Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 16 Prompt

Both of our readings this week talk about the culture of reading and the future of the book. So I have two questions for you as readers, pulling on your own experiences and all of the readings we have done over the semester: First, how have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically? Second, talk a little about what you see in the future for reading, books, or publishing - say 20 years from now. Will we read more or less, will our reading become more interactive? What will happen to traditional publishing? This is a very free-form question, feel free to wildly extrapolate or calmly state facts, as suits your mood!

Books have changed dramatically since my early twenties—as a child there wasn’t much of a change in the format of books. Since my early twenties, the medium of everything has changed, bye-bye CD’s, Hello MP3’s and iPods. Everything has gone digital, I don’t even have cable or satellite, I stream everything over the internet. Ebooks are super popular, the ease of usage means that they are just going to become more popular. Ebooks are already becoming more interactive, especially for children—my niece loved showing me her interactive ebooks.


I think ebooks will just get more interactive, but I don’t know exactly how. My dream, however, is for holonovels—like Star Trek style. I would love to be my favorite character in my favorite book, who wouldn’t want to defeat Voldemort?

Week 15 Prompt


What do you think are the best ways to market your library's fiction collection? Name and describe three ways you do or would like to market your library or your future library's fiction. These can be tools, programs, services, displays - anything that you see as getting the word out.

To market my library’s fiction collection there are three methods I would use:

First, I would use word-of-mouth, because nothing beats word of mouth. If someone told you that a restaurant had horrible food and abysmal service, would you eat there? No. If someone said that Joe Schmo was the best lawn guy they ever had, you’d be likely to call up Joe instead of Bob who you saw on TV.

Second, I would use book displays. Book displays are like direct product advertising. I’d also put these displays lining the way to check out, because marketing research shows that this sort of product placement boosts sales.


Third, I would utilize Twitter or Instagram, both are excellent and free ways to get a message out. Hashtags create an easily searchable format, and are short and sweet. I wouldn’t use blogs are becoming things of the past, and I wouldn’t use Facebook, because I hate it. 

Week 14 Prompt


Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work. You must decide whether or not to separate GBLTQ fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place. Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff are uncomfortable with the idea - saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader. Do you separate them? Do you separate one and not the other? Why or why not? You must provide at least 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.


I would not separate either the GBLTQ or African American Fiction from the general collection. Distinguishing them with a special sticker is okay, but housing them separately isn’t a good idea in my opinion. First, housing them separately creates boundaries—whether real or imagined. People who browse for books might not venture into those areas because they aren’t type of book they normally go for, so you miss a real opportunity for bridging divides and opening minds. My second reason is that creating a separate section can have negative consequences, no one wants to turn on the TV and see that One Million Moms is protesting outside their library because they don’t like the new section. My third reason is that special sections are a pain in the --- for library pages and those shelving, having one more section to sort and shelve is annoying and tedious. Also, once the sticker indicating the section has come off or obscured, that book will never be shelved correctly.

Week 13 Prompt


Though this week's group of "genres" (Young Adult, New Adults and Graphic Novels) all seem very different, they all have in common the fact that many people don't feel that they are legitimate literary choices and libraries shouldn't be spending money on them or promoting them to adults. The common belief is that adults still don't or shouldn't read that stuff. How can we as librarians, work to ensure that we are able to serve adults who enjoy YA literature or graphic novels? Or should we? I can't wait to read your thoughts on this. Thanks!

While “the common belief is that adults still don't or shouldn't read that stuff,” that’s not the policy at our library system. Spending money on buying books hasn’t been an issue, and no one department does the ordering, genres are split among different departments and branches. Now “New Adult” and “Young Adult” and graphic novels might be shelved in Young Adult sections but that doesn’t mean they aren’t for everyone.


As far as advertising, I’ve never seen a reason to advertise books. We have book displays, and new book sections, but I don’t believe advertising is really something libraries should focus on, advocating reading banned books is different than advertising a particular book. Advertising a book and then not having it in stock is super frustrating for staff and patrons. If we want to further serve those who might be offended by having to find the latest trending book in the “teen” or “young adult” sections then finding a new name for the section could solve your problems. 

Week 11 Prompt


Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape. What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors? If you can't hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre? How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text - how does that affect pacing and tone? How about audiobooks? Track length, narrator choice, is there music?  For this week, I want you to think about how ebooks and audiobooks affect appeal factors - also think about appeals that are unique to both mediums. Please feel free to use your own experience and that of your (anonymous of course) patrons. I look forward to reading these!

