Sunday, April 30, 2017

Week 16 Prompt

How have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically? 

I don't ever remember not being able to read. My mom said that I taught myself to read because my older brother was doing it. My memories are of:  Dick, Jane, Puff, and Spot; those wonderful packages from the Dr. Seuss book club that magically appeared in the mailbox; the joy of getting to go to the bookmobile every two weeks all summer; monthly trips to the library where Mrs. Langly would always have a new book waiting, just for me; long, leisurely days spent outside, reading; being in charge of our classroom library; Scholastic book orders where you actually got to pick out what you wanted, well, at least some of what you wanted...Reading and books were part of my daily existence.

Today, I listen to audiobooks in the car; take my tablet when I travel; read my magazines on Zineo; read textbooks and articles for school; skim journals, catalogs, reviews, etc. for collection development...It seems like I am constantly reading, all day long. What has changed for me over time has been the content I consume and the varying methods I use. My preferred medium is still the printed book, but I have adapted and embraced the changing formats as well, when they suit my needs.

Talk a little about what you see in the future for reading, books, or publishing - say 20 years from now. Will we read more or less, will our reading become more interactive? What will happen to traditional publishing? 

In his October 2010 article, The Cult of the Book -- and Why It Must End, Jeffrey R. Di Leo addresses some interesting points about books, especially in academe. He asserts that our attitudes about books are products of "cultural conditioning and habit." Publish or perish, bookshelves crammed with bound volumes, and libraries filled with complete reference sets all support the attitude that "books are the gold standard of academic achievement." He ponders whether "When we lose the weight of the bound book, will our words lose weight as well?" Di Leo posits that only "...when a new literature will emerge that is possible only in digital formats...will the myth of the book overcome."

My daughter graduated from law school last May. Only a few of her classes utilized ebooks and many of the physical textbooks she was assigned were written by her professors. Even given the overwhelming advantages of etextbooks, acadame is slow to change. Hopefully, in 20 years when her future children are ready for college, those attitudes will have evolved, and things will have changed for them.

In his March 2016 article, The Pros and Cons of Paper vs. Digital Textbooks, Sam Morris, a Global Education Solutions Architect, states:
          "The Promise of digital textbooks or eBooks is enormous - rich, immersive experiences, social sharing and collaboration, individualized learning, real-time analytics, and performance assessment - just to name a few. Despite these exciting attributes, though, adoption both in higher education and K-12 has been slow. Paper textbooks, even with their many downsides, continue to dominate the market and the classroom."

He goes on to list what he sees as some challenges for etextbooks:

  • Unfulfilled potential
  • Accessibility
  • Tech implementation and adoption
  • Health concerns
  • Bandwidth
  • Lack of standards
  • Cost
  • Limited ability to annotate
In our community, many people only have access to the internet when they come to the library. None of our schools have assigned tablets to their students. The library strives to offer new technologies to all patrons, from the very young to the homebound. 

In the next 20 years, I expect to see continued innovations and developments in formats and the interactive possibilities for books. I think that people will embrace the formats that satisfy their needs in particular situations, that publishers will offer more individualized access to materials such as POD or machines where you can print the titles you want, that we will be reading more, and that printed books will continue to cherished.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week 15 Prompt

What do you think are the best ways to market your library's fiction collection? 

Highlighting and promoting their fiction collection is a major focus for public libraries. While many patrons prefer to read nonfiction, the focus for the majority of patrons who read for pleasure, is the fiction collection. This is the area where Readers' Advisory tools are especially useful for encouraging patrons to check out a read-a-like, discover a new author, or maybe even take a reading challenge. The increase in circulation generated by these efforts is the bonus for "finding a book for every reader and every reader their book." 

All libraries face budget, space, and staff limitations. So, we have to get creative and use our resources to the best of our abilities. The three best ways we have to market our fiction collection are:

Just Off the New Shelf
Our PoeTree

Today's Hot Topics
Readbox: Books into Movies

I must be honest here, these were all taken at the main library. They have more staff time and creative talent available in the Reference Department, not to mention, space.

