Showing posts from 2014

Click My Link: October 24, 2014

Click My Link: October 14, 2014

Click My Link: October 13, 2014

Click My Link: September 30, 2014

Click My Link: September 25, 2014

Click My Link: September 15, 2014

Click My Link: September 4, 2014

Click My Link: September 2, 2014

Good morning and Happy September!  If you're like me, you'll use this as a little reminder to flip your paper calendars.

Samsung is for real (right now) about books. First, announcing it was going into the reading device business with B&N and now, sponsoring the Frankfurt book fair.

R.L. Stein to re-boot Fear Street.

How dark is "too dark" in children's books?

Who doesn't love this year's "Geek of the year"?

10 of the worst jobs in literature

Florida Polytechnic University opens a "bookless" library. (with ebooks. which are still books....)

The Tim Howard book is coming. (hooray!)

Somehow, I missed that Bruce Springsteen wrote a children's book.

Just for fun:

Firefly funko toys!

How NYC would respond to an actual Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man attack.

You know how much I love the good people at Thug Notes, right?  Here is their take on something more recent: The Hunger Games.

Have a good Tuesday!

Shelf-at-a-Time Weeding: Sports

At my library, there are nonfiction sections under my purview that are, to put it kindly, overly well-stocked. Unfortunately, many of the books in these sections are at least twenty years old and are not being checked out by patrons. I don't have any good "before" pictures, but will say that unfortunately the shelves were full to the point where bookends were rendered unnecessary. Way, way worse than the "before" pictures in my denewing post.

A little while ago, I got fed up with the condition of the martial arts books (wildly out of order as well as overflowing) and decided to take action. I knew that the books in the sections adjacent to martial arts in the 790s were full of weeding candidates, so rather than generate a list and pull specific titles, I just started pulling off a shelf of books at a time to analyze them, put them in the correct order, and weed weed WEED.

Being able to see a selection of the library's holdings for a particular …

Click My Link: August 22, 2014

Click My Link: August 21, 2014

Click My Link: August 20, 2014

Click My Link: August 19, 2014

Mix My Media (please!)

Can we talk, for a minute, about things that aren't books? Don't get me wrong, I love books. I do. I always have. And, honestly, I can't even imagine that a day will come when I will disavow them. Not even for a million dollars. Not even for ten mill.....well, let's not go quite THAT far. But, the point remains, I love books so this is not even close to an anti-book screed.

And, I understand that books and literacy are, and have been, the cornerstone of libraries. That's wonderful. Encouraging literacy, and a love of reading, is a fantastic thing to be associated with your organization/profession. I can't think of many people who would argue against these things, and it makes for wonderful, heart warming stories to share with people who hold the purse strings.

But, libraries have been circulating things OTHER than books for a long time. In fact, I don't know that I can remember a time when libraries only had books. Even the tiny library in my hometown had …

Click My Link: June 11, 2014

Infrequent Ordering: Adult Graphic Novels

I covered some of this ground in Getting Started with Graphic Novels, but I wanted to revisit the topic for a more in-depth look at how I choose what adult graphic novels to purchase. As I mentioned, I use a variety of review sources and websites, including:

Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers WeeklyThe A.V. Club, Graphic Novel Reporter, Paste, NPR, i09, DiamondEisner nominees and other lists curated by organizations like YALSANew York Times bestseller lists (and occasionally reviews from NYT or LA Times) Since I only order graphic novels one or two times a year, I needed a method to keep track of the items that are reviewed or listed over the course of the year. To do this--surprising to no one, I'm sure--I use a spreadsheet. When I encounter a potential purchase, I record the publication year, author, and title, as well as the review source. 
On the far left, I assign stars based on how much weight I'm giving a certain title. Something like Rasl might have only been reviewe…

Click My Link: June 5, 2014

Click My Link May 8, 2014

Click My Link: May 6, 2014

I can make you love me

I've been thinking about the end of my Library Journal post and reaching out to people in a variety of places. Everything about the library is shifting right now, of course, but outreach isn't a new idea. Marketing isn't a new idea either. I can't speak for every library (or librarian), but a lot of us tend to neglect the people who aren't right in front of us.

