that our patrons, customers and future leaders rely on California libraries for critical library services, resources and programs – now, more than ever.”


Most Commonly Challenged Books 2009

Cover of "ttfn (Internet Girls)"

Cover of ttfn (Internet Girls)

The 10 most challenged titles in 2009 were:

   ttyl; ttfn; l8r, g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, drugs,
   and unsuited to age group

   And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
    Reasons: homosexuality

   The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
   Reasons: drugs, homosexuality, nudity, offensive language, sexually
   explicit, suicide, and unsuited to age group

   To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
    Reasons: racism, offensive language, unsuited to age group
 Twilight (series), by Stephanie Meyer
 Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group

  Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
   Reasons: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
   My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
   Reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group, drugs, suicide, violence

       The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn  Mackler
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
   The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
   Reasons: sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group
   The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
   Reasons: nudity, sexually explicit, offensive language, unsuited to age group

 MoHi owns nine of the ten most challenged books (And Tango Makes Three is more of an elementary school book).  How many of them have you read? 

 To learn more, visit:

Libraries and the First Amendment

The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments t...

Image via Wikipedia

Why are libraries and librarians so crazy about First Amendment rights?  First of all, most people who end up working in libraries are information junkies.  They thirst for knowledge and they know that the best way to learn is to expose yourself to all sorts of information. 

 Second of all, that what libraries do!  Libraries are places to go for information on whatever you are interested in.  Public libraries especially, are there to provide books to all people.  You can’t really do that if you are restricting the kinds of books you put on your shelves.

  School libraries have a different mandate: they are supposed to support the school curriculum (i.e. have books students can use for reports and other class assignments) and encourage reading (i.e. have a good selection of fiction and other “fun” books).  Still, a school library needs to respect the diversity of its students and their beliefs.  Taking all the books about homosexuality off the shelves, for example, would not respect students who are gay.  A good library has books about God and atheism, pro-life and pro-choice, gays and straights.  No one should feel left out or unrepresented … and sometimes reading about the other side of an issue can help you understand your own beliefs or why others may argue against you.

 For more info, visit:

What is Banned Books Week?

Banned Books Week is held every year to celebrate our freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  It is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and other organizations.  Banned Books Week is all about intellectual freedom: the freedom to learn about and express ideas without censorship.  Every year, books are challenged or even banned in schools, libraries and bookstores.  They are challenged for many reasons, but usually because someone feels the book is expressing an idea they do not agree with or that they think is inappropriate for the patrons or students of that school, library or bookstore.

 Parents certainly have the right to monitor and censor what their children read or watch on television, but no individual has the right to determine what other people or their children read or watch.  The books in a public or school library, or used in school curriculum, are chosen by professional librarians and educators.  Books on controversial issues are there for a reason: good libraries strive to present all points of view so that individuals can learn about issues and make up their own minds. 

 You will find all kinds of books in the MoHi library.  Some of them you won’t agree with —  some of them I don’t agree with — but they are there to represent the diversity of opinion that a free and democratic country needs to survive. 

For more info, visit

Yes, I’m With the Banned

For once, I am ahead of the game and already have my Banned Books Week displays up and ready for next week!  I’ve already had several students ask what all those BANNED tags sticking out of the books mean. 

Stay tuned for updates next week explaining what Banned Books Week is, why we celebrate it and more.

And don’t forget to stop by the library and check out a Banned Book to read.  You might be suprised at the titles that have those yellow tags tucked inside!

Coming Soon from JLG …

The Crystal Ball

Image via Wikipedia

One of the coolest ways we get new books here at MoHi is through our subscription to Junior Library Guild.  Every month, we get a new book in each category we subscribe to: Mystery/Adventure, Young Adults, Young Adults +, High-Interest Reading and Mature Young Adults.

Today’s delivery not only contained our October books but also a list of the upcoming books we will be recieving.  Kind of like a crystal ball to catch a glimpse into the future ….


  • Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Things I Know about Love by Kate le Vann
  • You by Charles Benoit
  • Monsters of Men: Chaos Walking, Book Three by Patrick Ness


  • Brain Jack by Brian Falkner
  • Three Black Swans by Caroline B. Cooney
  • No Safe Place by Deborah Ellis
  • Blank Confession by Pete Hautman
  • Girl Parts by John M. Cusick


  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  • The Unidentified by Rae Mariz
  • The Miracle Stealer by Neil Connelly
  • I Will Save You by Mat de la Pena
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King


  • The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul B. Janeczko
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone
  • Solitary: Escape from Furnace, Book 2 by Alexander Gordon Smith
  • The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith


  • The Doomsday Box: A Shadow Project Adventure by Herbie Brennan
  • Cloaked by Alex Flinn
  • The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor
  • Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart
  • A Time of Miracles by Anne-Laure Bondoux


  • Demonglass: A Hex Hall Novel by Rachel Hawkins
  • The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann
  • You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin