Showing posts from July, 2011

Library Day in the Life: Collection Development Edition

This post is part of the larger Library Day in the Life project--I thought it would be fun for Collection Reflection to participate. Because I work with the public, I never actually get to spend an entire day doing collection development, so I'm going to describe the bits and pieces that got done over the course of this week in the midst of desk time, class preparation and teaching, and whatnot.

My library's collection budget has been cut to the state minimum requirement (as selectors, we haven't yet been told how this will play out, only that it's very bad) and has not yet been finalized. Therefore, we have been preparing carts for the last month or two without knowing when the items will be ordered. What this means is that books I have selected, some of which have subsequently appeared on bestseller lists, are not yet available to patrons. However, the selection process--like the show--must go on. I am hoping that the books I've selected will still be in demand a…

The black shelves are over there.......

Speaking of collection maintenance...

A question that has come up time and time again (in the real world, in the twitter world, on blogs, at conferences...) is the idea of separate shelving for African American books. If you follow me on twitter, you've heard this rant before. Why do we segregate books by skin color, blah blah blah. And, really, it isn't even the skin color of the character that matters, but the skin color of the author. You won't find the Derek Strange books (by Pelecanos...go read them now!) the AF-AM section.

I've tried to trace this back to see where it began because it wasn't always this way. Books used to be shelved by genre in fiction, and by Dewey in non-fiction. My guess (and it's only a guess) is that once upon a time there wasn't much in the way of current, popular fiction written about black people by black people. There was Terry McMillan...and there were others, but she was the big household name. Lots of people came into the …

Click my Link: Friday, July 15th, 2011

In re: ebooks and libraries

In every "we no longer need libraries" article/editorial/letter to the editor/cave drawing in the papers recently, one of the reasons cited is that everyone will get everything on their Kindle/Nook/Cloud etc. It's ridiculous, of course, but that hardly matters when so many of the general public believe it to be true. "The Book", in its paper form, is still a pretty strong content delivery device. The million copy ebook club is still a pretty elite group, is it not? And until device costs come down (yes, MORE), and ease of access goes up, it'll stay that way. There are people who got devices for Christmas/Birthday/Mother's or Father's Day/Graduation who still have them sitting in the box because they have no idea what to do with them when they're unpacked. We have patrons calling us, not just with Overdrive questions (which is what we offer) but also with device questions....and not just how to use their device with Overdrive.

The question isn'…

NEW at my library: July 8th, 2011

Good Morning, lovelies. There were some interesting things on our new book shelves yesterday. But first, how about a picture of our new book shelves. This is the holding place for "first copies" of items. They are taken from here by the catalogers Then they are given to the processors to meet up with the rest of the copies and get stickered and bar coded and all that good stuff, then sent out to the branches and Central.

Summer is a notoriously slow time. In the best of times, all those shelves would be full, and there would be overflow carts as well. But, as most people know, it hasn't been the best of times for libraries for a long, long time. But, for a random Thursday in July, that's not so bad.

Living Off the Grid -- Terri Reid

Is that even your real name, Ms. Reid? This caught my eye immediately. There are books about this? It really does cover everything, including how to purchase and keep bees. But, I was a little confused w…

Click My Link: July 5, 2011

An interesting idea: Ebook subscriptions from Angry Robot.

Are ebooks changing the way we read? I don't know.

The Rita & Golden Heart award winners.

The Locus Award Winners

Good Morning America thinks America will be reading these books this summer. Good picks, but where are the romance books? No one is reading rom this summer?

Can't get enough summer reading lists? The Reader's Advisor has your back

You must be mistaken

So, I once bought ordered 85 copies of The Sheikh's Virgin Princess. I'm going to blame my fat fingers which were meant to hit 5, but hit the 8 as well on the number pad. And, of course, I was going way too fast, and didn't even notice it until after they were already ordered.

Luckily, I caught it in time and we were able to cancel most of the copies. 23 actually shipped and were paid for, which is still considerably more than the 5 copies I intended. Of those 23, 12 are still in the system and circulating. A semi happy ending, but still.....85 copies. If you think that didn't send me into a mini panic attack, you are mistaken.

Collection Development is a sometimes a guessing game with new authors, old authors doing new things, finding yourself on the upside or downside of a trend, trying to guesstimate all sorts of things. But sometimes, even without those issues, plain old mistakes happen. Sometimes, you go to fast and hit the wrong numbers. Sometimes, you underestimat…