Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Prompt 16

Growing up, I loved to read. I grew up in a rural location in Ohio (I had Amish for neighbors) which sometimes made it difficult to get a wide assortment of books.  I had a bookmobile that would come visit and bring new books. I can still remember the smell of the bookmobile and the great memories that all of the new books brought. My mom always made sure that I had plenty of other opportunities to get my hands on books. She ordered books for me (Scholastic, I think) and she also took me to the neighboring county public library for additional books. (Could you tell I could never get enough books?) But it was a different time when sports and other activities were not as readily available as they are today. My friends and I actually read a lot of books. I remember that we would read a lot in school and we would have silent reading each day for about twenty minutes. The teacher would even pull out a book and read as well.

Probably the biggest change in reading for me personally is the advances in technology. We can read books on digital devices from anywhere and we do not even have to set foot in a library or bookstore to obtain books. I used books on audio cassette growing up and now we have audiobooks and digital streaming for our listening pleasure. The Internet (which wasn't around when I was a child) gives us the option of finding book reviews and titles that we might not have seen at our local library. Even bigger is that we now have much more opportunities for social interaction because of technology. I have found Goodreads to be a wonderful resource to get information about books and share opinions with others.

I would hope that in twenty years we would be reading more. People have so many different ways that they can interact with books, both with digital, audio and the printed format. Of course, to read a story, you have to engage with it, to think it through the author's mind.  I still think that in twenty years, literacy will still be an active part of our society. We live in a society where everybody is busy with other activities, social media, movies and television to actively engage their minds with the act of reading. It does worry me that people will lose sight of the importance of reading. Yes, children will still be taught how to read, but will they discover a passion for reading? We need to instill a love for reading in our future patrons now while continuing to keep our current patrons connected as well. 

With ever rapid changes in technology, I think reading might become more interactive when using digital devices.That being said, I don't think that traditional publishing would ever go away. I still love to hold and feel the printed book before me. I cannot imagine what it would be like not to experience books in this manner. Publishing companies might have to change the way they publish, but I think the printed book will still be here in twenty years. In essence, my viewpoint is that technology could never replace the printed book.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Prompt 15

What do you think are the best ways to market your library's fiction collection?

Showcasing the fiction collection is extremely important in public libraries. Marketing can take place inside  the library with in-person and passive readers' advisory and outside of the library through the library website and social media like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and Instagram.

Book Displays
One of the best ways to highlight the collection is to use book displays. These can be placed in high-traffic areas that people must either pass to get to material or upon entering the library. The library system I work in has "New" fiction right inside the door. Many times patrons do not get much farther than the new book section. Book displays can highlight different genres and/or authors. It is really important to change displays every two to three weeks with a new display in order to grasp readers' attention. If books are not being selected, then displays should be changed sooner. The goal is to attract readers to books. Simple displays are always effective, which is good because I am not always very creative at making an elaborate display. 

Book Lists and Bookmarks
Having bookmarks and book lists located at various spots around the library is a good use of passive readers' advisory techniques. Bookmarks can list a few titles or author read-alikes while book lists are longer versions of these. Both bookmarks and book lists can also be utilized on the library website to market books. Newsletters can be e-mailed to patrons which can contain lists of books. My library uses Library Aware, which patrons can sign-up to receive newsletters of book lists on various genres that are of interest to them. The staff at my library (myself included) create monthly book lists of new books in specific genres that have been recently acquired by the library. I make a newsletter of new cozy mysteries each month, usually about four or five new titles. I also make suggestions for old favorites or other titles that patrons might have missed in the Library Aware newsletter. 

Book Trailers
Book trailers are a great way to promote new titles or older titles that have been missed. Book trailers can be used both at the library, on the library website and through social media platforms. Our library system has just recently started using digital signage to advertise events, programs and services. Book trailers could be a natural extension of using this wonderful marketing tool in the library. Book trailers could be created by staff to promote titles and hidden gems in the fiction collection. Book trailers can also be included on the library website and social media which would link to the book in order for patrons to put a hold on a book or read it instantly with an e-book.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Prompt 14

Should you separate GLBTQ fiction and African American fiction in the library collection?  If I am part of the collection development and management team at my library, I would not separate GLBTQ fiction and African American fiction from the rest of the collection.

