Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week 16 Prompt

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? 

For me specifically, reading has changed pretty dramatically. I never really read growing up. Even though all of my friends were reading Harry Potter, I did not ever have a huge interest in reading. I started reading more popular books like Twilight and The Uglies when I hit high school. I fell into a friend group that enjoyed reading and talking about books that peaked my interest more. I didn't read any hard hitting literature until later when one of my friends had lent me Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I began to read deeper novels and those are the novels I still read to this day. I also began hoarding books around that time, which I still have not been able to break.

I don't see print books going extinct in the next 20 years. Ebooks have been around for years and numbers are showing an increase in print books being purchase this year over past years. I feel there is a large number of readers who still love to sit down and read without any distractions. Interactive reading could cause distractions, so I don't think that could ever completely take off. I think reading overall could decrease with the addition of new technologies in other fields that are more interactive and new than reading. Of course, technology is ever changing and could change the reading industry dramatically.

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.

I've worked in public libraries in the past, and there are three different ways I liked to market the library collection.

1. Display with changing themes
There is a display in the middle of the floor right as you walk up the stairs into the adult department. Once a month, I would change the display to showcase a different fiction or non fiction group. Sometimes it would be a genre, but often it was just a collection of books with a common theme or story. I also would showcase an author if they were in the news for a new movie adaption or personal issue.

2. Monthly book club
The monthly book club is a book club every month where the readers read a newish fiction novel. I say newish because it was necessary to choose books about a year old where the library could get a lot of copies from other libraries since the library only had one or two. There were about 10-12 people participating in this book club every month. The library provide food for everyone, and participants would also bring food as sort of a "pot luck."

3. Summer Reading Program
Every year the library held a summer reading program for kids but in the past few years, they decided to add an adult reading program as well. Adults had free range of reading any books, but it allowed the patrons to read more books in the library collection. Most patrons went for the fiction books and the staff would also recommend books after talking to patrons about what else they read for the program.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

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 can see both sides of this issue. On one hand, separating the smaller genres can show can allow readers explore a new genre all in one space. On the other hand, it can make it seem like it is a controversial subject that patrons need to possibly avoid. Separating the genres gives the librarian an advantage of pointing out these novels easily when readers are looking to browse for books in the genres of GBLTQ and African American books.

My main issue with separating the genres make it seem like they are genres that only certain people could enjoy. Libraries normally separate genres like "romance" and "fantasy" because of the themes in these genres. GBLTQ and African American fiction do not have any specific themes or tones. The appeal of both genres are all over the board, so they do not fit with separating in their own sections like other genres. I think librarians can easily offer these books up as a part of "romance" or "history" during any RA session. There are both fiction and non-fiction books. Finding books would be more difficult for patrons as well, especially if they are familiar with the Dewey Decimal System. As I believe in full equality, I don't think these genres need separated. If a reader doesn't enjoy the subject, the librarian will hopefully catch on during the RA interview or afterwards if the librarian has the opportunity to discuss the books she recommended.

Librarians can handle patrons who request the separation fairly easily as well. They can offer RA for specific books, and they can also explain that separating the books seems to depict that there is something wrong with the idea of the genre, much like separating "adult" movies in movie rental stores.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Young Adult Annotation

Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Title: Between Shades of Gray
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: 2011
Number of Pages: 344
Geographical Setting: Siberia and Lithuania
Time Period: 1941
Series (If applicable): No series

Plot Summary: 

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.
Subject Headings:
Lithuania > History > Soviet occupation, 1940-1941 > Fiction. Tween fiction. Labor camps > Fiction. Survival > Fiction. Soviet Union > History > 1925-1953 > Fiction. 
3 Read a-likes:
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Week 13 Prompt

Though this week's group of "genres" 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? 

As librarians, we should definitely ensure that we serve adults who enjoy YA, graphic novels and new adult genres. If librarians don't serve all patrons, the patrons will eventually turn their backs on the library and supporting the library.

One of the best ways to ensure we serve these adults is to get to know the genres through reading and research. The great thing about all three of these genres is the online culture attached to them. There are so many sites and YouTube videos concentrating on these genres that learning about about them is quite simple and fun. 

Librarians can also read books within the genre. After doing the initial research, the next step is to read some books from the genres. I would suggest a mix of popular and non-popular books. This way, there is a variety of books librarians can suggest to the patron.