Readers' Advisory Tools
Passive ways to promote check-outs are always useful, especially for the patrons who prefer to keep their reading choices private or who do not think that their questions are important enough to "bother" the clerk. We routinely create new readers' advisory tools such as:  
  • author and series lists
  • read-a-likes bookmarks for popular authors and best sellers
  • what to read next lists for those authors who take their time (at least to the patrons) writing the next book in the series or for those who can't imagine ever wanting to read another book because the series they just finished was so wonderful
  • books into movies to read before the movie comes out
  • alternate available - like the audio-book, large print copies, Overdrive, Hoopla, or our pre-loaded nooks for check-out -  when the holds queue is soooooo long
  • shelf-talkers
I discovered this in an article on the NoveList Blog:

"When I think about my mom getting book recommendations, I think about how awesome it would be if that self-check receipt (email or print) suggested she read The Alienist after she’s finished with The Gods of Gotham and mentioned that the next book in the Timothy Wilde series is Seven for a Secret. Even better if the self-check screen gave her a chance to put those recommendations on hold."

For those of you lucky enough to have self-check at your libraries, this is an awesome suggestion! I would love to hear from those of you who get a chance to implement this suggestion.

Self-check Your Way to Great Recommendations

Friday, April 14, 2017

Week 14 Prompt

Consider yourself part of the collection management of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate GBLTQ fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them?  Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.

Ranganathan established guidelines in 1931, with his Laws of Library Science:
  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the User.
Crawford and Gorman's modern reinterpretation strengthened the importance of these guidelines
  1. Libraries serve humanity.
  2. Respect all forms by which knowledge is communicated.
  3. Use technology intelligently to enhance service.
  4. Protect free access to knowledge.
My library has a detailed and clearly defined collection policy to aid selectors, which emphasizes maintaining  a broad and diverse collection. Our policies state:

The library recognizes that many books, magazines and newspapers are ; controversial and that any given item may offend someone. Selections will not be made on the basis of any assumed approval or disapproval, but solely on the merit of the work as it relates to the library's purpose and as it serves the needs and interests of the community as a whole.

Scope of Collection
The development of a public library's collection should be as broad as the range of human experience and thought without classifying any ideas as "objectionable" or "taboo." 

Library Collections
The library's Hardcover and Paperback Fiction collections are organized alphabetically by the author's last name.

Hardcover Nonfiction collections are organized by the Dewey Decimal Classification System."
From the Technical Services Handbook:

"Cataloging & Processing Policy/Changes for Adult and Young Adult Book Titles
From time to time Technical Services receives requests from managers to change how books are shelved. These requests do impact bibliographic, authority, and item records, and follow AACR2 rules. Therefore, it is important for the Technical Services Manager to discuss requests with the manager to see if a request can be accommodated. If there is not an agreement between Technical Services and the requesting manager, then it may be necessary to request a meeting with the Director. Whenever there are requests for major changes, the Director is always to be consulted...

Request for changes must always take into account the following:
  • Working with and following AACR2 rules to the best of our ability
  • Amount of time it takes to make the changes
  • Impact it places on patron accessibility to materials"
Clearly, our management agrees that materials should accessible to as many as possible and should be cataloged and placed so that they are easy to find. Pulling either African American or GLBTQ materials into their own separate place would not "save time for the user" and it would "impact...patron accessibility to materials." 

I have had many of these conversations with our Technical Services Manager and while I began adamantly wanting to pull out materials, place them in a new collection, and house them in specific defined areas, I have come to understand why she is just as adamantly opposed to this. She would be happiest if we eliminated many of our "collections" and just went with Adult Fiction, Adult Nonfiction, and Paperbacks. We have eliminated our Nonfiction paperbacks and Paperback Classics collections, changing the way we select as well. 

When I think of myself as a patron, this makes even more sense. Cataloging records, the OPAC, and the shelf location are in agreement. Things are found either by the author's last name or by the Dewey Decimal Classification System. 

Merchandising library collections like bookstores has become popular in some areas. Pulling out certain genres and placing them in specific locations utilizes this approach. A 2012 article on WebJunction, What Libraries Can Learn From Bookstores by Chris Rippel states:

"In 1907, William A. Borden pulled books from the fiction shelves to set up special shelving for historical novels and detective fiction. During two years of observation, Borden noticed patrons who previously only browsed the new books began selecting books from the genre shelves as well. Readers also began picking lesser-known authors within their chosen genre. - Source: "On classifying fiction" by William A. Borden. Library Journal, June 1909, pp. 264-265.

