Prompt # 10

Books have definitely changed since I was a child. E-books are taking over printed materials in terms of popularity and convenience. We are also seeing may people using audiobooks or reading graphic novels. When I was a kid I remember using audiobooks in school, but I definitely do not recall children checking out audios at the library. I feel like comics and graphic novels were somewhat popular years ago, but now I see kids checking out graphic novels at a consistent basis. I wonder if my library even had a graphic novel section 20 years ago. I may have to look into that.

The act of reading has definitely changed throughout the years. I feel like our society is so fast paced now-a-days. Allison Hiltz stated in an article that, “But today, our attention spans are not what they once were – the world moves at a much faster pace and more information is available to us in a wider range of formats than ever before.  Whilst once books took time to produce and time to read, today a Kindle version of most books is available in a few seconds at the click of a button – it’s instant literary gratification.  In the past, books were more rare and prized; medieval manuscripts and leather bound classic tomes graced the bookshelves of the wealthy, and people had access to books only at schools, or borrowed novels from friends or their library rather than purchasing a copy themselves.  Today’s readers are just as likely to get their fix online or on their Kindle rather than heading to the local bookstore.” http://www.thebookwheelblog.com/we-all-know-the-benefits-of-reading/.

I think “instant literary gratification” is a great term to describe the future of books, reading, and publishing. In 20 years reading will be much more interactive. Although, I do think that traditional publishing will be around at some capacity. There are still many people who prefer to read the physical copy of a book, (including myself).

Overall, I just feel like the general public has no idea where we as a society will be in terms of technology in the next couple of decades. The rate at which technology has been evolving is staggering. I think in 20 years“the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations.” (Kurzweil)

Thanks for reading!

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Prompt #9

There are obviously many ways that libraries can market their fiction collection, but some ways may be more effective than others. I think one display technique could have an effect on circulation and would also be fun for patrons to look at. These different charts that separate books by theme, time period, etc. being displayed around library could be a fun tactic. There are also charts that ask you questions and will eventually lead you to a book recommendation.I see these on pinterest quite often and I can not help but follow the questions and see what book I end up with. (examples below)

Historically Speaking: A ton of books that look good but never heard about:

Another technique that has proven to be effective is having a section on the shelves dedicated to Staff Picks. Everyone on staff picks a fiction novel that they would recommend and puts it on the shelf above their name tag. Once their book is checked out they will pick another recommendation and put it on the shelf. I seem to notice that patrons take the time to look at these recommendations and quite often check them out. This also makes a fun little competition among staff to see who can have the most of their picks checked out.

Another technique that I feel like some libraries are not using much to market fiction or their collection in general is social media. If there is a popular book that has come out or one that a librarian thinks patrons would enjoy, it should be marketed online. The library or librarians having blogs and posting annotations or recommendations like we have been doing all semester would probably prove to be effective.

Prompt #8

Obviously I have heard of books being separated by genre but I can honestly say that this is the first time I have heard about African American and LGBT fiction being separated from the general collection. Once I think about it I can see how the decision to separate them or not separate them is different in many libraries. In the logical sense, if the books were separated from the general collection it would be easier to locate them if a patron was looking for a novel on that specific topic, but I do not see this separation of the books to be taken lightly by library users or the community as a whole. So one reason for not separating these books would be community response.

Another reason why I do not think that LGBT and African American books should be separated is because  they are not considered different genres. I would find it abnormal to have your library’s fiction sectioned off into mystery, romance , and then LGBT and African American. It just wouldn’t seem right. I honestly think that there is the chance that separating these books would hurt their circulation. Since the books were meant for the general public they need to stay in the general collection.

I also think that this separation would bring about the issue of segregation. In regards to where I currently work I think many patrons would think “really?” or “Why?”. I think it would just bring unneeded attention to the library.

There is an article written by author N.K. Jemisin on his website about how he found out that one of his books was on a library’s African American Fiction shelf. This is his opinion about the whole ordeal. “I hate the “African American Fiction” section. HATE. IT. I hate that it exists. I hate that it was ever deemed necessary. I hate why it was deemed necessary, and I don’t agree that it is. I hated it as a reader, long before I ever got published. And now that I’m a writer, I don’t ever want to see my books there — unless a venue has multiple copies and they’re also in the Fantasy or General Fiction section. ” The rest of the article is rather interesting if you want to know more about his view on separating AFF books from General Fiction. Here is the link:

http://nkjemisin.com/2010/05/dont-put-my-book-in-the-african-american-section/

Thanks for reading!

