Banned Books Week 2018


Celebrate your freedom to read! Banned Books Week, which falls on September 23-29 this year, aims to bring attention to the problem of censorship. Each year hundreds of books are challenged in schools, bookstores and libraries for a wide variety of reasons. Last year alone, 416 books were either challenged or banned.

Censorship is a slippery slope. Once someone succeeds in having one book banned, for any reason, other people can argue for the banning of more books until we completely lose our freedom of unrestricted access to information.

Below are the five most challenged books of 2017, all of which can be borrowed from the JMRL catalog. For more information on Banned Books Week, visit

1. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing 13 cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie – Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

3. Drama by Raina Telgemeier – Designing sets for her middle school’s play, Callie tries to overcome limited carpentry skills, low ticket sales and squabbling crew members only to find her efforts further complicated by the arrival of two cute brothers. Continue reading

Constitution Week


Constitution Week is September 17-23. This is an annual celebration to commemorate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. The week was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787 and was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Here are some fun facts about our Constitution:

  • Two of our “founding fathers” did not sign the Constitution- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Jefferson was in France at the time, representing the U.S., and Adams was doing the same over in the UK.
  • There are multiple spelling errors in the Constitution, but “Pensylvania” stands out because it is directly above the signers’ names.


  • George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
  • 42 delegates attended most of the meetings, but only 39 signed the Constitution. George Mason, Edmund Randolph, and Elbridge Gerry (of Massachusetts) did not sign, partly because the bill of rights was not yet included.
  • The U.S. Constitution is the shortest and oldest governing document of any nation. It contains only 7 articles and 27 amendments. The first 10 amendments are the “Bill of Rights.”
  • More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced to Congress, but only 27 have received the necessary approval from the states to become amendments.
  • James Madison was responsible for proposing the resolution to create the Cabinet positions within the Executive Branch and 12 amendments to the Constitution.

Home Movie Digitization


In collaboration with the University of Virginia Library, JMRL Central branch is preparing to celebrate Home Movie Day 2018! Home Movie Day events are held annually, worldwide to celebrate the stories and memories captured by amateur film, as well as advocate for its care and preservation. These events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community.

October 20th from 5-7pm at the Vinegar Hill Theatre (220 W Market St, Charlottesville) UVa will present a curated screening of film footage submitted (in 2K projection) by the community, with selections from home movies (on 16mm film) found in the Small Special Collections Library. This screening is free and open to the public.

From now through October 14th, we will be offering a free digitization drop-off service for up to 3 reels of home movies (16mm, 8mm, or Super-8 motion picture film only). Submitted films will be cleaned and digitized (condition permitting) by trained staff at the University of Virginia Library and returned to the patron as a digital file—all submitted film footage may be used as part of the October 20th screening event, but will not otherwise be retained.

Questions about the digitization drop-off service? Email:

Film submissions will be taken at the JMRL Central branch through October 14th or at one of the events listed below.

Home Movie Digitization Workshops

Connect with a UVa preservation specialist to learn how best to care for your home films and why they’re important. Have a home movie you’re curious to see or learn more about? Drop in and a preservation specialist will digitize up to 3 film reels of 8mm, Super-8, or 16mm film. The funniest and most compelling films will be eligible for inclusion in an October 20th screening event at Vinegar Hill Theatre presented by UVa.

Crozet – Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 6:30 – 8:30PM

Northside – Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 1:30 – 3:30PM