The first reason is that I consider GLBTQ fiction and African American fiction to be subject or topic specific, but not a separate genre. Following my library collection plan, genres such as mystery, fantasy, science fiction and westerns are separated in the collection as well as formats like graphic novels, large print and audiobooks. Many public libraries including the library system I work in do not shelve subjects or topics (theme)  like Christian fiction in a separate area. They are shelved in the general fiction collection. The same rules and policy should follow with GLBTQ fiction and African American fiction. These materials should be shelved with the rest of the collection.

The second reason that these types should be shelved together with the collection is that you would be separating these materials and that would lead to segregation. African Americans do not want their book titles placed on separate shelves. African Americans want their works treated the same as white authors (Jamison, 2010). Separating material would also make it appear that you are distinguishing GLBTQ works by putting them aside (or hidden in a corner) so that people don't "accidentally" read this type of material. Keeping it separate causes discrimination.

The third reason not to separate GLBTQ fiction and African American fiction is that it helps foster and promote a diverse collection of all genres based on many topics and themes. A library wants patrons to provide a diverse selection of books for patrons to read and enjoy. Separating them into themes would result in people missing out on a good book, whether it is written by an African American author or contains GLBTQ themes.

It is really important for the library to have a strong collection development plan in place. A collection development policy can be used to guide how the collection is shelved before any problems arise from patrons insisting that certain themed literature be separated.

Work Cited:
Jemisin, N. (2010, May 26). Don't put my book in the African American section. Retrieved from

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Prompt 13

I think it is important to begin by saying whatever someone likes to read, then they should be able to read it without any judgments from others. People of any age should be able to enjoy what they are reading, no matter the genre or format. This includes graphic novels and young adult literature. Young adult literature and graphic novels often have negative connotations but they do get people involved in reading so libraries should be spending budgets on these types of materials.

Young adult books are more appealing than ever before. I wish they had some of these great books when I was a teen. I have found in recent years that I love reading young adult fiction. When you see a book like John Green's Fault in Our Stars turned into a movie, it draws attention to young adult literature. Young adult literature contains many genres such as realistic fiction, mystery, fantasy and science fiction. I think of the content as a more PG-13 version than what can be found in adult books. One of my first books to read in recent years was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I loved the entire series and couldn't wait to read more books like these. One of my other favorite young adult books has been Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park. I just fell in love with the story line and it really moved me. Young adult books can appeal to older adults as well. Young adult books can touch on topics such as identity and self-actualization, topics that still can be beneficial to adults. It is easy to relate to young adult novels and you can easily lose yourself in young adult books. The book that I did for my young adult annotation, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is one of those books that you can lose yourself in and find yourself pulling the for the protagonists, Daniel and Natasha. Everything, Everything also by Yoon will be released in a theater in May. I was seeing another movie just this past week and a trailer for Everything, Everything came on the screen. Many people around me started saying we have to see this movie. Then I heard an adult say, "You know that is a book right? You should read it, it is so good". Adults are attracted to young adult novels.

Graphic novels are popular with children, teens and adults. Popularity should be reflected in collection development approaches in the library (likewise with young adult literature). The Walking Dead series is very popular in out library system with adults among other titles. The library needs to continue adding to the collection to satisfy patron demand. I think that whatever gets people engaging with text, including graphic novels, is important. Graphic novels do just that, they get the reader to connect to the material. There is a lot of thought that goes into reading the panes of a graphic novel. The images in the panes enhance and complete the story. Graphic novels are a viable part of the collection in the library.

Graphic novels and young adult literature come in different genres. Libraries can use this to promote both of these types of materials. Librarians can make displays that include graphic novels and/or young adult literature to attract adults. Displays could be on specific genres or exclusive to graphic and young adult novels. Librarians need to be familiar and use tools for readers' advisory for both young adult and graphic novels. Libraries need to continue to meet patron demand by offering both graphic novels and young adult literature as part of the collection.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Young Adult Annotation

Author: Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also a Star

Genre: Young Adult (Realistic Fiction)

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Number of Pages: 384

Geographical Setting: New York City

Time Period: Current

Plot Summary:

Daniel is the son of South Korean immigrants. His parents are adamant that he will become a doctor. Daniel always does whatever his parents want. But Daniel is a dreamer, always has been and always will be. His true passion is for poetry.