It's easy enough to do. We get caught up in the day-to-day activities that ARE in front of us, and we tend to forget about everything else. I know, as a person who orders materials for the library, that we have some pretty incredible things. I know, as a shopper, that people are often looking for some way to narrow down a world of too many choices. I see it in grocery stores, when people stand and contemplate an item they've never purchased before, and then they put it back and say "I have no idea what to do with that." It's the same thing with clothing stores. It's the same thing w…

Click My Link: May 1, 2014

Click My Link: April 30, 2014

Click My Link: April 23, 2014

Click My Link: April 16, 2014

Click My Link: April 9, 2014

Getting Started with Graphic Novels

I'm in charge of ordering the adult graphic novels for my location and some of our eight branches. I took on this part of the collection several years ago, as well as responsibility for ordering nonfiction that falls in the 741.5 call number, which is where our catalogers put all the books on how to draw manga, comics, and graphic novels, as well as things like Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. I "only" have $750 to spend a year at this location (and $100 per branch), so I only place orders twice a year. Your mileage may vary--I realize this is a bigger budget than many libraries probably have.

Because we also have a young adult graphic novel collection and a separate collection down in the children's department, I can focus on titles that will be of primary interest to adults. The YA librarian orders many of the most popular superhero titles--Batman, the infinite varieties of X-Men, and so on--leaving me blissfully free of that budget drain.

What if I'm Starting fro…

Collection development in 4 easy steps! (with music for my amusement)

Step 1:Know your audience. This is the first step because it's the most important, and the one that you'll do constantly. This is an evolving step, and you never finish it. From the day you start until your final day in the job, you will be trying to know your audience. I have seen lots of people in this job get tripped up by this step. They think, because it's so basic, that it can slip down to a lower spot on the list. It cannot. If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember this: you can never stop getting to know your audience. It isn't static. Even if they are homogeneous in age, race, gender (which they aren't), that doesn't mean they are uniform in thought or taste. Humans have a natural curiosity about things, many things. They may approve or disapprove of those things, once they've experienced it, but that doesn't mean they don't want to know.

Step 2: Know your surroundings. There might be a library out there that can afford to buy e…

Video Game Collection Questions

Two years ago, I wrote a post on taking over collection development for the Young Adult video game collection at my library. A few things have changed since then, and some questions emerged which I thought it might be helpful to answer here.

In the last year, I've been able to grow the video game collection at this location (kept behind the desk for security reasons) to a modest number of games. This means that when people come in looking for games I at least have something to show them to confirm that we do order games. Sometimes managing a collection that's almost always circulating--and therefore intangible--is hard to market to patrons. I periodically remind my co-workers that we do have video games in the collection, and I keep my ears open when patrons are at the circulation desk. There's been more than one occasion that I've sprinted over there to let patrons know what we have and guide them through the process of putting games at other locations on hold. The ma…
I got this email from a staff member today. It may have made my Monday. It isn't about being a digital-only evangelist, it's about helping people (patrons AND staff) see things differently than before. It's about print, about digital. About audio. About Fiction. About Non-fiction. About librarians. About. Everything.

That's why I come to work.

"Cool! Thanks for sharing.
And, btw, I think we’ve had a discussion or two about how much I hate e-books, got to have my hardcover books. Well…
My husband got me a Kindle for Christmas and I thought, oh shoot, this is going to be wasted money. But I’ve got to at least give it a good-faith effort. So I picked a book—The Game by Tom (Hinshel) Wood, who is one of my favorite authors—and gave it a go. Tough sledding at first, but about halfway through I was sold. So much easier reading in bed at night; also easier reading when I go out to eat, takes up so much less space.
There are only a couple of drawbacks I’ve found so far. I ha…

Friday Reflections

Good Morning!

Still thinking about what it means to be inclusive as a public librarian. I can't tell you how irritated I get when I see librarians talking down to the public they're supposed to be welcoming. That goes both ways, too. There is no reason to make people feel bad for liking esoteric or obscure things either. There is no reason to make people feel bad about anything they like, really. But, honestly, enjoying highbrow items doesn't carry the same stigma as liking "popular" materials. Some day soon, I hope we all just get tired of trying to prop up our own tastes by putting down everyone else.

Huh. I'm too cold to reflect on anything else just now.