Librarians frequently complain that patrons read mostly new books while good, older books remain unread. For patrons unfamiliar with authors and titles, trying to select one book from shelves of thousands of books, is like trying to select the best brick in a wall. They all look alike. Borden's observations suggest that:
  • Patrons are most attracted to new books when this is the only collection presentation of books in limited numbers browsers can comprehend.
  • Patrons will select older books when they too are presented in limited numbers."
In his RA article, A House Divided?: Two Views on Genre Separation, Barry Trott raises some relevant arguments for not separating out genres. 

  • Defining genres: There is no definitive formula for determining the specific genre for a book. Many titles could be placed in several genres and many authors erase genre lines, creating entirely new genres that are not defined or recognized.
  • Genre stigma: Readers may reject a suggestion because it has been determined to be in a genre that they "don't read." Rather than connecting readers to books, we have succeeded in allowing them to make judgments about titles simply because we have chosen to place them in the African American Fiction, GLBTAQ, or any other genre. Many times, I have suggested books to patrons and they have responded, "Oh, I don't read - YA, Horror, Romances, etc."
  • Space issues: Do you purchase multiple copies of titles and place them in several genre displays? Do you have room to do this? How much more difficult will it be for patrons to find the title they are looking for?
  • Role of readers' advisor: Having titles separated by genre might seem to make it easier for patrons to find similar authors or books. In reality, they may prefer certain appeal terms that can be found in another genre. Not having genre collections may encourage patrons to seek out readers' advisors who could make suggestions based on these appeal preferences. The patron will leave with a book that they are more likely to enjoy and will leave feeling validated.
While I agree that some patrons are often overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available and will gravitate to displays to narrow the field of choices, I disagree that this should be done with only a few genres. If the decision is made for your library to use the bookstore approach, I think that it should be utilized for the entire collection not just for one or two genres. Personally, I think this would work best in an elementary school library. The elementary schools in Michigan City, IN went from seven school librarians, one in each school, to one for all seven locations, over one summer. In this situation, even having nonfiction grouped in some way would make it easier for elementary students to choose a book about something they were interested in.


WebJunction article:

Readers' Advisory Column: A House Divided?: Two Views on Genre Separation by Barry Trott and Vicki Novak

Westchester Public Library: Policies, Plans, and Postings,-Policies-and-Postings.html

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GLBTQ Annotation

Author: Frankel, Laurie

Title:  This Is How It Always Is

Genre: GLBTQ

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Number of Pages: 323

Geographical Setting: Madison, Wisconsin and Seattle, Washington

Time Period: Contemporary

Plot Summary: Imagine: you have a family of 5 spirited boys and a dog. Your loving husband writes for a living and your job as an ER doctor is challenging and rewarding. You live in a sprawling farmhouse in Madison, Wisconsin. For your youngest son's third birthday, you give him a puppet theater and a trunk of Goodwill dress-up clothes because he loves to make up and put on plays. He tells you he wants to be a girl when he grows up. You're not worried, wearing the green, sparkly dress is just a phase. Until, he decides to wear a dress to the first day of kindergarten, no matter the consequences. With the unconditional love of parents and siblings, easy-going classmates, and a supportive teacher, the school year is survived, with Claude continuing to wear dresses. 

Looking for a more open and supportive community, the family moves to Seattle. Here, people meet Claude as Poppy and never question her gender. Life seems to be sailing along beautifully, but the cost of keeping this secret is a heavy burden, affecting each member of the family differently. The novel explores many aspects of this timely scenario, with compassion, sensitivity, and love. Frankel herself is the mother of a girl who was born a boy. This is a story not to be missed.

Subject Headings: Domestic fiction.
                                 Fiction / Family Life.
                                 Fiction / Literary.

3 Terms That Best Describe This Book: Character - Authentic
                                                                    Tone - Thought-provoking
                                                                    Writing Style - Compelling

Similar Authors and Works (Why are they similar?): These compelling, thought-provoking stories are all about people who are keeping secrets and how those secrets affect their lives.

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Book Jacket

Raising my rainbow: adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son  by Lori Duron

Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

The Gender Creative Child

The Gender Creative Child by Diane Ehrensaft

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Week Thirteen Prompt

Week 13 Prompt Though this week's group of "genres" all seem very different, they all have in common the fact that many people don't feel that they are legitimate literary choices and libraries shouldn't be spending money on them or promoting them to adults. The common belief is that adults still don't or shouldn't read that stuff. How can we as librarians, work to ensure that we are able to serve adults who enjoy YA literature or graphic novels? Or should we? I can't wait to read your thoughts on this. Thanks!

