Welcome to Johnson County Library

Helen and Max

Why We're Talking About Pit Bulls

For me, Helen Hokanson, a reference librarian at Johnson County Library, "what should I read next?" is always an easy question. My answer is always: any book starring a furry face. I’ve made quite a dent in the furry face books; from Goat Song to Dog Songs, I love reading about animals. Even those I don’t want to live with myself. But I’ve never felt compelled to invite an author to Johnson County Library. Never, until Bronwen Dickey.

Author of Pit Bull: the Battle Over an American Icon, Dickey skillfully examines the complexities of Breed Specific Legislation and the multi-faceted way our feelings toward pit bulls have evolved over time. She begins by introducing us to her shelter dog Nola, inspiration for the research that started it all.

She takes us into the dogfighting halls of 1770’s New York, to Michael Vick’s Bad News Kennels, to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and to the inner city where animal activists are “inverting the normal paradigm of animal welfare.” And this barely scratches the surface.

She talks to the activists keeping Breed Specific Legislation alive, picks apart the media’s role in driving the pit bull narrative we’ve become familiar with, and spends time at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (so jelly). Genetics and breeding; the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, and the American Dog Owners Association; Dog Bite statistics and where they come from... so many layers to peel.

Pit Bull is fascinating, and a perfect example of how to write compellingly about a vast subject. I want everyone to read it.

Our mission, at Johnson County Library, is to provide access to ideas, information, experiences and materials that support and enrich people’s lives. Sometimes that means challenging our ideas, knowledge, and beliefs. Regardless of which side of the pit bull debate you stand on, in reading Pit Bull, you will learn about so much more than dogs.

Join Bronwen Dickey at these four events:

Evolution of a Pit Bull, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 12pm @ Central Resource Library

Pit Bulls in our Communities, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6pm @ Central Resource Library

Pit Bulls as Targets of Breed Specific Legislation, Wednesday, Feb 28, 8am @ Central Resource Library

Research and Reporting for Creative Writers, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 6pm @ The Writers Place
 

And we hope to see you at all our other dog-related programs this Spring, including our adoption events!

For me, Helen Hokanson, a reference librarian at Johnson County Library, "what should I read next?" is always an easy question. My answer is always: any book starring a furry face. I’ve made quite a dent in the furry face books; from Goat Song to Dog Songs, I love reading about animals. Even those I don’t want to live with myself. But I’ve never felt compelled to invite an author to Johnson County Library. Never, until Bronwen Dickey.

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Bookmark contest

Submit your bookmark by Feb. 28

Spring Exhibitions

Exhibitions at many locations

American Girl Book Club

Multiple dates and locations near you!

History and Time

Feb 22, 6:30pm at Central Resource Library