Natasha believes in science and facts, things she can see. Natasha is from Jamaica. This is her last day in the United States. Her family has been here illegally for years and they will all be deported in the evening.

In a last ditch effort to keep the family from being deported, Natasha sets out across New York City to find a way to stay in the United States legally. Daniel sets out for his important interview as part of the application process to get into Yale. Daniel sees Natasha on the street and is so taken with her, that he follows her into a record store. For Daniel, it is love at first sight. After their first meeting, they end up heading in the same direction when Daniel saves Natasha from getting hit by a car. As their paths continue to cross, is it just coincidence or fate that has brought them together? Daniel convinces Natasha to spend the day with him and at the same time tries to prove that they are meant to be together to Natasha who only sees the science in life. So he goes to prove love using a scientific approach, but he only has until the remainder of the day. Will Daniel be able to prove love to Natasha? Was it fate that brought them together?

Subject Headings: 

    Immigrants - Fiction

    Interpersonal Relationships - Fiction
    Illegal Aliens - Fiction
    Deportation - Fiction
    Korean Americans - Fiction
    Fate and Fatalism - Fiction
    New York (N.Y.) - Fiction
    Love Stories
    Young Adult Fiction

  • character-driven.
  • great dialogue between the main characters, Natasha and Daniel.
  • Natasha and Daniel (protagonists) each tell the their story from their point of view.
  • emotional tone pulls the reader into the story.
  • fast paced, but short chapters make it easy to put down and pick up later.
  • setting is contemporary and deals with family relationships and the timely topic of immigration and deportation.
3 terms that best describe this book: romantic, moving, satisfying

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Like No Other by Una LaMarche

Fate brings Devorah and Jax together when they are trapped in an elevator during a hurricane. They are both from different cultures and a relationship would be out of the question. But they both continue to see each other in secret, risking everything.
-relates because both stories contain culturally diverse characters who fall for each other.

Something in Between by Melissa De la Cruz
Jasmine is a great student who has worked hard to go to college, making her Filipino immigrant parents proud of her achievements. She dates Royce, who she cares about considerably. Royce's father is a congressman opposing an immigration bill. Jasmine suddenly finds everything falling apart, even her relationship with Royce when she finds out that her entire family is living in the United States illegally.
-realistic fiction story that relates to the topic of  immigration and deportation.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith

Hadley and Oliver meet at the airport and they seem to connect with each other immediately, even sharing a kiss on their flight to London. Then they lose track of each other at the airport and Hadley has less than 24 hours to find him before she returns to the United States.
-relates to Daniel giving scientific reasons to Natasha why fate brought them together.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Prompt 12

Readers' Advisory Matrix

Title: Gizelle's Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog
Author: Lauren Fern Watt
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Where is the book on the narrative continuum? 
Highly narrative (reads like fiction)

What is the subject of the book?
The subject is raising a dog (English Mastiff) and the relationship that exists between humans and animals.

What type of book is it?
A memoir of the life of an English Mastiff.

Articulation Appeal
What is the pacing of the book?
The pacing is leisurely, but it is hard to put this book down.

Describe the characters of the book.
The characters are Gizelle, a 160-pound English Mastiff and her owner, Lauren Watt (author). The reader follows Lauren through her early twenties as she goes to college and moves to New York and the life lessons she learns along the way. Other members of the story include: Lauren's mother who struggles with an addiction; Lauren's father who takes a road trip with her and Gizelle; and other family members and close friends.

How does the story feel?
The story is sad, comforting, inspirational and courageous. Anybody who has ever loved and lost a dog can relate and feel the connection with the story.

What is the intent of the author?
To share her experience with loving and caring for her dog and what she learned along the way.

What is the focus of the story?
The focus of the story is making life for Gizelle (and Lauren for that matter) count as her health is declining. Lauren prepares a bucket list for Gizelle as her gift back to such a loyal and faithful companion. 

Does the language matter?
Yes, the language plays a big role in adding to the story. It is very descriptive and reads like a narrative of Lauren's life and her relationship with her dog.

