Fall Book Sale & Bake Sale on Saturday, Oct. 4

Bake SaleOur annual Fall Book Sale will take place Saturday Oct. 4th from 10am-2pm, in conjunction with the Boy Scout Troop 610’s Bake Sale Fundraiser!

Daddy & Donuts will still take place upstairs in the Children’s Story Area at 10:30am.

The book sale is sponsored by the Friends of the Library in Pelham (FLIP). Proceeds from this and other FLIP events help fund some of our most innovative programming and make our discount passes for popular museums possible. Join FLIP today to help keep these awesome community benefits alive!FLIP

FLIP members play a vital role in the community by helping keep valuable resources free of charge to Pelham residents. Annual membership costs just $10, which goes directly into planning community events at the library. Active FLIP members meet once each month to plan membership drives and fundraisers. Next up is the Spring Gala, which will feature an exciting Murder Mystery event! Don’t wait to get involved – join now and start taking advantage of the benefits of membership!

Pelham Library is Proud to Announce Our New Director

The Pelham Library Board of Trustees would like to introduce the Pelham Library’s new Library Director, Irja Finn.  Irja will begin her position at the Pelham Library on October 6th.


Irja Finn, Pelham Library Director

Irja is currently the head of circulation and technical services at the Stevens Memorial Library in North Andover.  She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College, and has more than 20 years of library experience including the Chelmsford Public Library and Derry, N.H. Public Library.

Irja brings with her an energy for new technology, (and helping the rest of us learn it!).  She has a passion for helping others with the belief that “advancing the library, its patrons, and the community into the future, utilizing emerging technologies will be both exciting and challenging.”

Irja also brings with her a strong affinity for the Town of Pelham, having worked for the town after college.  In fact, you may have already met her at the Library’s table at Pelham Old Home Day!

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and patrons for their input, and patience these past few months.  Very special thanks to our Interim Director, Carol Roberts, who stepped in and kept library operations running smoothly.

We hope you will stop by soon, introduce yourself and give a big Pelham welcome to Irja!

Board of Trustees, Pelham Library

Message From Your Librarian: Hiding Harsh Realities From Kids Doesn’t Protect Them

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

How It Made the “BANNED” List:
Challenged, but retained as required reading for a Page High School International Baccalaureate class and as optional reading for Advanced Placement reading courses at Grimsley High School in Guilford County, N.C. (2012) because the book was “sexually explicit, violently graphic and morally corrupt.” Some parents thought the book is “detrimental to Christian values.” The novel won the 1985 Governor General’s Award in Canada and the first Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1987; it was also nominated for the 1986 Nebula Award, the 1986 Booker Prize, and the 1987 Prometheus Award. It has been adapted for the cinema, radio, opera, and stage.

A MESSAGE FROM YOUR LIBRARIAN:Rebecca Crockett, Adult Services
In dealing with content that we don’t necessarily agree with for our own moral or ethical reasons, censorship is never the answer. To censor is to impose your own values over the values of another. Moreover, and especially when dealing with young adults, it is to leave us unexposed and vulnerable to harsh realities we face in the world. That’s no kind of protection. –Rebecca Crockett, Adult Services

Message From Your Librarian: Dark Stories Help Us To Find Courage

The Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, by J.K. RowlingHow It Made the “BANNED” List:
Ever since becoming popular, the Harry Potter series has been among the most frequently challenged books, as measured by the American Library Association. While the series has been welcomed by many parents and teachers for getting children interested in reading, not to mention being a good story, others feel that the series presents dangerous ideas and attitudes that are bad for readers. In some parts of the United States and United Kingdom, the Potter books have been banned from being read in school, taken out of libraries, and even burned in public.

The most prominent objections to Harry Potter fall into three categories: they promote witchcraft; they set bad examples; and they’re too dark.

“Fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter series should not be banned because they are captivating and unique tales that teach the reader, teen or adult, about love, friendship, loyalty, Nicole Goolishian, Young Adult Servicestrust, and the struggles between the good and evil forces of the world that are relatable to struggles found in our own world today. J.K. Rowling’s story encourages us to be brave as well as bold in carving out a place for ourselves in the world along with the importance of fighting for what you believe in. The literary value of this imagined wizarding world should not be taken away from readers.” –Nicole Goolishian, Young Adult Services

Message From Your Librarian: Challenging Protagonists Teach Valuable Lessons

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. SalingerHow It Made the “BANNED” List:
Within two weeks of its 1951 release, J.D. Salinger’s novel rocketed to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list. Ever since, the book — which explores three days in the life of a trou-bled 16-year-old boy — has been a “favorite of censors since its publication,” according to the American Library Association. In 1960, school administrators at a high school in Tulsa, Okla., fired an English teacher for assigning the book to an 11th-grade class. While the teacher later won his appeal, the book remained off the required reading list. Another community in Columbus, Ohio, deemed the book “antiwhite” and formed a delegation to have it banned from local schools. One library banned it for violating codes on “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things concerning moral issues, excessive violence and anything dealing with the occult.” When asked about the bans, Salinger once said, “Some of my best friends are children. In fact, all my best friends are children. It’s almost unbearable for me to realize that my book will be kept on a shelf out of their reach.”
The book introduced slang expressions like the term screw up (as in, “Boy, it really screws up my sex life something awful”). Literary critics have both hailed and assailed the novel, which broke the mold with its focus on character development rather than plot…Holden Caulfield, the novel’s protagonist, has since become a symbol of adolescent angst as an explanation for why he did it. —TIME Magazine

Can you believe that parents all over the USA, including many in NH, are STILL trying to have a Marilyn Grenda, Library Assistantbook banned that was written in 1945??!!! There IS profanity, frank discussions of sexuality, but one of the main themes of the book is the overwhelming grief and loneliness Holden Caulfield feels after the death of one of his siblings. The way he copes, even though he has thoughts of suicide, shows a young man dealing with loss of innocence, and eventually reaching maturity in a way everyone can relate to. Why ban a well written book that can teach others to deal with the sadder things in life? —Marilyn Grenda, Library Assistant

Message From Your Librarian: Challenging Material Makes Us Think

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere, by Neil GaimanHow It Made the “BANNED” List:
Temporarily removed from the Alamogordo, N.Mex. High School library and curriculum (2013) because of what one parent calls “inappropriate content.” The British author wrote in The Guardian:
“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading. Stop them reading what they enjoy or give them worthy-but dull books that you like—the twenty-first centu-ry equivalents of Victorian ‘improving’ literature—you’ll wind up with a generation con-vinced
that reading is uncool and, worse, unpleasant.”

I love Neverwhere. It was one of my favorite books as a teenager: dark and creepy and otherworldly; it scratched an itch for abandoned places I didn’t even know I had yet. But it was the quote from the author in the ALA short list that really resonated with me when it came time to pick a banned book. Jen Rafferty, ILL Librarain
I was an unsupervised reader. I blew through books fast enough that no one bothered to keep track of what I was reading, or if it was age appropriate. My first chapter book was about monsters. I was reading adult books by the time I was into my teens. And yes, I found things that bothered me; things that gave me nightmares for weeks. As time goes by, I find that these are the passages and books that made me think, that stuck with me. I firmly believe, looking back, that I was the best judge of what was ‘appropriate’ for me—and it only seems right to give others the same chance. —Jen Rafferty, Interlibrary Loan Librarian

Message From Your Librarian: Why Banning Books Across the Board Isn’t The Answer

457762How It Made the “BANNED” List:
Written in 1970 by William Steig, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble follows a donkey named Sylvester and the misadventures that come after he finds a pebble that grants wishes. The characters are all animals, and several have different professions, but one specific job attracted a political firestorm. In the story, the police officers of the fictional town are depicted as pigs, which some people felt reinforced “prejudices and misconceptions.” Various characters besides officers were also pigs. In fact, Sylvester’s friend and neighbor is a pig and appears on the book’s cover. Yet critics insisted the pig police sent an anti-authority message.
As the American Library Association notes, books are usually banned “with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.” Adults often censor books from children if they feel that the books have frightening or controversial ideas in them. In some cases, those censoring books think that a book might be appropriate for older children, but just not younger ones—a book that might be perfectly fine for a ninth grader may be disturbing or confusing to a fourth grader.
I agree that in most cases certain books were banned with the best of intentions. Most adults have the best interests of children at heart and feel morally and ethically obligated to protect and guide them. It is this desire to protect children from ideas that they consider damaging or disturbing that drives their insistence that these “harmful books” be removed from a child world. –Debbie Laffond, Children’s Librarian