WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Archive for September, 2006

Harry Potter tops list of most challenged books of 21st Century

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week (September 23-30), the American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top 10 most challenged books from 2000-2005, with the Harry Potter series of books leading the pack. The 10 most challenged books of the 21st Century (2000-2005) are:

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. “The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier
3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck
5. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou
6. “Fallen Angels” by Walter Dean Myers
7. “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris
8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
10. “Forever” by Judy Blume

All but three of these books also were in the top 10 of the most challenged books of the 1990s: The ALA reports there were more than 3,000 attempts to remove books from schools and public libraries between 2000 and 2005. Challenges are defined as formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness.

Banned Books Week is a time in which schools, libraries and bookstores around the country celebrate the freedom to read with exhibits, readings and special events. In honor of 25 years of fighting to keep books freely accessible in U.S. schools and libraries, the ALA has expanded the range of resources available to celebrate the freedom to read. Download a free chapter of three frequently challenged books from Search modern classics that have been banned or challenged with Google Book Search. Check it all out at
Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the ALA, the Association of American Publishers, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Association of College Stores. It is endorsed by the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

For more information, please visit

October 26 Conversations With Authors to Feature Author and Critic, Sven Birkerts

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

Save the date for the next installment of the Conversations with Authors series on October 26, 2006. The Wayne State University Library System will bring author and critic, Sven Birkerts to the Community Room in the David Adamany Undergraduate Library.

10:30 – 11:30 Student-focused Session – On Creative Writing
12:30 – 1:15 Panel Session I – Book Reviewing and Literary Criticism
1:15 – 2:00 Panel Session II – On the Fate of Reading
2:00 – Book Signings

Birketts will lead a panel of campus and community speakers in a discussion of literary works, past and present.

Sven Birkerts is the author of six books, including An Artificial Wilderness: Essays on 20th Century Literature (William Morrow), the Electric Life: Essays on Modern Poetry (William Morrow), American Energies: Essays on Fiction (William Morrow), The Gutenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age (Faber & Faber), Readings (Graywolf), and My Sky Blue Trades: Growing Up Counter in a Contrary Time (Viking). He edited Tolstoy’s Dictaphone: Writers and the Muse (Graywolf) as well as Writing Well (with Donald Hall) and the Evolving Canon (Allyn & Bacon) He has two forthcoming books in 2007 Reading Life: The Books That Mattered and Then, Again: The Art of Literary Memoir.

Mr. Birkerts received grants from the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundation and the Gugenheim Foundation. He was the winner of the Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle in 1985 and the Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award from PEN for the best book of essays in 1990. He is a regular reviewer for such well-known magazines and journals as New York Times Book Review, New Republic, Esquire, Washington Post, Atlantic, Mirabella, Parnassus and the Yale Review. His teaching has taken him to Emerson College, Amherst, and Harvard where he is currently the Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing. He lives in Arlington, MA with his wife and two children. Additional information available at

Conversations with Authors would not be possible without the continuing financial support of Library System donor and friend, Mr. Irwin (Toby) Holtzman.

For more information, contact Barton Lessin at 577-4373

Wayne State University Offers 4th Bernath American History Lecture October 5

Tuesday, September 19th, 2006

The Wayne State University Library System, History Department and Academy of Scholars will present the fourth Gerald J., Myrna F. and Stuart L. Bernath Lecture for the Support of the Discussion of American History, Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs on Thursday, October 5, 2006 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm in the Bernath Auditorium of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library.

Professor George Herring, Alumni Professor Emeritus from the University of Kentucky, will deliver the Bernath Lecture entitled “Vietnam and Iraq.” Professor Herring, the dean of the Vietnam War historians, is the author of the most influential study of the conflict, “America’s Longest War: the United States and Vietnam, 1950 – 1975.” His other works include “The Secret Negotiations of the Vietnam War: the Negotiating Volumes of the Pentagon Papers,” and “LBJ and Vietnam: a Different Kind of War” and many others. A recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH and the Fulbright program, Professor Herring is a former president of the Society for Historians of America’s Foreign Relations.

A reception in the Community Room of the Adamany Undergraduate Library will follow his presentation. For more information, please contact Dr. Melvin Small at 313-577-6138 or at

Maternity and Infant Care Database

Friday, September 8th, 2006

Maternity and Infant Care is an important essential resource from MIDIRS for academics and healthcare professionals involved in the care of women and infants. The database contains over 120,000 references with abstracts to journal articles from over 550 international English language journals, books, and grey literature relating to the midwifery profession, pregnancy, labour, birth, postnatal care, and neonatal care and the first year of an infants life. Database coverage is from the mid 1980s onwards and approximately 1000 records are added to the database per month. The database also includes correspondence and commentary written in response to an article.


Manage Your Homework With Assignment Planner

Tuesday, September 5th, 2006

What is it?

The Assignment Planner is an online time management tool that links students with appropriate research and writing resources as they advance through their research project or paper.

How does it work?

Enter today’s date and the date that the assignment is due.A time management calendar with links to resources and target completion dates for each phase of the research project is generated. This timeline can be printed.

While designed for students, the Assignment Planner is also useful for faculty in setting up syllabi. It can help in planning course due dates for assignments, or with “chunking” assignments into small components, such as when to request a thesis statement, annotated bibliography or outline. It can also be linked to Blackboard courses.

Give it a try by

Questions? Contact Veronica Bielat at or 577-4217.

Fall 2006 Outlook Newsletter

Friday, September 1st, 2006

Download Newsletter (pdf_small17x17 819KB PDF)