Books & Bytes


October 2012 Issue

  1. Introduction
  2. Between the Covers: Adult Book Discussion Series
  3. Banned Books Week: Celebrate Your Freedom to Read
  4. Find Your Roots During Italian Heritage Month


Welcome to the October issue of Books & Bytes!

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Between the Covers: Adult Book Discussion Series, November 2012 to March 2013

Between the CoversThe Adult Book Discussion Series is sponsored by the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System.

“Between the Covers” of a book, we can read a heartfelt story, adventure to far-away lands real and imagined, study history, or learn more about ourselves and the world in which we live. We invite you to sign up for a book discussion, check out and open that book, read it, savor it, and then share with us what you discover between those covers during our annual Adult Book Discussion Series.

This series has engaged readers for over a decade, providing an opportunity for book enthusiasts to experience new and exciting fiction or rediscover familiar classics. At locations throughout the county, experienced and dedicated facilitators will lead these monthly discussions. Since each leader and group has a unique style and membership, you might try more than one discussion group to maximize your enjoyment of the series.

For more information on the dates and times of each discussion, how to preregister, and how to check out a copy of the book you will be reading each month, please call or visit the participating library of your choice.

Check out the entire book discussion schedule here.

Read more about the Friends of the Palm Beach County Library System.

Banned Books Week: Celebrate Your Freedom to Read

Banned Books WeekSeptember 30 to October 6, 2012

Every day you read something — a book, a magazine, a blog, a billboard — of your choice. Imagine if you didn’t have a choice, if you could read only what the government or society deemed “official” or “acceptable?” Fortunately, for those of us in America, we can read whatever we want. Our Founding Fathers built into the Constitution the right to read, to write, and to receive information without hindrance from the government or other people: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – United States Constitution, Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791.

We recognize this most basic of freedoms in a democratic society – the freedom to read freely – and encourage everyone not to take this freedom for granted. During this week we are reminded that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to, or view. Palm Beach County Library System and thousands of libraries across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by encouraging you to celebrate with us.

Celebrate your freedom to read with these activities:

  • Read a book, eBook, magazine, or newspaper.

  • Take a child to library story time.

  • Join a book club at the library.

  • Support the Freedom to Read Foundation.

  • Do the Word Search.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy.  Libraries are for everyone, everywhere.  Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people.  Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read at your library!

During the week of September 30 to October 6, visit any of our branches for a free bookmark and a sticker so you can show that you are “celebrating your freedom to read!”

You can also participate in banned book-related programming:

Thu, Oct 04, 6:00 pm
Banned Books Week Film
As part of our "Celebrate Your Freedom to Read ... and Watch" Banned Books Week, see a thought-provoking film based on the book. Preregister. PG-13

Mon, Oct 01 & Tue, Oct 02, 6:30 pm
Banned Books Week: Book & Film Discussion
In recognition of Banned Books Week, join us for a discussion of Truman Capote's landmark book "In Cold Blood: The True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences," considered the first "true crime" nonfiction novel. Return on 10/02 to see the film followed by a brief discussion. ©Columbia Pictures. (113 min.) R. Preregister.

Wed, Oct 03, 6:30 pm
Banned Books Week Book Discussion: Catch-22
Join this book discussion about an American military man trying to survive the lunacy of humans, government, and war. Pick up the book when you preregister. (60 min.)

Mon, Oct 01, 2:00 pm
Banned Books Week Book Discussion: The Kite Runner
Celebrate your freedom to read by joining in a discussion of this story of an unlikely friendship and the lasting effects of war by Khaled Hosseini. Led by librarian Stacy Alesi. Book available for checkout at the Circulation Desk. (90 min.)  

Portions reprinted with permission of the American Civil Liberties Union

Word Search Drawing

Download the word search and locate the challenged or banned book titles. 

Return the completed puzzle to your local Palm Beach County Library System location by Oct 6, 2012 for a chance at winning a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.


Find your Roots During Italian American Heritage and Cultural Month

October is Italian American Heritage and Cultural Month which makes this a great time to find out more about your family history, whether you are Italian or not.

Heritage Quest

Heritage QuestOne of Heritage Quest's best features is that it's available from any computer (work, home, school) with your library card. Census records are probably the biggest draw and you can spend a lot of time looking up historical figures before settling down to do personal research. Heritage Quest also has a large collection of books, journals, and monographs. You can even find the article "Tracing your Italian ancestry in the U.S.," from the Florida Genealogical Society Journal.

Ancestry Library Edition

AncestryAlthough it contains more information than Heritage Quest, the library version of is a great place for beginners to get started. First you'll want to hit the Charts and Forms section so you can organize your research. You can write down the names of older people who kind of look like you on the Ancestral Chart, save guides to help you decipher census forms, and more. In addition to census information, Ancestry has special collections like the U.S. Immigration and Travel Collection, and U.S. School Yearbooks. Unlike Heritage Quest, Ancestry is only available within the library, but that gives you a good excuse to check out books on genealogy or Italy.

Check out our entire list of research resources here.


Until Next Time

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Palm Beach County Library System
3650 Summit Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

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