Is the setting important and well described?
The setting changed in the story depending on where Lauren was living or experiencing life, including the activities involved in Gizelle's bucket list. The description of the settings added to enhance the story when needed. The story progressed over a 6-year period beginning when Lauren was nineteen.

Are there details and if so, of what?
The story is full of details, like why her mom wants to get her a puppy, the smell of puppy breath and the reason for the strain between her parents.  The reader sees what it was like to live with this enormous dog with a lot of personality and describes the relationships between Lauren and others.

Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials ? Are they useful and clear?
There are pictures of Gizelle (and sometimes with Lauren) on the inside of the front and back book covers along with a picture at the beginning of each chapter. The images are useful because it illustrates the size and character of Gizelle through these pictures.

Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience?
The reader sees Lauren love her dog unconditionally, but also how to love others unconditionally as well. The reader also sees Lauren evolve into an adult as she learns to experience life.

Why would a reader enjoy this book?
1. Love for animals
2. A sentimental journey
3. Learning about yourself and others

Friday, March 24, 2017

Prompt 11

Ebooks and audiobooks are becoming a natural part of library collections. Ebooks and audiobooks are both great when traveling: ebooks for ease of packing and audiobooks are useful for long car rides when getting to and from the destination. I have tried both of them, but I still love and prefer my print books.

Positive appeal factors of ebooks include: changing the font size, adjusting the brightness and reading by using a dark background with white text. You can also download ebooks from anywhere so this can be really useful if you are traveling or stranded and find yourself without anything to read. Another aspect of using ebooks is that it is easy to hide what you are reading. Sometimes people want to keep their romance novel or Fifty Shades of Grey hidden from others. 
A positive facet of ebooks for me personally is that I cannot look at the ending of the book I am reading. I know, it is terrible, but I have this tendency to skip ahead and read different parts of a book, including the ending. Ebooks keep me from doing this, because it is too difficult to go forward and then back to where you left off. 

But not being able to navigate forward and back can be difficult if you want to go back and reread something or if you are looking for when a new character was introduced. This can be a negative appeal factor. Another negative appeal factor is that pacing and tone may be affected in an ebook and the entire reading experience can be hindered. You also can not see or feel the weight of an ebook, so you might not realize how long a book is 
(Dunneback, 2011). It might seem like it is taking a lot longer to read a book, or that you are not going anywhere, especially if you are changing the font size and making it larger. Fonts for some genres might display differently on a device, which takes away from the experience. I would think looking at the frames of a graphic novel with all of the images would be rather difficult on a device.

Audiobooks are very popular at my library location. People can use audiobooks in the car when traveling to and from work or traveling on vacation. They are also great when you are cleaning your house, doing dishes, doing a craft or hobby like knitting or crocheting or out taking a walk or run. "One of the most interesting facts to note is that the majority of people listening to recorded books are not substituting the audio format for the printed one, but rather as a supplement to visual, text-based reading" (Mediatore, 2003). People have found another way to engage with books while doing tasks, by listening to audiobooks..

Sometimes when you hear a story, the narration can add or enhance the story. Certain appeal factors such as narration, music and sound effects can affect the experience and enjoyment of the audiobook. The reader gets a different feel when they are listening to a book rather than reading it themselves. The narrator adds to the enjoyment when he or she uses voice inflections and changes voices between characters. But a downfall of audiobooks is that you can get a poor narrator that takes away from the experience. The narrator can stay monotone, you can find their voice annoying or they are just plain boring. 

I have tried audiobooks a few times but they are not my preference. I tend to get distracted easily and forget to listen so then I have to go back and find my place again. But they have a big fan base and I have a lot of friends who prefer this format. Reader's advisory in both ebook and audiobook formats are important and as librarians, we need to know how to match material to the patron. Libraries (and librarians) need to stay abreast of ever-changing new technology that comes our way.

Works Cited:

Dunneback, K., & Trott, B. (2011). E-books and Readers' Advisory. Reference & User Services     Quarterly, 50(4), 325-9. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database.

Mediatore, K. (2003). Reading with Your Ears: Readers' Advisory and Audio Books. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 42(4), 318-23. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database