Showing posts from May, 2011

Click my Link: May 31st, 2011

Kim Harrison says "Excuse Me, Your Romance is in my Urban Fantasy" at SF Signal.

A provocative KSL article comparing romance novel reading to porn addiction has spurred the creativity of Twitter defenders (#romancekills) and a response from Sarah over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books.

The Guardian talks about "The Incredible Shrinking Presence of Women SF Writers" on fan-based lists of favorites.

I'd like to report a disturbance....

Good Morning, Collectors! Reflectors? Collectibles? Reflectibles?

I'll work on that.

Anyway, good morning! Let's talk reports today. We use a variety of reports here and it's interesting to see how they shake out among the selectors. Some people really use the Deleted Items report which tells when an item has been deleted. (we're so clever naming our reports here.) There is also the last item report, which tells you when the last item has been deleted from a bibliographic record in our catalog. Interesting information, but time is extremely limited for looking at a variety of reports. When choosing which reports to look at, it's often a choice between the reports about the living and the reports about the dead. While I would love to analyze the things that have been discarded (and I admit I do it from time to time) reports that tell me what people want are more important. Those are what I consider "the living."

Holds no items

A report bib record…

How This Librarian Uses (Paper) Reviews

Despite the fact that the standard "librarian reviews" are available online in a variety of locations (e.g., in Baker & Taylor), I still use paper copies when I'm ordering. Why am I still tied to this physical construct? There's something about a big stack of periodicals that says: "Hey, you. Were you thinking about checking Cute Overload? Maybe you should order some books?" I also appreciate the tactile nature of a magazine (I like to authoritatively check off things I'm ordering with a nice colored pen) and the fact that the reviews are adjacent to the articles, advertisements, and other related material with which they were originally published. Sure, you can read a review out of context, just like you can download one song--but sometimes the album is more cohesive if you take it in all at once. It's also nice to give my eyes a break from the computer screen for part of the day.

In every library I've worked in, there have been multiple su…

Mass Market, part 2

Mass Market paperbacks. These small, relatively harmless books sow much discord among the branch and Central library staff in my system. There are some who love them, most don't think anything about them one way or the other, and some loathe them. They are synonymous with "genre" literature with is synonymous with "bad" or "trash" or "junk" books. But you've all dealt with that attitude before so no need to re-hash that here.

I don't have a separate budget for mass market paperbacks, so I normally come across them during my everyday ordering or when I'm ordering replacements.

Replacements: when ordering replacements, I first have to consider my options. Often, only a mass market paperback edition is available, so that's what I get. If there are mass market and trade paperback editions available, then it becomes a choice of what we have in the system or what we've had previously, how big is the book, and price.

Take D…

Play it again.....audiobooks and libraries

I've talked a little bit about some of my favorite audiobook vendors, but what makes a vendor good? Everyone has their own ideas, of course, here are a few of mine.

Price: You knew we were going to start here, right? I remember a time (not too long ago) when price didn't dictate what was in the collection. I mean, you couldn't not buy the new Tom Clancy, right? These days, there is no way we would pay $240 for one book on CD.

Books on Tape have lowered their prices on new items to compete with the vendors who are selling retail editions to libraries. (If you're not using Midwest Tapes, you're wasting money. Learn about them here) But, their backlist is still at the old pricing structure. That is at least a compromise between their desire to make money and the reality that libraries don't have the money they used to have. Will we be replacing copies of Clancy's Debt of Honor? Not at the BoT price. Right now, there is no unabridged retail version available. So…

Inside The Librarian Brain: Ordering Mass Market Paperbacks

One of the things I would like us to feature here is accounts of how librarians actually do the work of collection development, which is why I wrote last week about how to tackle new-to-you nonfiction areas. Please contact me if you'd like to share a story about how you order materials for your library, and we will post it here.

I order books for a large public library in western Massachusetts, and one of my favorite collection areas is adult (mass-market) paperbacks. Pending our looming budget cuts, I get to spend about $175 a month, which means we have quite a large collection for western MA--even though I only purchase 30-40 books per order. My tight budget means that I try to be very careful about what I order; a book that won't circulate is a waste of my time and the library's money.

I am licensed to buy anything with a list price under $10, and I use Ingram to do my ordering. I order for the central library and another selector orders paperbacks for our nine branche…

Click my Link, May 11th, 2011

2 new books about Stieg Larsson

106 Star Wars ebooks? Thank you, Random House!

Harper Lee doc on the horizon.

The Crime Writers' Association gets in the fight to save UK libraries.

Click my Link, May 9th, 2011

Regis is coming to a bookshelf near you. (again)

Happy 140th Birthday, Eeyore (he just needs a hug)

And your 2011 Audie Award Finalists are......

An interesting list of 10 SF novels to give to people who hate SF.

Happy Monday!

Off the Beaten Path: GraphicAudio

Haven't you always wanted a movie in your mind?

Graphic Audio is a different kind of audio book company. It doesn't specialize in your big name bestsellers, but has created a new audience of audio fans with books that often get overlooked in print format. I'm not sure how long the company has been around, but I first came into contact with them in early 2007. Curiosity made me place an order in March of that year. At the time, we were not experiencing any budget issues and the prices were good. It was a great time to experiment. The prices were, and still are, exceptional.

The titles we purchased were things that didn't move here at all in print so we'd stopped buying them. Some of Axler's Deathlands saga titles, Johnstone's Eagles saga, Pendleton's Executioner saga and
Alex Archer's Rogue Angel titles.

14 titles, 3 copies each. A modest investment, but enough to see if there was an interest.

I would love to say that patrons flocked to them imme…

Click My Link, May 6th, 2011

Free Comic Book Day is tomorrow!

Gearing up for L.A. Noire -- the game and Stories from the game characters

75 years of Gone with the Wind (Windies? Really?)

Gratuitous Book Covers: A whole lotta Lolita! The range of those covers is pretty awesome.

The Areas of My Expertise: Getting Your Feet Wet with Nonfiction*

Unless you work in a small library, the chances are good that more than one person selects the nonfiction. This is usually a good thing, because the collection benefits from the different perspectives that selectors bring to their work. It can be a problem when selectors pay less attention to one area than another (especially in terms of weeding and upkeep) or when the selector doesn't know much about the area they're responsible for, both in terms of subject matter and how that part of the collection is used by patrons.

Public librarians are supposed to be generalists, but ideally they would order books in subject areas that they were moderately familiar with. However, there are more subject areas than there are librarians, so inevitably there is going to be a situation where librarians are ordering books on topics in which they have zero personal investment. When I first started working at my library, my department head put me in charge of the 800-829 Dewey range (American a…

I Am GIVING You This Book!

Aren't you going to thank me?

I'm sure there's a post to be written about self-published and local authors who donate their books to the collection and then try to micro-manage them, but I don't get a lot of those, so I'll leave that to the experts. What I want to talk about today is the run-of-the mill box or paper bag of donations. What usually happens at my library is that someone calls up in advance:

Patron: "I have/my daughter/my husband has a huge HUGE stack of books and I want to get rid of them."
Librarian, nervous about potential overflow and difficulty of getting them in from the parking lot: "How many, can you guess?"
Patron: "Like TWO whole boxes!!!"
Librarian, relieved: "Sure, we can probably manage that."
Patron: "And is there also somewhere I can sell my 1978 encyclopedia?"
Librarian: *sigh*

The corollary to this interchange is the Will You Appraise My Books for Me call, but let's not stray down t…