The discussion about what people should or shouldn't read has been debated for centuries. In the PowerPoint by Joyce Saricks, History of Readers' Advisory Service in America, we learned how these attitudes have shifted over time.

  • Moralistic tone
  • Individual consultations and reading lists
  • Aim of the librarian was to 'move readers toward classic works, to outline a plan of reading that would be educational, not recreational.'
  • Readers' Advisors are non-judgmental about reading tastes
  • Informal interviews, in person or via forms
  • We suggest, rather than recommend
  • Leisure Reading is the primary focus, both fiction and non-fiction"
In the article, A History and Introduction, we learn that 

"Readers' advisors and proponents of the service subscribe wholeheartedly to the philosophy that reading has intrinsic value... public library patrons are interested primarily in talking to librarians about their leisure-reading interests. Rather than 'elevating the masses,' readers' advisors strive to be knowledgeable about fiction and non-fiction--particularly that which is popular in their libraries--and to respond with perception and insight to the reading interests of their patrons."

"The two keys to to providing readers' advisory in any library setting, regardless of library size or staffing, are commitment to meeting the leisure-reading interests of readers and a responsive attitude toward readers, no matter what they enjoy reading."

When I was growing up, comic books weren't on any approved reading lists but, when we were with my cousins, my brother and I spent hours reading their collections. Many teachers don't approve of the Captain Underpants series or graphic novels. They won't "count" them as part of reading goals. Those who have done their research know that finding that first "hook" that sparks a child's interest and grabs their attention is an important step in their becoming lifelong readers. As their skills grow and they become more confident readers, they will naturally gravitate to other genres and topics of interest. My Star Wars, Lego, and Minecraft non-fiction books never sit on the shelf for long, and I am constantly replacing and updating them. 

In her article in Library Journal, Erin Cataldi wrote, "Coming-of-age stories have always been around, but they haven't been as prevalent or 'steamy.' The books appeal to more than their intended audience; just as with the Harry Potter and 'Hunger Games' titles, NA works have mass appeal among teens and adults...While this genre is wildly popular, it is not one that libraries or bookstores house in separate sections; ...Displays, booklists, and bookmarks are vital to help market your growing new adult collection to patrons." 

Many adults today experience hectic, stressful lifestyles. Reading for pleasure, especially library books, may be their one outlet to escape for a while, their "Calgon moment." No money is spent and maybe the time they use is their commuting time which used to be spent fuming about the traffic or napping on the train. 

Our job as librarians and readers' advisors is to provide the variety of materials and formats that our patrons seek as well as to provide non-judgmental, competent, friendly service no matter what they desire. We need to seek out Young Adult and New Adult authors and titles from indie publishers as well as utilize new resources which are available for these genres. 

History of Readers' Advisory Service in America, PowerPoint presentation by Joyce Saricks

Week 1 article, A History and Introduction

Cataldi, Erin. (2015). Betwixt and Between: New Adult Fiction. The Library Journal.

January/February 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

New Adult Annotation

Product Details

Author: Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster

Genre: New Adult

Publication Date: August 14, 2012

Number of Pages: 418

Geographical Setting: Eastern United States

Time Period: Contemporary 

Series (if applicable): First of a duology, so far.

Plot Summary: Anxious to escape her old life, Abby enrolls in a small college on the east coast. America enrolls too, hoping to assure that her best friend does not fall back into the darkness  of her past. Abby encounters the university's "Walking One-Night Stand" and is able to resist his charm and rugged good looks. Has Travis met his match? The challenge is on. What begins as a friendship that has the whole campus talking, develops into oh so much more. Tag along with Abby, Travis, America, and her boyfriend Shepley while they learn to navigate college, relationships, and life. 

Subject Headings: Man-Woman Relationships; Fiction.
                                 College Stories.

3 Terms that Best Describe this Book: First-person narrative

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?): All of these stories are engaging, first-person narrative, contemporary romances.

Book Jacket

Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise

Book Jacket

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Book Jacket

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Book Jacket

Forever Buckhorn by Lori Foster

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley

A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting by [Sheridan, Sam]

A Fighter's Heart: One Man's Journey Through the World of Fighting by Sam Sheridan

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time by Michael Craig

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Walking Disaster: A Novel (Beautiful Book 2) by [McGuire, Jamie]

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Collide: Book One in the Collide Series by [McHugh, Gail]

Collide by Gail McHugh

The Edge of Never by J. A. Redmerski