To me audiobooks and ebooks are never as appealing as a “real” book. I like the smell, the weight, the easy referencing of real books. I like the fact that when I’m reading a book, you can tell that I’m reading a book, not just playing on my phone.

Because I have an auditory processing disorder, audiobooks require more attention than I can normally give. My mother, however, loves audiobooks—she’s dyslexic, but loves listening to stories. My father also now loves audiobooks, he’s an over-the-road trucker and listens to about 3 books a week. For both of them, audiobooks have a greater appeal than regular books because it’s the format they can both utilize easily, but because audiobooks are so expensive, it’s hard keeping them “in books.”


Ebooks are all the rage, and I’ve mostly succumbed to them. 99% of all the books I buy now are ebooks. For me, it’s the instant gratification and the ease of ebooks—I can buy the newest Rick Riordan book the moment it comes out, I don’t have to drive to the bookstore or library. With ebooks, I can carry dozens of books around at once and I don’t have to worry about running out of something to read. To me, reading an ebook seems to go much faster, but that might be just because with the books on my phone there are more opportunities to read. For those who are older, or struggle with their sight, the ability to make fonts different and larger makes ebooks more appealing than regular books.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 12 Prompt

Hiroshima by John Hersey

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Book Club Observation

I observed the monthly book club at my local library, this month they read The Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline. I did not participate; group discussion really isn’t my thing. The group was made up of mostly older people (think 60’s plus).The leader, a librarian, started the meeting and gave a brief summary about the book. There weren’t any provided snacks or beverages, but several people brought their own beverages. When the meeting started, the leader was the one asking the questions. The questions were all discussion questions to facilitate group discussion. Eventually the discussion took hold, and the group began to lead the discussion themselves. There were one or two who tended to monopolize the conversation, but that’s not unusual for older people who live alone. All of the attendees participated, and it was a friendly and open atmosphere.
The library system has a whole collection of book club kits: 10 copies of the book, and a list of discussion questions—the Central group doesn’t use the book club kits. The group typically reads narrative non-fiction, 90% history based, and all are Americana. The librarian creates a list of questions to begin the discussion, and incase conversation lags. The librarian also typically chooses the book, but he brings several selections for the group to decide on—he always makes sure that the book chosen has numerous copies throughout the system so that members have no problem accessing the book. The selection for next month is American Childhood by Annie Dillard.
Summary of The Orphan Train:
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship. (Amazon).

Friday, March 10, 2017

Mystery Annotation

Castle, R. (2013). Deadly heat. New York, New York : Hyperion Press.


Summary:
 Top NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat pursues the elusive former CIA station chief who ordered the execution of her mother over a decade ago. For the hunt, Nikki teams once again with her romantic partner, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Jameson Rook, and their quest for the old spy and the motive behind the past murder unearths an alarming terror plot-which is anything but ancient history. It is lethal. It is now. And it has already entered its countdown phase. Complicating Heat's mission to bring the rogue spy to justice and thwart the looming terror event, a serial killer begins menacing the Twentieth Precinct and her homicide squad is under pressure to stop him, and soon. The frightening murderer, known for his chilling stealth, not only has singled out Nikki as the exclusive recipient of his taunting messages, he then boldly names his next victim: Detective Heat (Amazon).

Characteristics of Mysteries:
1)      The solving of a crime, usually a murder, drives the plot. The detective and the audience sort through the available clues to discover the truth.
2)      The story focuses on the investigation and investigatory team. Mysteries are often written in a series, following the investigator through several cases.
3)      The frame in which the mystery is set plays a big role in its appeal.
4)      Mysteries range from dark and gritty to lighthearted and witty.
5)      Since mysteries are about the solving of a puzzle, pacing is relentless and compelling.

Read-a-likes:
Patterson, J. (2002). 1st to die. New York: Warner Books.
Imagine a killer who thinks, "What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?"--and then goes far beyond it. Now imagine four women --a police detective, an assistant DA, a reporter, and a medical examiner --who join forces as they sidestep their bosses to track down criminals. Known as the Women's Murder Club, they are pursuing a murderer whose twisted imagination has stunned an entire city. Their chief suspect is a socially prominent writer, but the men in charge won't touch him. On the trail of the most terrifying and unexpected killer ever, they discover a shocking surprise that turns everything about the case upside down.

