HMHS Library Newsletter

What's Happening in our Library & Classrooms! February 2022

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Haddonfield Educational Trust!

Over a 100 NEW DIVERSE Library Books Have Arrived!

This week, the HMHS Library received multiple shipments of new books thanks to the HET Grant! The Library was awarded the grant to purchase diverse titles for our library including topics such as LGBTQIA+, gender identity, Asian American heritage, Black history, and more! We are so excited to have a culturally-rich and diverse collection growing in our HMHS Library! These books give voices that are essential in our community and lives. We must celebrate the diversity in our world and honor it by having their books in our libraries and enjoyed by our students.

Book Ban Efforts Spread Across the Country

The New York Times recently published the article, “Book Ban Efforts Spread Across the U.S.,” where Elizabeth A. Harris and Alexandra Alter write about the growing trend of parents, political activists, school board officials and lawmakers arguing that some books do not belong in school libraries.

The New York Times followed up the article by asking teenagers to share their perspective about the rise in book challenges and book banning taking place throughout the country. Check out what the next generation had to say about this hot topic, "What Students Are Saying About Banning Books in School Libraries" along with our own HMHS students and guest faculty member's reflections & opinions.

Junior, Pilar Caruso provides thoughtful insight to the ramifications of Book Banning, she states, "At HMHS, the theme of Accelerated English 10 is “global citizenship,” and the curriculum includes books ranging from The Namesake to The Kite Runner. When most people hear the term “global citizen” they think of someone who advocates for human rights, amplifies perspectives from across the world, and practices empathy-not someone who demands certain books be banned from schools due to their “inappropriate content.” Literacy is generally agreed upon as a fundamental human right, as books are designed to educate, transform, and inspire. Banning books from school curriculum not only ignores this principle, but it denies the voice of those who have fought to even write books in the first place. It is often those who hold the privilege of always being represented who push to ban books outside of their limited perspective. To deny students the right to read books that discuss issues they are unfamiliar with or want to learn more about hinders their growth as global citizens. Often books that are banned discuss issues outside of a white and heteronormative space, which directly affects the ability of marginalized students to connect with their reading. Books that challenge a limited perspective can inspire meaningful conversations about issues that have concrete relevance to our history, current world, and future. These issues should not be deemed “inappropriate for school,” for that reinforces the detrimental standards that issues such as violence, racism, classism, among others, do not matter. Ultimately, young generations of students have the power to define and create change where they see fit, and diverse and inclusive reading is essential to achieving this change; the movement of banning books threatens this and possibly of global citizenship."

Junior, Julia Hart weighed in on the topic..."The rise in book challenges and book banning will only lead to more ignorance and lack of knowledge. While these banned books may cover extremely sensitive topics, they are still essential and fundamental to education. By banning these books, it not only shields people from what is happening in the world, but also will continue the harmful cycle of ignorance."

Senior, Albert Lento had this to say about the recent surge of book challenges and bannings. Albert believes reading books with a variety of perspectives gives people a greater exposure to the world around them. Banning books limits perspective and narrows the scope to which we see one another. He offers this advice to parents who want to ban books, try reading the book in question together with your child and discussing some of the concerns together instead of wiping it from the shelves completely.

English Teacher, Corinne Welsh also provides some insight on this important topic, "Banning books means banning voices. When schools ban books by certain groups (like transgender authors), they are telling students those voices aren't worth listening to. When we ban history books with unpopular analysis, we are suggesting that our democracy can't tolerate dissent, or handle criticism.

Students should be able to "see" themselves in the books we offer. Students should also read books that challenge them and offer new viewpoints in order to better understand the world and themselves. Both of these kinds of reading help us maintain a healthy, vibrant conversation about America's future. Banning books subverts all of these essential needs. "

HMHS Library: Bulldawg of the Month

Junior, Julia Hart

This month's Library Bulldawg goes to junior, Julia Hart. Julia is a leader who leads by example. She listens to others while working hard to meet her own goals and aspirations. She flies under the radar with her quiet demeanor, but is the first to step up when a peer needs an extra hand. Julia is incredibly empathetic and listens with patience to her peers and friends. She is also thoughtful and intuitive. She works incredibly hard each and every day.

Ms. Christa Wesley, HMHS math teacher has this to say about Julia..."Julia has just about the best attitude and work ethic I've ever seen in a student. She is creative and kind to everyone, and I know she values other peoples' opinions because when you're talking with her you can tell she's really listening. My day would be a lot more dreary without getting to see her smile when she is inevitably the first person to arrive at my 4th period class. I could take a lesson from how she's so slow to complain about things and quick to find a solution to a problem."

German teacher, Frau Ann Feinleib has this to say about Julia, "A very conscientious, diligent, kind-hearted person and a rare type of student who excels academically every single day."

2.22.22 PBL Expo Highlights - Staff Shoutouts!

March Book Club Choice: Ace of Spades

Freshman, Grace Miller has selected our March Book Club book, Ace of Spades written by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. This contemporary thriller novel has been recognized as the NAACP Outstanding Literary Work for Teens & Young Adults as well as School Library Journal's Best Young Adult Books of 2021.

Please feel free to join our HMHS Book Club on ANY last Thursday of the month in the Library to discuss books, literature, and anything else that might interest you in the reading world! Our next meeting is during lunch, no need to sign-up! The more, the merrier!!

Family Matters @ Home & in School - check out these relatives working TOGETHER!

Join the Student Library Advisory Board - LAB!!

New Books are Coming IN! Stop By & Pick One Up Today!!

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Social Media Platforms Profit from Damage to Teens

Instagram & its parent company, Meta, have faced increasing calls to rein in social media practices that promote hate speech & online bullying; however, they refuse to stop the hateful speech & cyberbullying acts, check out this important article!

Check out previous Library Newsletters below!