Thursday, January 31, 2013

Click My Link: January 31, 2013

Happy Whatever Day This Is!

Ampersand squabble! S&S and B&N in dispute over terms.

Lori Reed asks (and answers) What can libraries do to instill a lifetime of learning and relearning?

A cool infographic-esque look at Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake) Parker series.

The 10 rights of a reader

Hillary Clinton talks possible memoir.

Tom Hardy to star in Tom Rob Smith's Child 44.

From Linda Holmes at NPR: Coastal Snobbery, 'The Masses,' and Respecting the Lowest Common Denominator:

"But somehow in culture, "lowest common denominator" has become a way to describe not what's unifying but what's worst, as if we all come together where we are awful and stupid. In fact, when we do all come together in large numbers, it's usually not where we are awful and stupid, particularly not because we are awful and stupid. We come together where there's enough commonality to let people talk to each other about the same thing. How did that become a slam, unless we assume that the purpose of culture, and of our own tastes, is to efficiently separate those who favor wheat from those who are more into chaff?"

Lots of books (and authors) hitting the talk show circuit this week. Here is a lineup.

Tommy Mottola, Hitmaker: the man and his music on Today.

Al Gore, The Future on Today.

George Saunders, The Tenth of December on Colbert Report.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paper or Plastic Gridiron

It's that time of year again. The end of football season. The Big GAME. You know the one.

It's also a perfect time to talk about football books, old and new. And what goes better with football than...advertising? Well, that seems to be the most popular sideshow to the BIG GAME. The Big Ads.  Heck, we could even call them SuperAds.

Greg Rosenthal from Around the League over at did a list of favorite football books. The first book on the list, The New Thinking Man's Guide to Football by Paul Zimmerman is out of print, and doesn't appear to be available in a newer version than the most recent (1984) version. The list is wide ranging, though, and a great starting point for readers depending on their purpose. Are they coaching? Are they interested in players? Are they interested in knowing all there (or was) to know about the history of the game? This list is the place to start. 

Bleacher Report's list is called "The 11 Football Books Any True Student of the Game Must Read" and, while there are some duplicates on the list, not as many as I would have expected. This list includes The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, which is particularly relevant this year since Michael Oher is playing in the big game. But, it also includes Take Your Eye Off the Ball: How to Watch Football by Knowing Where to Look. Which is a great book for new fans of the game, or someone just there for the chili and taco dip!

For those of you wanting a more library inspired list of football books, Kirkus has also come up with their picks for the "10 Best Football Books." Once again, a list of titles substantially different from the others. It features names and teams your patrons probably know, although your mileage may vary according to your location.

There aren't many neat and tidy lists of football food books specifically designed for game day. Football, in Northern locations, stretches across two seasons: Tailgating season and OMG it's COLD season. Some people tailgate the whole season, but...OMG it's COLD! There are books specific to tailgating, which is, of course, outside and requires specific tools. I'm focusing on inside cookery this time.

The NFL Gameday Cookbook: 150 Recipes to Feed the Hungriest Fan from Preseason to the Super Bowl seems like it would be the most complete football cookbook available. Whether it's August, and you're sweating for training camp, or January and rooting for your team during the playoffs, this book has you covered.

The NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook: 150 Great Family Recipes from America's Pro Chefs and NFL Players. Apparently, the optimum amount of NFL-inspired recipes is 150.

Even football cookbooks can fall prey to the newest trends. Pigskin Paleo seems to fit that bill.

And, sometimes, it never hurts just to keep the concept simple. Football Food. Yep, that's what we're after!

Seriously, ribs must be the official food of football cookbooks! At least know where to start in the grocery store without even cracking the cover!

Of course, if you're like me, you might start your recipe search online. There are plenty of big game specific recipe links, here are just a few:

All -- SB recipes -- SB recipes -- SB recipes
Food & Wine -- SB recipes
Taste of Home -- SB recipes
Huffington Post -- Dream SB Snack Recipes

The list could go on and on. As far as displays go, if you have some of these books, great! Put 'em out. If you don't, worry not! You could also pull recipe books (or travel books, or history books, or fiction books....) from New Orleans (Superbowl location), San Francisco, and/or Baltimore (teams playing in the game).

Mix it up and put in Treme vs. The Wire on your shelves. Charmed was set in San Franciso, a little magic makes any display better! Musicians from any of these places can go on display. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Wednesday!