Finally, librarians need to share their new knowledge with patrons. Passive programs geared towards these genres will get people interested in a genre overlooked before. Having fun displays with interesting covers will pull readers in. Librarians can also give YA, graphic novels, and new adult books as RA when readers are looking for new books to read. One of the benefits to these genres is that they are written about everything from romance to war. Every reader will be able to find a new interesting read within these genres.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Literary Fiction Annotation

Image result for never let me go book

Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Title: Never Let Me Go
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publication Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 288
Geographical Setting: Hailsham, United Kingdom
Time Period: Late 20th Century
Series (If applicable): No series

Plot Summary: 

Told from the viewpoint of Kathy, who becomes a carer for her two friends, the manipulative Ruth and the hapless Tommy, the novel is a narrative of how the three young people learn about one another and their place in the outside world. Ruth and Tommy become a couple, even though it is Kathy and Tommy who seem to have the more natural attraction. Years later, when Ruth is a donor and Kathy her carer, Ruth confesses that she had intentionally kept Kathy and Tommy apart out of her own jealousy and selfishness and she asks Kathy for her forgiveness. She encourages Tommy and Kathy to get together and encourages them to seek out Madame, one of the mysterious people connected to Hailsham, to ask her about the rumors that clones who can prove they are in love can postpone their donations.
After the death of Ruth, Tommy and Kathy seek out Madame and find her living with Miss Emily, the former leader of Hailsham. The women reveal to them that there is no postponing their destinies and no deferral program exists. Tommy and Kathy also learn that Hailsham, which had since been closed, was created in an effort to demonstrate that clones had souls, which is why the students had been encouraged to express themselves artistically. It had been an experiment designed to demonstrate that clones should be treated humanely, but it was found that society preferred to think of them as sub-human so as to avoid having to confront the ethical issues.
The novel ends after Tommy "completes" and Kathy is left alone to carry on her role as a carer for the final few months until she will become a donor herself.
Never Let Me Go raises questions about mortality and personal identity as the main characters move through life with the ever-present knowledge of their final destinies. Themes of love and personal sacrifice are also explored.
Subject Headings:
Women > Fiction. England > Fiction. Cloning > Fiction. Organ donors > Fiction. 

Appeal: Language and writing style are primary keys to the appeal of books and authors in the genre. Books consist of complex language and interesting styles. This genre also allows greater leeway in regard to style, and prose styles are often more complex and experimental. Readers who love character-centered stories turn frequently to literary fiction.
3 characteristics of genre:
  • Literary style is important. Authors and readers pay attention to words and how they are woven together with elegant, often poetic language.
  • Story lines are thought-provoking.
  • Pacing is slower, as these are usually densely written books.

3 Read a-likes:
  • First Love, Last Rites by Ian McEwan
  • A Distant Shore by Caryl Phillips
  • Anita and Me by Meera Syal

Week 12 Prompt

Columbine, by Dave Cullen

1. Where is the book on the narrative continuum?

      Highly narrative (reads like fiction)
✓   A mix (combines highly narrative moments with periods of fact-based prose)
      Highly fact based (has few or no narrative moments)

2. What is the subject of the book?
The school shooting at Columbine High School--the book focuses on the facts of the mass shooting and gives narratives of the victims and shooters.

3. What type of book is it?
True Crime

4. Articulate appeal

What is the pacing of the book?The book reads fast but the pace is slower because of the sections of facts.
Describe the characters of the book?The book mainly focuses on the two shooters in the Columbine massacre
How does the story feel?The story is incredibly somber, but it is enthralling because of the very detailed descriptions.
What is the intent of the author?To help readers understand the details of a terrible tragedy.
What is the focus of the story?The day of the shooting, along with the backstory of the shooters and victims in the school that day.
Does the language matter?Yes
Is the setting important and well described?The setting is not as important as the characters, but it is very well described.
Are there details, and if so, of what?There are plenty of details. The book has 400 pages from one day, along with profiles of the shooters.
Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear?There are not may charts, but there are materials from the shooters rooms as a part of their profiles. They are as clear as they can be for copies in a book.
Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience?The book stresses a lot of understanding and experience; understanding of the atmosphere of the event and experiencing the emotions during the event.

5. Why would a reader enjoy this book (rank appeal)?
1. Detail        2. Learning/experiencing       3. Tone