Tag Archives: libraries

Fifth Circuit partially upholds ruling that ordered library books back on shelves in Llano County

This is a lot. Eight books dealing with subjects including racism and transgender issues must be returned to library shelves in a rural Texas county that had removed them in an ongoing book banning controversy, a divided panel of three … Continue reading

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Still waiting on details for paying the firefighters

A lot of the same stuff we’ve heard before here, but a little bit more details. Houston Mayor John Whitmire detailed his last three months as the fourth-largest city’s top boss and outlined some of his ongoing projects in a … Continue reading

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The Shawn Thierry situation

The Trib covers one of the more important primaries in Harris County this cycle. That Senate Bill 14 would pass was not in doubt. The legislation, which would bar gender-transitioning care for children and teens, had universal Republican support and … Continue reading

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The Texas Freedom to Read Project

Good stuff. A group of Texas parents has a mission: Let their kids follow their curiosity in school libraries. The Texas Freedom to Read Project launched in December to counter the statewide surge in book challenges and removals in public … Continue reading

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Two book ban updates

Bad news. A state law banning “sexually explicit” books from Texas schools will now go into effect, after an appeals court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling. The three-judge panel did not offer any reasoning. Their decision is temporary until … Continue reading

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Harris County libraries are now “book sanctuaries”

It’s great that they’re doing this, and terrible that they have to. As book bans and challenges occur across the state and nation, Harris County libraries have joined a movement dedicated to preserving people’s right to decide for themselves what … Continue reading

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Katy ISD’s book banning

What are these people doing? Katy Independent School District has remained silent on the reasons 14 additional books were removed from shelves and how the district’s book review policy is being implemented, despite a public pledge of transparency on book … Continue reading

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The MOB versus Mike Miles

Presented for all the obvious reasons. Rice University’s marching band mocked state-appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles during their halftime show at Saturday’s football game against Texas Southern University. The small band, known as The Mob, performed a brief “Austin … Continue reading

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More criticism of HISD’s library policies

This isn’t going away. Prominent Houston political and faith leaders on Monday denounced Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles’ plan to convert some libraries into discipline centers, adding to the growing chorus of critics opposing the change. Members of Congress, Houston … Continue reading

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Federal judge temporarily blocks Arkansas book censorship law

Hopefully a good omen. On Saturday, a federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked a new law that would have allowed local prosecutors to file felony charges against school and public librarians who loaned out material considered considered “harmful to minors.” The law—which also … Continue reading

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What does Mike Miles have against libraries?

I do not care for this. Superintendent Mike Miles, appointed in June by the Texas Education Agency to lead Houston ISD, will eliminate librarians and media specialists from the 28 campuses under his New Education System and an additional 57 aligned schools that opted … Continue reading

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City to sue over mandatory arbitration law

Add it to what is likely to be a substantive list. Houston city attorneys said Monday they plan to challenge the constitutionality of a new Texas law that gives Houston firefighters mandatory arbitration in their long-running contract stalemate. Lowell Denton, … Continue reading

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A long look at Spring Branch ISD

Houston Landing goes deep. With only a week left before the May 6 election, school-board candidate David Lopez and a team of volunteers set out to block walk in the Spring Branch neighborhoods north of Interstate 10, trying to accomplish … Continue reading

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A “who not to vote for” guide in Katy ISD

For your information. The Katy ISD school board race has taken a sharp political turn as some candidates vying for the nonpartisan position accepted Republican party endorsements and appeared on flyers that attacked their opponents as “far left” supporters of … Continue reading

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The benefits of going fine-free

I love this story. Two months ago, a Houston resident walked into the city’s public library and returned three long-overdue books from the 1990s. The trio of the returned books included “Tenth Dimension” by Jeremy Bernstein on elementary particle physics, … Continue reading

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A brief but dismal legislative update

Just a few recent news stories, to give you an idea of what’s happening in the Legislative session, and why I have been avoiding it. Item 1: Republican Texas senators on Monday reversed themselves and voted against allowing transgender kids currently being treated with puberty … Continue reading

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Llano County ordered to return books to library shelves

Yes, this is a thing that is happening in the year of our Lord 2023. Officials in Llano County must return to the public library system books they removed and allow them to be checked out again, a federal judge ruled this week. … Continue reading

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The upcoming week in legislative gay-bashing

From the inbox, from Equality Texas: Monday, 3/27 Action Alerts & Upcoming Hearings HB 1686, the companion bill to SB 14, would ban trans youth from access to health care. We cannot let this pass. The hearing for HB 1686 begins … Continue reading

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The Book-Loving Texan’s Guide to the May 2023 School Board Elections

Very much of interest. Introduction Basic Background: The Way to Win This is the third cycle I’ve made this document, and I bring you good news: it is very possible to avoid a pro-censorship school board takeover, even in deep … Continue reading

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Harris County libraries to eliminate fines

Good. Harris County residents no longer will have to pay late fees on overdue library books, formalizing a policy the 26 branches of the county library started during the pandemic. Harris County Commissioners Court voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve … Continue reading

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No more library fines in Houston

Good news for some of you, I’m sure. Houston Public Library patrons no longer will have to pay overdue fees and will have a month-long amnesty period to get past fines canceled. City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the library’s … Continue reading

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League City to mess with its libraries

This is watered down from the original proposal, which was a true book ban situation, but it’s still bad and dumb and ominous. At a packed League City council chambers Tuesday night, residents made their voices heard about a proposed … Continue reading

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There’s a lot of anti-LGBTQ litigation out there

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this is where we are. In the wake of the toppling of Roe v. Wade and with Justice Clarence Thomas urging the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit rulings on gay sex … Continue reading

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Lawsuit filed over Llano County libraries

This is going to be something to watch. Seven Llano County residents filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the county judge, commissioners, library board members and library systems director for restricting and banning books from its three-branch public library system. … Continue reading

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Our new school library standards

I am casting a gimlet eye at this, at least for now. The Texas Education Agency released statewide standards Monday for how school districts should remove and prevent “obscene content” from entering Texas public school libraries. In the agency’s model … Continue reading

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Hey, if libraries are fair game…

Why stop at school libraries? When the Llano County Library shuts down for three days this week, starting Tuesday, it won’t be for the holidays. Instead, a group of six librarians in this small Central Texas county will be conducting … Continue reading

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The clown show is coming for Drag Queen Story Time

The words, they fail me. The group that opposed and defeated Houston’s equal rights ordinance in 2015 announced Tuesday it is launching a petition drive aimed at prohibiting Drag Queen Storytime, the program shuttered earlier this year by city officials … Continue reading

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Tough times for libraries

And there’s no end in sight. Already squeezed by curtailed hours and reduced staff, Houston Public Library officials today will pull the budget belt a notch tighter, telling City Hall how they plan to cope with an expected budget cut … Continue reading

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Library hours to be cut back

No surprise here. Hammered by $2.2 million in budget cuts, the Houston Public Library system this month will reduce its hours by 28 percent — closing most of its 42 branches on Saturdays — and trim expenditures for library materials. … Continue reading

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