Hot Topics – The Dakota Access Pipeline

Life in the Native American Oil Protest Camps (in pictures), BBC News, September 2, 2016 A Pipeline Fight and America’s Dark Past, The New Yorker, September 6, 2016 The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline,The Atlantic, September 9, 2016 Understanding the Controversy Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, Smithsonian Magazine, September 14, 2016 AFL-CIO Backs Dakota Access Pipeline and the “Family Supporting Jobs” It Provides, In These Times, September 17, 2016 America Needs the Dakota Access Pipeline, Newsmax, September 19, 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor, Common Dreams, September 29, 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline (ongoing coverage), Democracy Now! Repercussions of Dakota Access Pipeline Delay, Real Clear Energy, October 17, 2016 Amnesty International USA to Monitor the North Dakota Pipeline Protests, Amnesty International, October 28,...

Introducing Granville Stuart

Say hello to Butte Public Library’s mascot Granville Stuart! If you follow the library’s Facebook page, you may have noticed an old man in a top hat making a frequent appearance throughout the library. The original Granville Stuart (1834-1918), nicknamed “Mr. Montana,” was well-known in early Butte. Throughout his life, he was a prospector, miner, merchant, writer, gunsmith, blacksmith, butcher, horse-trader, real estate speculator, banker, rancher, diplomat, and librarian who played a significant role in the early history of Montana. Stuart crossed the continental divide October 10, 1857, seven years before Montana officially became a territory. Before settling in Butte, Stuart led a colorful life, which included marrying a twelve-year-old Shoshoni girl Awbonnie Tookanka in 1862 at the age of 24, expanding his family by eleven children, leading a vigilante band–“Stuart’s Stranglers”–that executed alleged rustlers, remarrying a year after Awbonnie’s death in 1888 to a 26 year old Allis Belle Brown Fairfield, working as ambassador of Paraguay and Uraguay for President Cleveland beginning in 1894, and continually trying to overcome precarious financial circumstances as he moved from one venture to the next. In 1898, the Stuarts returned to Montana and settled in Butte where they managed a boarding house called The Dorothy. In 1905 he became the head librarian at Butte Public Library. He retired in 1914 and devoted himself to writing, a life-long pursuit that left behind various diaries and books. To learn more about the real Granville Stuart, Montana: the Magazine of Western History has a fascinating article about him in the Autumn, 1986 issue.  ...

Banned Books Week, 2016

Throughout the country children are beginning 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 Mocking Bird,” 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...

Library Book Sale!

In case you missed our press release in the Montana Standard and the many social media posts, the library is in the middle of its summer book sale! With new shelving units in the bargain basement space, the library has increased capacity to hold the plethora of books donated by generous patrons. Volunteers spent hours sorting, organizing, and pricing hundreds of books and audiovisual material. Visit the library this week and next during open hours to browse books and add selections to your home library.  ...