JVB Check It Out

The James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., will recognize Banned Books Week from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1, an annual celebration of the freedom to read by highlighting the importance of intellectual freedom.

The 2016 celebration of Banned Books Week will focus on diversity as it is observed in thousands of libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation and the world.

It is estimated that more than half of all banned books are by authors of color, or contain events and issues concerning diverse communities, according to ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. This year’s Banned Books Week will celebrate literature written by diverse writers that has been banned or challenged, as well as explore why diverse books are being disproportionately singled out in the first place.

“It’s alarming to see so many diverse voices facing censorship,” said Charles Brownstein, chair of the Banned Books Week Coalition. “2016’s Banned Books Week is an important moment for communities to join together in affirming the value of diverse ideas and multiple viewpoints. By shining a light on how these ideas are censored, we hope to encourage opportunities to create engagement and understanding within our communities, and to emphasize the fundamental importance of the freedom to read.”

The Banned Books Week Coalition is a national alliance of diverse organizations joined by a commitment to increase awareness of the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The coalition seeks to engage various communities and inspire participation in Banned Books Week through education, advocacy and the creation of programming about the problem of book censorship.

The coalition will be partnering with library, reader and author groups, including We Need Diverse Books to bring meaningful conversation to this year’s programming.

Nationwide, the top 5 most frequently challenged books of 2015 were:

1. “Looking for Alaska” by John Green.

2. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James.

3. “I am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings.

4. “Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out” by Susan Kuklin.

5. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group.

A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

To see lists of the most frequently challenged books, visit www.ala.org/ bbooks/frequentlychallengedbooks.

Having these books available in public libraries is one way the Brown Library supports the PA Forward statewide initiative, which believes that libraries are community pillars of information and learning, providing numerous points of view.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.

JVB Check It Out

Are you looking to visit a warmer climate during the winter months? Hoping to get out of the country and cross some must-see locations off your bucket list?

If you’re going anywhere outside the United States, you will need a passport book, passport card or other travel documents to get back into the U.S. Luckily, the library can help.

The James V. Brown Library is an official Passport Acceptance Facility and open after work and on weekends. Our trained staff also can take your passport photo, making the library a one-stop shop for all your passport needs.

U.S. citizens re-entering the United States must present a passport book, passport card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government, which are listed at travel.state.gov. Passport cards are only accepted for travel by driving between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico and seas of port in the Caribbean. Passport books are required for all air travel.

All passport applicants must apply in person, regardless of age. When a child is under 16, both parents must be present and show identification when applying for their child’s passport. If one parent is unable to come, a notarized Statement of Consent from the absentee parent can be used.

To apply for a passport, you will need the following:

One passport photo that meets the U.S. guidelines. The Brown Library will take one for you for a fee.

Passport application form, the DS-11, which is available at the library or the Passport Agency website at travel.state.gov/.

Proof of citizenship, such as an original birth certificate, or a current or previous U.S. passport.

Proof of identity, current valid U.S. driver’s license or state-issued identification card, a military I.D. card or government-issued photo I.D. card.

There are fees associated with getting a passport based on age and must be made in the form of a check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State, along with a separate payment for processing paid to the James V. Brown Library either by cash, check or credit card.

The State Department also is anticipating a surge in passport renewals this year, since many were issued in 2006-07 when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative went into effect.

State Department officials encourage renewing soon because many countries are now enforcing a requirement for at least six months’ validity on a United States passport. Renewals are expected to take about six weeks in 2016. Most Americans can renew passports by mail for a fee.

For your convenience, passport applications are accepted from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

The library also will take photos for those who need photo identification for testing purposes. The same charge applies.

For more information about passport requirements, visit jvbrown.edu/passport/ .

JVB Check It Out

Did you know that 72 percent of people fail their DMV driving test the first time? In partnership with Driving-Tests.org, the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., now offers free online Pennsylvania Driver Permit practice tests at www.jvbrown.edu by selecting “Online Resources.”

Patrons can take the free sample permit tests, as many times as needed, until they are ready to take the real DMV test. The site offers practice tests for cars, motorcycles and commercial drivers (CDL), along with driver’s handbooks and a senior citizens’ refresher test.

There are multiple versions of each test, which vary from 20 to 150 questions long, with questions that are similar or often identical to the real DMV test. The practice tests offer hints, detailed explanations and immediate feedback, along with questions about fines, limits, regulations, road signs and citations.

No library card number or personal information is needed. This resource also is great for anyone looking to brush up on his or her knowledge of Pennsylvania’s traffic laws. A helpful FAQ section addresses questions residents might have about visiting their local DMV, such as how to renew your PA license, those who are new to PA, and documents need to apply for a PA license.

This free service supports the statewide information literacy initiative of PA Forward, which helps citizens know how to use online resources and current technology to improve their education and fully participate in a digital society.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.

JVB Check It Out

School is in session now and the Lycoming County Library System libraries, including James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., have the resources to help students of all ages succeed this school year.

All you need is a free library card to have access to Learning Express, an online resource with educational materials for students of all ages, from elementary school students to adult learners.

Learning Express has full-length practice tests for each subject of the PSAT/NMSQT test and complete practice tests for the ACT Writing Test Essay in the College Preparation Center.

The Career Center has full-length practice exams for the Praxis II: Mathematics Content Knowledge (5161) test, GED, and TABE tests for those pursuing a basic nursing certificate. There also is a section to help new residents prepare for the citizenship exam.

The eBook collection has been enhanced with EMT Exam: Power Practice, Middle School Geometry for the Common Core, Middle School Algebra for the Common Core, and a new edition of 1,001 Problems to Master Algebra.

More than 25 new resources aligned to Common Core State Standards have been added to the School Center. They include math practice tests, tutorials, and eBooks.

Under Job & Career Accelerator there is a new College Finder tool in the guidance tab. Students can find their ideal list of schools based on a search of more than 3,600 institutions, using criteria such as location, type of school, selectivity, majors, cost, enrollment and more.

Learning Express is just one tool at the library to help you achieve your educational and career goals.

Visit www.jv brown.edu and select Learning Express under “Online Resources” to get started today.

The library supports the PA Forward statewide initiative, which believes that when Pennsylvania residents improve their command of five types of literacy – basic, information, civic and social, health and financial – they can achieve greater success as students, parents, employees, consumers, as citizens.

Libraries are community centers of information, technology and learning that will fuel educational and economic opportunity for all of our citizens.

The James V. Brown Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; and 24/7 at www.jvbrown.edu.