 

Prompt #7

Since I have started this graduate program roughly a year and a half ago, I feel like it has been stressed by many that librarians need to be unbiased in patrons’ selections of materials. If an adult requests a graphic novel that is aimed towards children or teens who are we to say that adults  should not read that stuff?! It is our duty as librarians to be impartial.

ALA Code of Ethics Article III: We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted

Article VII:We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

I think that that these two articles make it clear that the common belief that adults should not be reading young adult or graphic novels absurd and also ignores our own ALA’s Code of Ethics.

One way to ensure that we can serve adults who like YA and Graphic novels is by recommending them to patrons or maybe using some type of creative display.

The storytelling formats of YA and Graphic novels can be compelling and unique in their own ways. The combination of artwork and words can be fascinating and the more simplistic way of writing by YA authors may be a nice change up for an adult too. There are many appeal factors of these two genres that adults may admire.

Overall, no matter what happens during Reader Advisory or a Reference Interview, a librarian should not think twice about what kind of material the patron is requesting. It is not our place to tell library users what they should and should not be reading.

 

 

Annotation #5- Young Adult

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Synopsis: Following a massive nuclear holocaust, a boy named Eli and his wealthy family hurry to an underground safe-house (aka the Compound) that his father created. Day by day goes by and the family sadly realizes that they have been stuck in this life supporting compound for six years. They become accustomed to their new life realizing that the outside world is gone and everyone they ever knew ceased to exist. Eli’s father tells them that they have 8 more years in the compound before the radiation levels drop low enough to where it is safe to go outside.   They have trusted their father, but now he is behaving strangely. Eli believes that his father created the entire scenario as some kind of sick hoax, right down to cloning and creating human babies, which are known as The Supplements, who might actually be needed someday as a food supply. Repulsed and frightened, Eli teams with his sisters, his mother, and The Supplements in a race to discover what is really going on, what happened that fateful night, and how to escape the manipulative madman who seemingly has them trapped.

Appeals: This young adult novel is a quick read and keeps the reader wanting to know what happens next. The story can be seen as a thriller and also a suspense as the author involves clues for the characters, as well as readers, to try to figure out what exactly is going on and what will happen next. The Compound has a neat and somewhat original premise which makes it a perfect selection for young adults.

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Apocalyptic

Publication Date: September 1st, 2009

Pages: 272

Characteristics: 

  • The story starts a little slow then becomes tense as it reaches its climax
  • Themes include nuclear war, survival, and deception.
  • There is a decent amount of foreshadowing which may allow the reader to predict certain happenings.
  • Not a whole lot of character development as the story moves at a rather quick pace.

Read-a-Likes:

  • Days Like This by Alison Stewart
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Prompt #6

Killing Jesus: A History

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

1) What is the book on the narrative continuum?– The book is highly narrative and reads like a fiction novel. There are footnotes throughout the book that contain historical facts.

2) What is the subject of the book?- The events that took place during the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

3) What type of book is it? – A narrative that is centered around the life of Jesus and the events leading up to his death.

4) Articulate Appeal

What is the pacing of the book?- It is a quick read as it reads like a fiction novel.

Describe the characters in the book?– There are many historical figures that are mentioned throughout the book including Jesus. There are not in-depth descriptions of the the figures’ lives but we do acquire enough information about them in order to understand how they played a part in the events leading up to Jesus’s death.

How does the story feel?– Well-researched, eye-opening, detailed, “non-religious”

What is the intent of the author?- to take readers  inside Jesus’s life, recounting the  political and historical events that made his death inevitable.

What is the focus of the story?– The different events and people who ultimately played a role in the life of Jesus and the events leading up to his death.

Does the language matter?– Yes.

Is the setting important and well described?- The setting does not seem very important to the authors as it is not well described. The reader is told of a place and time period of when an event is happening but there is not much description about the various locations mentioned in the book. The main focus is the action of the different historical figures.