Click My Link: January 30, 2013

Happy Wednesday! Let's all try to survive.

J.D. Salinger to be the focus of a "major biography" due out in September 2013.

NFL team name makeovers: literary style! (The Washington Irvings) needs to be a team right now!

A quilt hanging in our library for the annual Meet the Artist exhibit causes a stir. (Art in libraries. Yea or Nay? Love to hear your thoughts on this!)

"What genre (SF/F) novels would benefit from a re-branding as young adult? Which YA novels should NOT be branded as such?" (This was a question when some of these novels were released. I remember the Dragonlance Chronicles and the Lackey books being labeled YA in some places.)

From the Swiss Army Librarian, a post on how to stop the Scientologists from sending books to your library. Now we just need the same thing for Warren Jeffs.

Amy Poehler has a book contract!

Let’s not forget about the adult books that won awards at ALA Midwinter. (Yay for The Rook!)

First Drafts: Poem for a President. (Robert Frost’s handwriting!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Click My Link! January 28, 2013

On TUESDAY, January 29th, the Diane Rehm show will feature "The Growing Popularity of Audiobooks" with a panel including reps from publishing, a narrator, and a librarian. Give it a listen. (I'll remind you tomorrow!)

Just in! Winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards!

Via Publishers WeeklyThe Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2013. (Nicely broken down by genre.)

Hilary Mantel on having her Thomas Cromwell novels adapted by the RSC. (Video.)

The Failure of Book Trailers, and the Rare Exception. (I've still never seen a book trailer--H.)

Our friend Kristi (@booksnyarn) wrote a post on the recent news about Macmillan and library ebooks.

How SF author Jeremiah Tolbert recommends books (a dose of Reader's Advisory for your morning).

Speaking of Reader's Advisory, here's a post from AbeBooks on Dragons in Literature.

My friend Caro used pictures to illustrate weeding the print reference collection at Hampshire College.

B&N plans to trim number of stores by a third in the next decade. (Diminishing number of physical bookstores will have increasing impact on libraries.)

Shelf Awareness has your AAP September numbers. (Mass market steadily dropping and yet....patrons still have mighty love for them here.)

10 reasons why poetry is NOT dead. (It still goes out here, but very selectively.) 

E-book business models: A scorecard for public libraries. (Lots of info here.)

Pride & Prejudice at 200! Take the quiz.

Caroline Kennedy sings the praises of libraries at #ALAMW13.

The publisher's anxiety at the electronic book. (For all the people who ask: What are they so worried about?)

A cool appeal for support for the Dekalb Public Library expansion.

10 things you may not know about the Newbery Award. (I guarantee you I knew none of these things.)

Just for Fun!

From io9, 11 Preposterously Manly Fantasy Series--there's a lot to disagree with here.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Click My Link! January 24, 2013

Libraries: Good Value, Lousy Marketing (more responses to the recent Pew poll).

Info Tech and Public Libraries: Edge Benchmarks 1.0.

Do YOU HQ? (More than 7,200 libraries do!)

From DBW13: Libraries offer Publishers local marketing advantage

The Word of the day is: Integration: Sirsi/Dynix & Overdrive; Sirsi/Dynix & 3M.

With a nod to our academic friends: "The State of Large Publisher Bundles in 2012."

Ingram integrating new ebook lending model.

10 Bestselling Novels (and who should adapt them).

It's 2013 -- Where's that Kindle library ebook support we were promised?

Classic Choose Your Own Adventure books are now available on the iPad.

A new Song of Ice and Fire novella by George R.R. Martin will be included in the upcoming anthology Dangerous Women, which Martin is co-editing.

Meet New York's loyal public library patrons. (I love this!)

Margaret Atwood thinks you should read whatever you want.  “Nor did I make any distinctions between great literature and any other kind. I just liked reading.” (Told you!)

Finalists for the Man Booker International Prize announced.

Two readers suing Lance Armstrong (and Random House and Penguin) for presenting fiction as autobiography. (Really?)

Open Access Emily Dickinson Archive Coming This Fall.

26 Books to Read Before They're Adapted into 2013 Movies.

The 25 Best Books About Abraham Lincoln. (Bet you can't' read just one?)

More Downtown Abbey read-alikes! Part One and Part Two.

Just for Fun:

16 great library scenes in film. (Excellent list, even if my favorite scene (from The Mummy) isn't included.

