Posts tagged libraries
Posts tagged libraries
When librarians registered for this year’s Unconference, we asked them: Where do you learn about books? Many librarians, especially those new to RA, are overwhelmed by the sheer number of books in the world, and we wanted to make a helpful list of resources that are actually used on a regular basis.
As we’ve put RAUNCON together, this has been one of my favorite parts of the registration form. If you’re a librarian, you might find some great new resources here. If you’re a publisher or writer, you might be excited/terrified to see where librarians are actually learning about books. And if you’re a blogger, you might like to comb through this list frantically in the hopes that you are on here. I do wish we asked how much time a day people spend with these resources, because balancing “learning about books” with “actually reading books” seems to be an unheralded RA skill at this point. Well, maybe next year.
The Oregonian reports on My Librarian, the coolest development in online readers’ advisory I’ve heard in ages, and at a Cloud Library, Multnomah County Library.
From the story, which you should read from top to bottom:
My Librarian [is] an online tool that lets readers connect with a real-life librarian, without actually visiting a library branch. Instead, readers can build a relationship with one of 13 librarians through video chats, blogs and phone calls to discuss their favorite books.
Ugh, I am sick with jealousy over how AMAZING this is.
MARCH MADNESS IN DARIEN
Want to test your bracketology skills against the rest of Darien this March? Or do you want do have your overdue fines waived? Either way, there’s only one way to do it: Join Darien Library’s March Madness Competition!
To play along, please do the following:
1. Sign up for an account on CBSSports.com and join the Darien Library group here.
2. Fill out the form below with your full name, library card number, and CBSSports.com username.
3. After the brackets are formally announced on Sunday, March 16th, get to work! Fill out your bracket. Is this your first time? Read up on the tournament and how to fill out a bracket here.
4. Make sure your bracket is submitted, and you’ve filled out the form below, by 11am on March 20th in order to compete.
5. Enjoy the tournament! Root for your teams! The top three finishers will have all overdue fees on their account waived. Winners will be notified Tuesday, April 8th, after the Championship Game. You can keep tabs on your standing by checking in on our group’s site here.
This is one of my favorite things I have ever done at work. Win at March Madness, get your fines waived. Though I have to admit, I am still regularly stunned by how many people have never filled out a bracket. Who ARE you people?
Librarians with a particular interest in readers’ advisory are cordially invited to join a group of like-minded folk at Darien Library on Friday, May 16, 2014, for the Library’s first annual RA Unconference. Or, as we’ve been calling it, RAUNCON. (Pronounced RON-CON.) Darien Library is sponsoring is sponsoring this unconference, so registration is free, as is lunch that day. There are 80 spots for interested librarians. The schedule can be found here.
So happy to finally be announcing our first-ever RA unconference!
RAUNCON RAUNCON RAUNCON! Please note that this may be the first conference you’ve attended with scheduled sustained silent reading time.
I came across this image in the Twitter feed of my friend Matt Finch, currently conducting amazing library programming in rural New South Wales. Kudos to The Bookseller (the leading publishing news publication in the UK) for getting behind public libraries, which are nearing extinction across the Pond.
It’s truly an emergency situation that won’t be solved by tweeting or tumbling alone, but it can’t be a bad thing for the UK publishing industry (including the shrinking number of indie bookstores) to pressure the government collectively to see its mistake. Whether that is actually happening is unclear from this cover; I’ll be making inquiries.
I have long thought launching ebook lending there in earnest could be a way to revitalize the dowdy image of UK public libraries. How they are perceived by English people is so different from how most Americans see theirs, I can’t begin to tell you.
Some good news: UK publishers are starting ebook lending pilots imminently. That is step one to what I hope will be a new day.
- Are you launching a new ebook service and looking for ways to get started on the right foot?
- Do you want your existing ebook collection to have the same vibrancy and staff support as your print collection?
- Frustrated by the different levels of ebook usage and knowledge among your Library users?
- Looking for ways to recommend ebook titles to users who aren’t in the Library building?
Ebooks are increasingly in demand, and libraries may experience a gap between their users’ needs and their ebook services. A combination of marketing, tech support, and readers’ advisory can fill this gap.
On February 5th, I am presenting a webinar on Ebook Merchandising. First, I would like to invite all you fine tumblarians to attend. Second, I would like to invite you to show off a little. Has your library been experimenting with ebook merchandising? Proud of some great ebook RA or tech classes you’ve worked up? I want to share your genius with the world. Drop a link or a note in my ask box and let me know, especially if you’ve got pictures/screenshots. I’m finishing up my slides and want to showcase as many libraries as I can as examples.
Henry Rollins (via zibazehdar)
Good news, Henry: there are 16,724 public library buildings in America, and, according to Hoover’s, only 10,967 Starbucks. YOUR WORLD IS NOW. HOORAY!
There are a few things in this article that I disagree with, but it’s these three paragraphs that are at the crux of it. There’s an abrupt segue here where collection development is suddenly equated to readers’ advisory, and I am not okay with that, because that assumption forms the basis for much of the rest of the article. Buying a lot of copies of something can be a way to suggest a book—but that does not mean that it does.
I’d argue that, when it comes to the finite book budgets of libraries across the nation, good collection development is occasionally at loggerheads with good readers’ advisory, and this is one of those times. Good collection development involves being responsive to the requests of the community, whatever you or any other interested observer thinks of the legitimacy of those requests. Good readers’ advisory involves being well-read, keeping recommended books in the library, and, incidentally, answering the question “what should I read next?” not just with a book handed across the counter, but with a conversation and a list of titles that very probably are not related to the librarian’s personal reading habits.
When a situation like this leads to a tie, in the sense that you’ve got X dollars and you have to figure out the best way to spend it, my feeling is that the tie should go to the patron. It’s not our money. It’s their money, and we are the stewards of it. When I see people say, “Well, I wouldn’t spend $23k that way,” I feel they’re missing the point. Personally, if I had $23k to spend on books, I’d buy 23,000 copies of Stoner by John Williams and use them to construct a small hut in the middle of the Library, where I would take power naps throughout the day, and occasionally throw a dance party. But I don’t have that money; the Library does, and it was given to us by our patrons, who as a result ought to have some say in how it is spent.
We are trusted to spend that money on books that we have professionally evaluated and decided should be in the collection, but we are also trusted to provide items that people are asking for. If demand is high enough for a book that in a system of over half a million cardholders, 300 ebooks are needed to meet it, then that’s where the rubber meets the road in the library business, as my boss would say.
I appreciate that this attitude resonates with Greenfield, but it does more than resonate with me—it is my attitude, and it is how I do my job. (Not just because I actually believe it, by the way, though I do—but also because the collection development policy of my workplace requires it.) Ebooks being accessible in public libraries is a complex issue. There are many ways to improve it, and I agree that libraries will need to change a few things in the process, but it’s beyond the reach of very simple advice.