  Are there details? And if so, of what?- There is much detail in this book about how certain events led to a chain reaction resulting in Jesus’s death. There are many footnotes that further describe certain places, figures, and events.

Are their sufficient charts and other graphic materials? – Yes. The book includes maps that depict certain regions and battles. There are also pictures and works of art that further illustrate what is taking place.

Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience?– The book does stress learning and understanding. There is much detail that goes along with the story that the author is telling. Readers will understand and learn about what was taking place and how these events led to the death of Christ.

5) Why would a reader enjoy this book?(Ranking)

                               1. Reads like a novel.

2. Not overloaded with facts.

                               3. Tone

                               4. Subject 

 

 

 

 

 

Annotation#4- Fantasy

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

Synopsis: We all know the story of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alice’s adventures have been depicted for over 100 years. The story that we are not so familiar with is the story of Ada, Alice’s friend. One day Ada decides to visit Alice as she grows tired of dealing with her drunk mother and ever preaching father. When she arrives at Alice’s home she discovers that Alice has disappeared. Upon looking for Alice, Ada  accidentally takes a wrong step and fall into the infamous Rabbit Hole. Ada and Siam (the boy who also falls into Wonderland begin there adventure looking for Alice and eventually run into well known characters such as the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat while the community “above”in 1860’s England eventually realize that children are missing.

Appeals: This story takes place in the real world as well as Wonderland. The reader is able to see how people are reacting to Ada and Alice’s disappearances. The author does a great job in describing class structure, adolescence, and the Victorian world in itself. Our protagonist, Ada, is a very different character than Alice as she is clever and less likely to be bewildered by the characters who live in Wonderland.

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: October 27th, 2015

Pages: 288 pages

Charactistics:

  • The author mixes fantasy with science as the character of Charles Darwin is in the story.
  • The story is told from two different point of views. We see what is happening in Wonderland and in the real world.
  • There are more “real” characters in this story than the original Alice in Wonderland.
  •  Novel contains rather challenging vocabulary.

Read-a-Likes:

  • Never Never by Briana Shrum
  • Letters to Zell by Camille Griep
  • Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix
  • Wendy Darling: Stars by Colleen Oakes

Annotation #3 -Historical Fiction

The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell

Synopsis: A young boy from Northern England is living a decent life as the son of a village leader. Suddenly he finds his father dead and his village overrun by Vikings. The boy, Young Uhtred, falls under the control of Viking warrior Ragnar the Fearless when the Dane wipes out Uhtred’s Northumberland family. Orphaned Uthred is then taken in by Ragnar and taught the Viking ways. Yet Uhtred’s fate is bound up with Alfred, King of Wessex, who rules over the last English kingdom when the Danes have overrun Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Uhtred’s affection for Ragnar as a surrogate father grows, and he surpasses the conqueror’s blood sons in valor. When father and adopted son arrive in Wessex (Southern England) with intentions to conquer and enjoy the spoils of war, the Danes meet unexpected resistance and Uhtred faces personal and familial challenges, as well as a crisis of national allegiance.

Appeals: This story makes for a thrilling adventure and also contains a decent amount of drama. Cornwell’s depiction of 9th century England allows the reader to envison how life, people, and battles were like in Medieval England. The historical figures, places, and battles are mostly based from historical writings and documents which makes this story a true work of historical fiction. There is also a fair amount of adult content (violence and sex) which may appeal to most adult readers.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: January 25th, 2005

Pages: 352 pages

Characteristics:

  • Story is told solely told from the point of view of the protagonist, Uthred.
  • Loyalty and survival of the fittest are major themes seen in the story.
  • There are a number of characters that the reader is introduced to.
  • Bernard Cornwell does a great job with character development which makes the story and the characters more believable.

Read-a-Likes:

  • The White Raven by Robert Low
  • Bones of the Hills by Conn Iggulden
  • Fire in the East by Harry Sidebottom
  • Sworn Sword by James Aitcheson

 

Prompt #5

I am not exactly sure how I feel about the use of audio books or e-books yet as I have not really given them much of a chance and have not used them frequently. I have always preferred a hard print,but I do realize that all mediums have their benefits and it is evident that e-books and audio books are preferred by many.