Infographic: Charting the Steampunk trend. (Very cool!) 

Book trailer: Myke Cole's Shadow Ops series.

And that's the links!  Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Click My Link: January 17, 2013

Love is in the links....

It is time for Digital Book World!  If you're on twitter, you can follow along at hashtag #DBW13.  Authors and publisher and book tweets. Check it out.

Real life stories behind 10 famous love songs.

Adam Mansbach on his new book and what's in a title.  (Hard to top Go the Fuck to Sleep as far as titles go...)

Bill Cosby's Speed Reading Tips! 

10 Literary Board Games for Book Nerds. (redundant?)

And the Edgar nominees are.....

Dust off your JoePa biographies (or at least, don't throw them away!) Al Pacino and Brian DePalma are making a movie.

Just for fun:

Making of Game of Thrones S3 videolog #2!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Click My Link: January 16, 2013

Happy Wednesday, Happy Links!

Who is your best literary friend?  (I wonder how this differs from your "book twin"...)

Have YOU seen a hooded man?

North Carolina lawmaker objects to college library purchasing books on Islam. (Really? In 2013?)

Overdrive thinks readers turn to libraries to discovery books and audiobooks. (I agree!)

If your library is set in a pop culturally famous it!

And another plug for the awesome panel from last Saturday's panel:  Up with Chris Hayes talked with four fiction writers (Ayana Mathis, Michael Chabon, George Saunders, and Victor Lavelle) about politics and rhetoric.

Lauren Pressley's book So You Want to Be a Librarian has been unglued (and is available for free download) over at Check it out!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tips for Weeding Your Reference Collection

If you are responsible for collection development in just about any size or kind of library, the chances are good that there's been a recent push to reduce the size of your print reference collection.* Print reference materials are, to use a regional expression, wicked expensive. They are also being used less and less as librarians turn to databases and patrons turn to the immediate gratification of the internet. As budgets decline and libraries look to use their space in new and creative ways, physical reference collections are obvious targets for heavy weeding. Here at my library, we are reducing our reference collection by 50%. At our branches, reference collections will be cut by 75% . . . this time around. So where do you start when you are lucky enough to get the assignment to chop chop chop?

Before You Begin
Get a firm idea of how much the administration wants to reduce the reference collection. Survey the collection and determine how much you're going to have to weed to get it to that point. Review your library's collection development policy--you may actually be unable to weed some items, such as those related to local history. Some parts of the reference collection may provide greater or smaller opportunities for weeding, depending on how they were developed in the past and how much time-sensitive material they hold. Understand that--unless your task is to do away with the reference collection entirely--this will probably not be the last time you have to go through this process, so make notes as you go along.

Weeding reference materials can be tricky because there are no circulation stats to show that the items are being used or how often. Therefore if you can get an idea of what your patrons actually use, you'll have an advantage. If you have some time to accomplish the weeding project, start keeping track of what materials patrons and staff are using by using a "count use" function in your ILS or by keeping tabs in an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure that all items taken from the shelves are counted before they go back. You might also ask some regular patrons what they use and what they would like to have (without giving away that you're about to decimate the collection). The same goes for your co-workers; they may have reference sources that they regularly use and would be disappointed to find missing.

In my (urban, public) library, patrons regularly use the Hill-Donnelly street index, books of names, and the dictionary and thesaurus. These are the items that they have to come to the desk to get or are always out on the tables at the end of the day, so we know they're getting used. Keep in mind that most libraries are not research libraries with historical collections--there is no point in keeping outdated materials that are not being used by your patrons and co-workers. On the flip side, not everything has to be replaced or removed just because there's a digital option. If you have the space to keep reference materials, keep what's useful to your patrons and your staff.

Also helpful:
  • Review the CREW manual's advice on reference materials (, starting page 33, for tips on how to deal with specific items such as almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and legal forms). Your library may not be able to afford all that they recommend updating, but it's good to see some guidelines for public libraries.
  • Follow weeding guidelines for non-reference materials (see Booklist's "Weeding Tips: Shelf by Shelf" for some good, section-specific advice, login required for earlier articles).

General Tips
I'm focusing on public libraries here, because that's what I know, but hopefully what I'm saying here will translate. Feel free to add a comment if you have information to share.
  • Go section by section, rather than trying to tackle the entire reference collection at once. "I'm working on the 790s today" sounds so much more achievable, doesn't it?
  • Go through the section with a cart and pull items that are obviously outdated, in disrepair, duplicates, have superseding editions adjacent to them, etc. Don't fill more than one cart at once with the material you want to evaluate.