Gerritsen, T. (2012). The surgeon. New York: Ballantine Books.
In her most masterful novel of medical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen creates a villain of unforgettable evil--and the one woman who can catch him before he kills again. He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer's methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him "The Surgeon." Filled with the authentic detail that is the trademark of this doctor turned author . . . and peopled with rich and complex characters--from the ER to the squad room to the city morgue--here is a thriller of unprecedented depth and suspense. Exposing the shocking link between those who kill and cure, punish and protect, The Surgeon is Tess Gerritsen's most exciting accomplishment yet.

Barr, N. (2006). Hard truth. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.
Just days after marrying Sheriff Paul Davidson, Anna Pigeon moves to Colorado to assume her new post as district ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. When two of three children who'd gone missing from a religious retreat reappear, Anna's investigation brings her face-to-face with a paranoid sect--and with a villain so evil, he'll make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

References:
Amazon. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2017, from http://www.amazon.com

Saricks, J. G. (2009). The readers' advisory guide to genre fiction. Chicago: American Library Association.

 WorldCat. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2017, from http://www.worldcat.org

Monday, March 6, 2017

Science Fiction Annotation

Asimov, I. (1990). The gods themselves. New York: Bantam.

Summary: Only a few know the terrifying truth--an outcast Earth scientist, a rebellious alien inhabitant of a dying planet, a lunar-born human intuitionist who senses the imminent annihilation of the Sun.  They know the truth--but who will listen?  They have foreseen the cost of abundant energy--but who will believe?  These few beings, human and alien, hold the key to the Earth's survival (Amazon).

Characteristics of Science Fiction:
1) Speculative fiction, typically set in the future. Explores moral, ethical, or social ideas in a non-reality setting.
2) Setting is crucial to the genre: conjures a different time, place, and/or reality.
3) Offers a range of styles and language crafted to suit the storyline, and add to the speculative nature of the genre.
4) The focus of the story determines the pacing of it: More adventurous, the faster the storyline moves, etc.
5) Science fiction has a wide range of tone, from dark to comic; Tone is often used to highlight the issues discussed.

Read-a-likes:
Clarke, A. C. (2000). The Hammer of God. Bantam Books.
In the year 2110 technology has cured most of our worries. But even as humankind enters a new golden age, an amateur astronomer points his telescope at just the right corner of the night sky and sees disaster hurtling toward Earth: a chunk of rock that could annihilate civilization.  While a few fanatics welcome the apocalyptic destruction as a sign from God, the greatest scientific minds of Earth desperately search for a way to avoid the inevitable. On board the starship Goliath Captain Robert Singh and his crew must race against time to redirect the meteor form its deadly collision course. Suddenly they find themselves on the most important mission in human history--a mission whose success may require the ultimate sacrifice. (Amazon).

Benford, G. (2006). Timescape. New York: Bantam Books.
The author of Tides of Light offers his Nebula Award-winning SF classic--a combination of hard science, bold speculation, and human drama. In the year 1998, a group of scientists works desperately to communicate with the scientists of 1962, warning of an ecological disaster that will destroy the oceans in the future--if it is not averted in the past. (Amazon).

References:
Amazon. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.amazon.com

Saricks, J. G. (2009). The readers' advisory guide to genre fiction. Chicago: American Library Association.


WorldCat. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2017, from http://www.worldcat.org

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gentle Read Annotation

Lewis, B. (2004). The Covenant. Bethany House.

Summary:
Abram's Daughters is the powerful saga of four sisters, their family and community, whose way of life and faith in God are as enduring as their signature horse and buggy. Or so it seems...Book One, The Covenant, unveils the layers of deeply rooted Amish tradition as seen through the eyes of Leah and Sadie Ebersol, the two oldest, courting-age sisters. The Amish community of Gobbler's Knob holds everything Leah Ebersol has ever desired until a pact with her sister Sadie, lured by the outside world, leaves Leah clinging to God's promises.



Characteristics of Gentle Reads:
1) Gentle reads are heart touching stories that reflect traditional values.
2) Language is generally not complex, and typically doesn’t contain any profanity.
3) Gentle Reads don’t contain any explicit sex or violence, stories focus on the relationships between characters.
4) Whether set in contemporary or historical times, stories are generally set in small towns, enclosed communities or rural areas.
5) Stories are generally easy-paced with relatable characters and no upsetting suprises.