I did not know a whole lot about e-books until I started working in libraries nearly three years ago. It was then that I had to know how to assist patrons in downloading e-books and how to use the program Overdrive. Library staff needed to know how to download e-books on a variety of types of tablets including Kindles, I-Pads, Nooks, etc. After playing around with these tablets that the library owned for staff use, I would say I knew my way around a tablet and the e-books program pretty well. Ironically I did not own a tablet until about 3 months ago when Amazon was selling Kindle Fires for 30 dollars. I currently use my Kindle Fire to play games, surf the web, and listen to music. I tried reading an e-book on my tablet and it did not go too well. I soon discovered that after working all day (which consists of being on a computer majority of the time) my eyes just could not take looking at a screen for an extended time. I wanted to look at something other than a screen! This only happened once and I never went back. I went back to my old faithful hard copies. I realize e-books have their benefits but it is just not for me. The list of benefits goes on and on for e-books.

  1. e-books are delivered instantaneously.
  2. No trees are needed to make e-books.
  3. They take up less space.
  4. You do not need a light to read.
  5. Fonts can be resized for people with bad eyesight
  6. ETC.
  7. ETC

Audiobooks are another medium that I have not used much at all, but they are definitely beneficial to those who use them. We have several older patrons at my library whose eyes just do not work like they use to so using audiobooks allows them to still enjoy their favorite authors. We also have many people who travel for work  check out audios. I am more than happy that our patrons can enjoy these audios but they are not for me. For one thing, I am afraid if I listen to an audiobook while driving I will be distracted and not pay attention to the road! My other concern is if I am listening to an audiobook at home I will fall asleep after a couple of minutes and forget where I left off in the story. Especially if the narrator has a soft voice or tone. Zzzzzzzz.

Overall, I do believe that e-books and audio books appeal to a number of people for different reasons, they also help libraries promote their overall appeal. These different mediums attract different patrons to the library and that is great!

Thanks for Reading.

Book Club Experience

I have been running my own morning book club out of the library I work at for about 7 months now and it has been an interesting experience to say the least. We meet at 10:15AM every first Wednesday of the month. Since I have taken over the club we have about 8-10 people show up for every meeting. We receive the books we are reading from Indiana Humanities and I usually make sure the book we are reading has at least a dozen copies otherwise I have to find copies elsewhere.

There is another lady that I share “leader” duties with as we usually come up with questions about the book the ask the other participants. For the most part the meetings are very informal. It is more of a relaxing atmosphere than anything. Many times people will come to the meetings after reading only half the book. Usually because they did not like it or they just did not have time. When this occurs, I am totally fine with it. I really feel like the more the more people the better. Many times our conversations will drift away from the story but towards different themes that stem from the book, therefore it is not totally necessary to read the whole book before the meeting. Me and the other lady that run the club usually will take turns asking coming up with questions to ask the others. She will do one month and I will do the next. Some of the other participants will come with questions as well. We “the leaders” will usually let the others answer the questions and we may respond or move on to the next question. Many of the questions that we ask are open ended. For example,” How did you feel about that event occuring?” would be something that would be asked.

The majority of the attendees will participate. We have had some new members come lately so they will understandably be somewhat quiet, but for the most part many of the ladies like to get in their opinion.:) We have had one lady that comes in from time to time and she will talk for 10 minutes straight so I sometimes have to cut in and ask another question or divert her in some form.

Our meetings are held in a conference room that seats 12 people around a table.As i stated before the atmosphere is laid back. The community that our library is in is a small rural town so many of the participants in book club know each other. So there is a lot of humor going on and much of it is directed towards me considering I am the youngest in the group…by FAR. We also serve coffee, cappuccino and in some cases doughnuts.

Since i have taken over the club I try my best to find books that appeal to everyone. Lately i have been sticking to  historical fiction and mystery because i know they enjoy those genres. I usually ask the members what authors they like or what titles they have enjoyed lately in order to make good selections.

Overall, the whole book club experience has been great. I enjoy choosing novels and even enjoy it more when my members like the books and we have good conversations  during the meetings. If you have any recommendations, send them my way!

Thanks for reading!