Should I Weed This Item?
You're holding a reference book in your hand. That book was ordered by someone else, many years ago, for a purpose you can't possibly fathom. This doesn't necessarily mean that it should automatically be weeded. Check to see what other libraries in your consortium (or libraries with a similar size and demographic makeup) still own that book. Check whether more updated information on that topic is available in the reference collection or in your own circulating collection. Ask yourself "is it worse to have nothing on this topic and to have people go to the reference desk, or to have completely outdated information?" Use the Public Library Catalog to get a sense of what items are considered "canon."

A lot of weeding, especially in the reference collection, comes down to common sense. For example, weed anything that:
  • Contains the words "modern" or "the present" or "updated" and was published in the 80s or earlier.
  • Is a style manual or other guide that does not mention how to cite internet or database sources.
  • Is a collectible or antique/stamp/coin/memorabilia pricing guide which is more than 5 years out of date.
  • Contains information that people (including librarians) no longer use books to find. For example, I weeded a guide to the Tony Award and one about the Academy Awards, both circa the 1980s, because they were both outdated and obsolete. I also weeded the Thesaurus of Book Digests: 1950-1980, which contained descriptions of different book plots.
Your reference collection should consist of books that:
  • are easy for patrons to find and use,
  • make sense for your community's needs,
  • are as up to date as possible, and
  • need to be located in reference so that they are always available.
A recent edition of a dictionary fits this description. Yes, your patrons could look up a word online. But the overwhelming majority still want that paper dictionary, and it needs to be available to all. In my opinion, anything that doesn't fit these criteria can be weeded or moved to another part of the library.

Keep it in the Library, but Not in the Reference Collection
Some items are still useful, but don't need to stay in the reference collection. Move to the circulating collection those items that people might actually want to check out and take home, but which have been traditionally considered strictly reference:
  • Foreign language dictionaries
  • Books of quotations
  • Recently superseded editions (other than medical)
  • Auto repair manuals
When moving an item from reference to the circulating collection, check to see if there's an older circulating copy (the 1998 version of the same Baseball Encyclopedia that I pulled off the shelf in reference, to take a not-random example from my own library) that could be weeded to make space for it.

Reference Must-Haves, a Subjective List Compiled with the Aid of Twitter
  • Dictionaries and a thesaurus
  • An atlas
  • An encyclopedia (most mentioned World Book)
  • The most recent pricing/collectible guides, if your patrons use/request them
  • Up to date legal form books (with downloadable/printable forms) and Black's Law Dictionary
  • The latest edition of the driver's manual for your state
  • Your state constitution and town or city bylaws, rules, codes, and regulations
  • Local street maps
  • A street list, reverse phone listing, and current phone book
  • Style manuals (APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.)
  • Robert's Rules of Order
  • A Bible, a Koran, etc.
  • The DSM-IV (soon to be DSM-V) and the Merck Manual
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
  • Consumer Reports
  • Writer's Market
  • The Value Line investment research guide, if your library is already subscribed
  • The latest Guinness Book of World Records
  • Chase's Calendar of Events
If there's something you'd like to add to this list, please do so below. If you want to contest the inclusion of any item on the list, please do the same. 

*Several of the librarians I asked about "must-haves" indicated that they no longer had any reference collection at all. If you're one of them, feel free to comment here on how that came about.

Click My Link: January 15, 2013

New day, new links.  Happy Tuesday! 

New Dan Brown!  New Dan Brown! 

X-Men (?) Go all female in new book.

Pilot ordered for Jo Nesbo's upcoming book, I Am Victor.

A SF version of Homer's The Odyssey currently in the works.

Google books and the librarian backlash.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Click My Link! January 14, 2013

National Book Critics Circle Award finalists announced.

Lit Reactor talks about winter in Fantasy, for some recommendations on what to read after being frozen by George R. R. Martin.

An article on Georgette Heyer at the Wall Street Journal, of all places. "Her reaction to being plagiarized by the "slightly illiterate" Barbara Cartland? "I would rather by far that a common thief broke in and stole all the silver."

Warner Brothers wins legal control of Superman franchise.

10 private book collections of famous readers.  

Conspiracy theories about classic literary characters (who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory?!)

