Last Year and This

Every year, being a reader (or reader and author) gets more…interesting. This past year two issues revolving around access and control became even more prominent. 

For your perusal and consideration…

Local Book Bans

The West Ada School District decided in December to remove books in a closed meeting. This is following Nampa’s action in 2022 removing books.

Background on the trend, including more specifics on the Florida-based group/website being used as a reference can be found in this USA Today article. (You might want to read to the end for an ironic anecdote about one particular book whose main character endures anti-Semitic attacks which has been marked to be banned because it contains anti-Semitic remarks.)

Update: Though designed for patrons served by the Boise Public Library, much of this Library Advocacy Toolkit [PDF] could be useful statewide.

Ebooks Are Not Books?

There is something called the first sale doctrine in copyright law that lets you take a physical book that you’ve purchased and, without further payments to the publisher, give it to your best friend or donate it to your local library or list it on BookMooch or sell it on eBay or put it out in your Little Free Library or even leave it in a coffee shop (along with its Bookcrossing label) to be found by a stranger.

Ebooks, not so much. The Big Five (Big Four soon?) publishers filed suit in June 2020 against the Internet Archive, a nonprofit which, at the start of the pandemic, scanned and released electronic versions of books via Controlled Digital Lending during a time when public libraries were closed. However, the complaint went further and seemed to indicate that ebooks should be classed as “a temporary, rental-only media—a new class of unownable goods, like streaming-only films from Disney or subscription-only software from Microsoft” [quoted from first article, below]. 

Read more about it:

A New Boise Book Faire!

The beginning of November saw a new event in the Treasure Valley: the Boise Public Library’s first annual Boise Book Faire.

As this page on the BPL’s website details, this was an opportunity for attendees to connect with talented local authors showcasing a broad variety of books in a range of genres. Authors were available for meeting and chatting with, and the Library had scheduled several 45-minute workshops.

Over twenty authors from throughout Idaho took part in this inaugural event:

Taylor Van Arsdale, LL (Laurie) Bower, E. N. Crane, Dena Parker Duke, Matt Edwards, Rebecca Evans, Taylor R. Gray, J. Guzman, Merri Halma, S. F. Harris, Margaret Koger, James T. Lambert, J. Brandon Lowry, Patricia Marcantonio, Brad Mathews, Bryan McBee, Christi Nogle, Brock Poulsen, Amy Maren Rice, Dawn R. Schuldenfrei, Nicole Sharp, Madi Vale, and Cindi V. Walton

Attendee and author-participant Margaret Koger passed along this, from organizer Josh Shapel: We had 23 authors attend the event, with just slightly over 200 attendees during the 4 hours it was open. The Library printed three holiday gift guides (for kids, teens, and adults), with book recommendations gathered from the staff. We considered it a successful first year and look forward to seeing it develop further in the future.

Writers and Readers: Calendar this new opportunity!

Photo by Kate Bezzubets on Unsplash

Comic Creation Contest

This information and the featured image from the Boise Public Library newsletter (which you should be subscribing to, if you’re in the area!)

The Boise Comic Arts Festival is coming up in September and it’s time to start getting ready! The Original Comic Creation Contest is your chance to show-off your comic crafting skills by creating a single page of comics to express an idea, set a scene or mood, introduce a character, or tell a story. The contest is open to all ages and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded in each age category. 

Contest submissions accompanied by a completed entry form can be turned in at any Boise Public Library location. Entry forms will be available at all Library locations or can be downloaded and printed beginning July 1. The contest ends August 31.

Learn more about the event, the contest, and how to submit.

Calling Writers & Readers!

Readers, mark this date: March 4 — And, indies: also February 18.

Nampa Public Library is hosting a Treasure Valley Indie Book Fair. March 4 is the date of the fair. February 18 is the last day for an open call — to all local indie writers, illustrators, and publishers — to submit an application.


Note that there’s no tabling fee for participants. NPL will provide 1 table and up to 2 chairs per vendor. There will be 1 hour to set up before the beginning of the fair.  All sales and proceeds go directly to the vendor.

Visit to sign up and for more information. Be sure to pass this info along to anyone not on the Idaho Writers Update newsletter list!

Read Newspapers @ Library

Yes, there are lots of newspapers and magazines to trawl through at your local library — but your library card may be your passport around those irritating paywalls, as well.

(A brief aside, recognizing that work deserves monetary compensation, including writers and responsible journalists, and the organizations they work for. All true. But we still are irritated by paywalls, aren’t we?)

Check with your local library to see if their services include subscriptions to magazines and periodicals such as: Idaho Statesman, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, New York Times, and more.

If you’re in Boise, check out this page in the BPL’s Research and Learning section for what you might be able to access.

Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash

Support Library! Books on sale

If you’re near Boise, make a note of 18-21 August 2022 (Thursday through Sunday) when the Boise Public Library will be conducting a sale of books and other media at their downtown branch (in the Hayes Auditorium).

Find some amazing deals on books, DVDs, CDs, graphic novels, and much more! Follow the Friends on Facebook or visit their new website for info on this sale and future sales. (Scroll to the bottom of the home page to subscribe to their newsletter.)

Not only are you re-homing some valued future delights, but your purchases support the Library!

Garden City Public Library

Today we hope to launch a new series, highlighting some of the many things — beyond miles of aisles of books — you might find at your local library.

Libraries are the beating heart of any city or town, an information hub like no other and with an agile flexibility that has weathered even our current COVID-19 pandemic, as the header image indicates: you can drive up and pick up your books — though many libraries are now open for browsing now as well.

The Garden City Public Library is located on Glenwood, near the Boise River. Their web address says it all: … they offer all those traditional stories and reference materials (physical as well as digital), but also a computer lab and meeting facilities.

And activities! Subscribe to their newsletter or follow their Facebook page to learn about a truly mesmerizing array of both:

Celebrate your local library today. If you’d like to see your library highlighted on our pages,  contact the IWU website editor.