Showing posts from April, 2011

You're in the wrong place!

So. Genre fiction. I can't speak for you, of course, but I happen to love it. Library patrons love it too. The question comes in where to put things.

So many books cross genres. This is great for reading, but it can be really difficult when you're trying to determine what goes where. It often prompts my boss to say we're going to put them all in order by author/title and not have ANY genre sections. Welllll, I think she's joking (I think) and you can imagine the revolt there would be. In fact, patrons want MORE genre sections, not less. Right now, we don't have separate Romance, or Horror sections, they're just in the general fiction stacks. Fantasy was there until perhaps seven years ago, when we merged it with Science Fiction. A move that was long overdue, but still cause some librarian consternation. Science Fiction, of course, is about SPACE. Fantasy is not. How can you merge the two? (I'm not making that complaint up.) We can't …

Series Ordering: Hits and Misses

How many times has a librarian responsible for ordering materials come across a good-looking review in one of the mainstream publications and put it in the cart, only to remove it when he or she realized that it was book four of an ongoing series and the library didn't own the first three books? Hopefully more times than the librarian kept in in the cart and later realized that volume four was on the shelf and the library still didn't own the first three books. Both of these scenarios are plausible; libraries end up with partial series all the time for a variety of reasons. Let's say that the first volume of a series was "disappeared" by a patron and no one realized this was the case when the time came to order volume three. Or perhaps the librarian ordered a book without realizing it wasn't a stand-alone, and therefore didn't fill the necessary holes. Is there anything sadder than a book two on the shelf with absolutely no sign of a book one?

It's All…

I'll take one of everything!

Once upon a time, in the not so distant past, book "selection" was done partially on autopilot. Whenever the new PW, Booklist, Library Journal would come in, one of the clerical staff would go through and put all the titles on a purchase order, and then librarians would assign quantities.

Now, of course, titles could be moved off the purchase orders if you decided you really didn't want to buy something, but you can imagine how often that happened, right? I mean, beyond the whole inertia factor, I think most librarians here are of the "more, not less" variety. And, after all, if it was mentioned in one of the journals it must be worthy, right? Kirkus, for some reason, was never accorded the same sort of automatic purchase respect. I wonder why......

Taking out the blockbusters, which we were going to buy regardless of what journal they showed up in, many of the books that we bought this way had very, very poor circ. I think the bigger sin for us, though, was ho…

Click my Link -- 4/11/11

The Telegraph will make you laugh with "Not the 50 books you must read before you die"
Another year, another list of most criticized books. Here is what some of those book authors have to say.
Why the hell is having fiction in a library a sign of cultural doom? Oh nevermind.

Trendspotting: How Can You Tell When to STOP Buying Something?

During any given month, I could spend my entire paperback budget on on subcategory like paranormal romance, or urban fiction, or even my beloved science fiction and fantasy. I could definitely spend it all on series romance without having to spend more than five minutes a month building my cart. But part of my job as a selector is to consider my patrons, my existing collection, and the publishing trends for books that people are going to want to read in the near future. There's nothing I dislike more than spending some of the library's money on a book that nobody checks out, so this crystal ball element can be very nerve-wracking.

Let's take the example of paranormal romance. We see articles all the time about the incredible popularity (especially in this economic climate) of romance novels, especially in e-book format. As far as I know, paranormal romance is still going strong, but for how long? For the past few years, if I had purchased everything that claimed it was &…

Guest Post: Twitter for Subject Specific Collection Development

This post comes to us from our good friend @shinyinfo, who originally posted this at her own blog (but is courteous enough to want to share it with our fledgling audience).
Using Twitter as a communication tool for libraries is not a particularly wild idea anymore, though many libraries are still not using it for one reason or another. However, I’m not talking about creating a general Twitter account for your library, I’m talking about Librarians using Twitter for collection development, particularly for subject specific collection development.

Speaking from personal experience as the Librarian at the Arab American National Museum, my collection development needs and strategies are slightly different than those at a Public or Academic library. The beauty of working in a Special Library like mine is that I collect fiction, YA, non-fiction, audio, visual & more but for a VERY SPECIFIC theme; any media created by or about Arab Americans. This sort of collecting can be very difficult b…


Let's talk about weeding, shall we?
I'm really interested in how YOU do it. I want to hear all the gory details. Spill it. Let me tell how it would work here, if it was a perfect world:

A librarian would gather their books together, CHECK THE DATABASE/CATALOG, take into account more than just what is happening at your particular branch, make a decision.

Gather books together: Doesn't mean you have to gather a cart full of books. It doesn't mean you have to finish one section before you start another. Do what is convenient! If FIC is tight in the V's (as if) then do that section. If the 641.5's need room RIGHT NOW, do that. MYS, SF, etc. Do what needs to be done. If you have time to go from A to Z in fiction you're lucky.

Check the database/Catalog & Take the entire system into account: These go together and we fall down here. Lately, some librarians have fallen into the habit of seeing multiple copies of books and just discarding until they get to a numb…

Click my link: Monday, April 4th

Great Article in NYT about George RR Martin and Game of Thrones.
Schedule announced for the LA Times festival of books. Wish I was going.....
More libraries giving the finger to HarperCollins.
Are you missing the RT Book Reviews (#RT11 on twitter) con in LA this week? Me too.

Did you know.....

You can now get CliffsNotes on audio?