Up with Chris Hayes talked with four fiction writers (Ayana Mathis, Michael Chabon, George Saunders, and Victor Lavelle) about politics and rhetoric.

Stella Rimington, former MI5 director turned author, talks loving James Bond.

The Guardian Cultural Professionals Network asks "What does a library look like in 2013?" I'm curious to hear the answer myself!

San Antonio readying the first bookless public library

Kids' E-Book Reading Nearly Doubled Since 2010, Scholastic Survey Finds.

Just for Fun:

Password? Wonder Woman needs no password.

 June will see the premier of Stephen King's Under the Dome.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Click My Link! January 10, 2013

How on earth did it get to be January 10th already? Anyway, here are some links:

Want to read some Star Wars books, but don't know where to start? Suggestions from Tor.

Richard Blanco will be your (first gay, Latino) inaugural poet. Check your collection--his most recent title is Looking for the Gulf Motel (2012).

The 10 Commandments of a Righteous Readerly Life. Including: "It is not up to thee to save readerly humanity from itself."

Spielberg nixes plans to film Robopocalypse.

From The AtlanticSpace Cartoons to Space Psychedelia: How SF Book Covers Evolved. Shiny!

10 Works of Literary Fantasy to Jumpstart Your Imagination.

According to io9, all the essential SF and Fantasy books coming out in 2013, helpfully organized by month. More shiny!

The Guardian talks with readers about their Reading Resolutions.

12 "must read" erotic novels from She Knows Love.

From Book Riot, Grumpy Old Men and the Books They Hate: "Sneering at their books could kill a fledgling reader like a boot crunching on a butterfly. Making budding readers ashamed of what they’re reading and making them feel like they have to read the Right Sort of Books is a great way to turn a newfound pleasure into an obligation, and that’ll do with any pastime. No one likes being sneered at. And let’s cut the bullshit here: it’s bullying, simple as that."

The dirt on Patricia Cornwell's real-life trial. (I couldn't help myself--Helga)

Just for Fun:

Darth Vader can't hear you.

The first TV spot for Warm Bodies:


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Click My Link: January 9, 2013

Happy Wednesday!  Let's love some links!

Kirkus is newly beautiful.

How important are maps to fantasy books?  (and does it matter if we sticker the hell out of said map on inside cover....)

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  Apparently, to the big screen!

McDonalds to hand out millions of children's books in happy meals. (in the UK)

New price list shows marked change in library ebook availability.  (I don't know if this shows improvement in availability or some other cause.)

Top Ebook Distributors, ILS Vendors to have sit down with Reader'sFirst library coalition at Midwinter.


Anna (@helgagrace) was on a podcast in which librarians described their favorite books of 2012!

Just for Fun:

The trailer for documentary Google and the World Brain set to premier at Sundance:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Click my Link: January 8th, 2013

"Now in eBook Format!" stickers at the Sacramento PL. Yea or nay?

"Secret Lives of Readers": on the ethnography of reading: "How do we recover the reading experiences of the past? Lately scholars have stepped up the hunt for evidence of how people over time have interacted with books, newspapers, and other printed material."

APA surveys show growth in audiobook sales. "The average age of an audiobook listener (in any format) is 51; and their average income is $76,000. The average age of download audiobook listeners is 44; their average income skews higher at $84,000. The 25-34 age range shows a slight preference for the digital format."

Our friend @librarymary40 writes about baby steps in collection analysis.

In North Carolina, the library of the future has book robots.

Favorite SF/F covers of 2012. (A great list!)

A series in time -- on the end of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. (AAAAH TODAY IS THE DAY-Helga)

Jay-Z vs. Jay Gatsby (Hint: Only one of them is married to Queen B...)

Ebook "buyers" have few rights. (Consumers, listen up...)

Douglas County, Smashwords Refine Tools for Bulk Ebook Purchases. "Smashwords responded by developing a simple new mathematical ratings model—total sales by author divided by their total number of books—to help identify titles that were truly in demand. The bestseller list was then based on this model, and specific filters requested by DCL were applied. DCL then had the opportunity to further weed the proposed collection using an early version of a new online procurement system that Smashwords developed for the Library Direct service." Is it just me, or did they kind of cop out on buying erotica?

Just for Fun:

Zombie sheets!

And, because it is never too soon for baseball, a featurette on Jackie Robinson biopic '42' which is out April 13th.