Read-a-likes:

Oke, J. (2008). The tender years. U.S: Bethany House.
[The Tender Years…continues the story of Marty and Clark from her "Love Comes Softly" series with this book focusing on their granddaughter Virginia. Just entering her teen years, Virginia is finding life in her household a bit stifling. Although she dearly loves her family, she is anxious to grow up and often finds the family rules and religious beliefs are getting in the way of her fun. When Virginia becomes friends with a lively, outgoing girl named Jenny, she suddenly finds herself questioning her need to obey her parents when she could be enjoying herself with her friends. Unfortunately, Jenny's headstrong behavior soon has tragic consequences. As always with Oke's books, the characters are charming and engaging. Fans of the "Love Comes Softly" series will certainly demand this compelling and well-written follow-up. (Library Journal)

Wick, L. (2005). A place called home. Eugene, Or: Harvest House Publishers.
As the dim lights of the train station faded, Christine Bennett wondered if she would ever see home again. With the death of her grandfather, Christine experienced a deep loneliness she'd never felt before. The words of his will rang in her ears: "In the event of my granddaughter's death, everything will go to Vince Jeffers." Jeffers watched her with an evil look that made her shiver. Now, afraid of what might happen, she was obeying a note she had received saying she was in danger and must leave town immediately. After escaping to the community of Baxter, Christine begins to piece together a new life. The love she finds there, along with newfound faith, sustains her as she faces the threat of danger. (WorldCat)

Higgs, L. C. (2005). Thorn in my heart. Colorado Springs, Colo: Waterbrook Press.
Two brothers fight to claim one father’s blessing. 
Two sisters long to claim one man’s heart. 
In the autumn of 1788, amid the moors and glens of the Scottish Lowlands, two brothers and two sisters each embark on a painful journey of discovery. Jamie and Evan McKie both want their father Alec’s flocks and lands, yet only one brother will inherit Glentrool. Leana and Rose McBride both yearn to catch the eye of the same handsome lad, yet only one sister will be his bride.  A thorny love triangle emerges, plagued by lies and deception, jealousy and desire, hidden secrets and broken promises. Brimming with passion and drama, Thorn in My Heart brings the past to vibrant life, revealing spiritual truths that transcend time and penetrate the deepest places of the heart. (Amazon)


References:
Amazon. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://www.amazon.com

Saricks, J. G. (2009). The readers' advisory guide to genre fiction. Chicago: American Library Association.

WorldCat. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://www.worldcat.org

Passive Programming for promoting Romance books

It's February, so it's time to promote the Romance books! Displays are one way to promote books, but for Romance books I would suggest a passive program such as a book tasting. For this book tasting I would suggest using a table and setting up like a romantic dinner: table cloth, place-settings, candles, and flowers. At each setting place a romance book, and next to table place a cart of romance books and label it “à la carte” with subcategories, like Romance-Suspense, or Romance-Gentle Reads.  This display would attract attention to the Romance books, and allow browsing of many Romance novels at one sitting.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Review of the Unwilling Bride by Candy-Ann Little

The Unwilling Bride
by Candy-Ann Little

Irish Caitlin Gallagher never wanted to be married, least of all to an Englishman such as Dillion Cade. Forced into this arranged marriage, Caitlin vows to hate him, and Dillion must put up with his ill-tempered bride.

In order to avoid deportation back to Ireland, under the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, Caitlin Gallagher must marry a citizen of the United States. Her parents hastily arrange her marriage to Dillion Cade, a newspaper owner who is vocal against the Alien and Sedition Acts. Caitlin despises the match and her husband--because she wants her freedom, and he is English. 
While the subject could make an interesting story, the author's simplistic writing style makes it difficult to read. The publisher and editor, each did horrible jobs. From grammar, incorrect historical facts, to phrasing that doesn't match the time period this book is ill written; For example:"That was one heck of a kiss!", the word "heck" use and origination dates to the late 19th century, almost a century after the setting of this novel. Other examples include "She was so board..." and the use of the word ridicule instead of reticule. 

Lacklusterly written, and poorly researched, The Unwilling Bride is hard to get through despite it's short length. 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

On book Reviews...

 I’m kind of at a loss here…I don’t read book reviews—ever. I do not order for my department, and I simply do not trust the opinions of others, especially when it comes to books. I’m the type of person who almost never believes what she’s told—I do my own research.  I read book summaries, if it seems interesting I will give it a try. I read reviews on electronics—and that’s about it.

Now objectively, it’s not fair when one type of book is heavily reviewed but others aren’t, and if the person who orders books for libraries relies heavily on reviews to make their decision—then this can negatively affect a library’s collection. Sources that do not allow negative content represent everything that is wrong with society today. Sometimes things suck; you should be allowed to comment on how much they sucked. By not allowing dissenting or negative content, you limit honest discussion.