“I like the noise of democracy.” ~ James Buchanan

If you haven’t registered to vote yet in Virginia, today, October 12th, is the last day to do so before the November 2nd election.  Voter registration forms are available at the library and as long as they are postmarked by today’s date, you should be ready to participate in this November’s election.  You can also drop off your completed form at any Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.  But, that has to be done today if you want to be eligible to vote this November.

Cartoon courtesy of Ben Sargent

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has created a link from its home page for one-stop election news.  Click here to see who is running in your district, find information on your political party, political blogs and polling websites, among other things.  There’s even a link to the useful Annenberg Political Fact Check; a real help to clear up some of the messy political mud slinging we are all subjected to this time of year.

I’ve got my card…how ’bout you?

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the economy isn’t in the best shape these days.  One investment you can always count on is your library card.  During the month of October, library card holders have another advantage.  Besides checking out books, movies, books on CD, magazines, access to databases, free internet and Wi-Fi, library card holders will receive a 10% discount at participating merchants from now until October 31st.  Just show your literary pride and watch your hard-earned cash stay in your pocket for a change.

Click here for more details.

Here’s the full list of participating businesses:

Alakazam Toys, 100 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Autumn Hill Vineyards, 301 River Drive, Stanardsville, VA 22973

Blue Ridge Café & Catering, 8315 Seminole Trail, Ruckersville, VA 22968

Blue Ridge Eco Shop, 313 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Body Mind Spirit, 923D Preston Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Brix Terrace Café, 594 Pantops Center, Charlottesville, VA 22911

Carving Board Café, 624 Albemarle Square, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Cloverdale Photography, 400 Mountainside Drive, Stanardsville, VA 22973

Fairview Swim & Tennis Club, 707 Belvedere Blvd., Charlottesville, VA 22901

Four County Players, 5256 Governor Barbour Street, Barboursville, VA 22923

The Great Frame Up, 400 Albemarle Square, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Integral Yoga Natural Foods, 923 Preston Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Jean Theory, 110 4th Street, NE, Charlottesville, VA 22902

La Cocina del Sol, 1200 Crozet Avenue, Crozet, &2001 Commonwealth Drive, Charlottesville

The Lafayette Inn, 146 East Main Street, Stanardsville, VA 22973

Lord Hardwick’s Pub, 5920 Seminole Trail, Barboursville & 1248 Emmet Street, Cville

Maggie Moos, Hollymead Town Center, 145 Community Center, Charlottesville, VA

Maharaja Fine Indian Cuisine, 139 Zan Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Maupin’s Music & Video, 5796 Three Notched Road, Crozet, VA 22932

Mole Hole, 218 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902

Nate & Em’s Pizza, 5920 Seminole Trail, Barboursville, VA 22923

Noon Whistle Pottery, 328 Main Street, Stanardsville, VA 22973

Pampered Pets, 601 Concord Avenue, Charlottesville, VA 22903

The Paramount Theater, 215 East Main Street, Charlottesville, (Beer Wars film only)

Party Starts Here, 200 Zan Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Prax Chiropractic & Holistic Pediatrics, 4916 Plank Road, North Garden, VA 22959

Scarpa, 2114 Barracks Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Shenandoah Golf Club, 1944 Shenandoah Crossing Drive, Gordonsville, VA 22942

Shenanigan’s Toy Store, 2146 Barracks Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903

Skylight Farm Studio, 2595 South River Road, Stanardsville, VA 22973

Thinking Body Pilates Studio, 335 W. Rio Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901

[Discounts may vary at different locations]

Banned Books Week

The above map was drawn from the collaborative efforts of the American Library Association (ALA) and the Kids Right to Read Project.  Each blue bubble documents a book challenge or banned book from 2007 until 2010.  There were 460 challenges in 2009 alone, but the ALA estimates that those challenges represent a small fraction of actual  incidents because most go unreported.

The last week of September is traditionally set aside for  libraries to recognize the importance of our freedom to read.  Most people are surprised when they see the titles some folks want removed from library shelves.  According to the ALA, here are the top ten banned books for 2009:

Come into the Central Library downtown to see our banned books display.  We’ll also be at the First Amendment Wall on the downtown mall on Friday, October 1st at noon.  Stop by and say hi!