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Showing posts from January, 2013

NF Book Display February 2013

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So with the end of the month its time for me to change displays.  I swapped everything out a day or so early due to a second display I also have to set up for February.

February has a couple of obvious themes that come to mind, but I wanted to play and avoid the standard relationship idea so instead settled on "Battle of the Sexes."  What made this display particularly awesome in my mind is that a few weeks ago someone donated the board game Battle of the Sexes to the Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum book sale.

The final selection is a mix of books on women and men.  The result is a collection of themes spanning manhood, womanhood, communication/biological/thought differences, and achievements/notable people.  Some of it is a bit tongue in cheek, some is a bit more serious, but the display is definitely getting attention with patrons flipping through the books on display.

The books:
Brain Sex : the real difference between men and women / Anne Moir
Sex on the Brain : the bio…

This is why we can't have nice things

Libraries are totally into lending resources.  Lets face it, accessibility to resources is pretty core to the mission of libraries.  These days libraries are the only regular internet access a significant percentage of the population has while there is an ongoing transferal to internet as the primary access point.  We know that while most of our user base will treat our resources, while not exactly with care or respect, with the knowledge we offer resources so that many people can access them (overdue fines and billing add incentive for returning items if patrons want to continue borrowing from us).
The problem comes that not everyone cares.  Sometimes a blocked card is worth it for whatever reason, and this really puts a cramp in the fun.  And in this case I'm not talking about accidently dropping it in the bathtub, or letting your toddler with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich near a book, or even something that falls under the couch and is lost for years.  That happens, we …

[Book Review] Ender's World : Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game

Ender's World : Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game / (Editor) (Powell's Books):
"Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a classic of science fiction. Though it began its life as a short story, it was later expanded into a Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel, served as a springboard for a much larger universe of stories, and finally, in November 2013, will become a feature film.

Ender’s World conscripts almost two dozen writers of science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books to offer new perspectives on the 1985 novel, along with insights gleaned from other Ender stories that fit within the Ender’s Game chronology, including Ender in Exile and Ender’s Shadow. In addition, military strategists Colonel Tom Ruby and Captain John Schmitt offer insight into the human-Formic war. Contributions from Aaron Johnson, the coauthor of the Formic Wars prequel novels, and Jake Black, the coauthor of The Authorized Ender Companion, are also included…

Lance Armstrong, Reactions, and Visibility

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I'm sure everyone has seen this image:
I know its been sent to me a few times, with various comments including those assuming that the reclassification was a serious thing that libraries were or should be doing.  I've also had a few snarky remarks to those (I mean, we keep Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter in Non-Fiction...).

I do not like knee-jerk policy and action, regardless of it is subject classification, stereotyping, or even law making.  That being said, I found this to be rather crass and judgmental.  I don't particularly care for jumping on the 'hate wagon' and I can remember some studies on this physiology (in particular concerning oxygenation and blood flow) that were quite interesting even with the revelation that he's used drugs.  I don't think everything the man has done is automatically false and evil, the LIVESTRONG foundation has done good and I hope that this does not interfere with its ability to do further good.  Beyond that statement I'd …

Give out awesome books! #WBN13

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TLDR: OMG GIVE OUT AWESOME BOOKS FOR FREE!

Actual Post:
World Book Night  is one of those projects/events that I absolutely adore (if you are already familiar with it and me, this should not come as a surprise).

There are several ideas behind World Book Night, the most basic to me is sharing the love of reading, the ability to share the love of a favorite book by gifting to those around you.  This is great for a few reasons, because while I do lend out books I adore, I'm kind of obsessive over keeping my books in good shape and while they're lent I can't read them.  I once (knowingly) lent out a copy of American Gods that had to be shipped back to me from across the country.  A good book is worth sharing, even if it means borrowing a library copy while yours is out traveling the states.

But there is more to World Book Night than gratuitious book love.

The heart is not simply sharing the love of reading, but rather raising literacy by making fantastic and interesting books …

[Book Review] The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace

The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace / Lynn Povich (Powell's Books)
"On March 16, 1970, Newsweek magazine hit newsstands with a cover story on the fledgling feminist movement entitled "Women in Revolt." That same day, 46 Newsweek women, Lynn Povich among them, announced they'd filed an EEOC complaint charging their employer with "systematic discrimination" against them in hiring and promotion.

In "The Good Girls Revolt," Povich evocatively tells the story of this dramatic turning point through the lives of several participants, showing how personal experiences and cultural shifts led a group of well-mannered, largely apolitical women, raised in the 1940s and 1950s, to stand up for their rights--and what happened after they did. For many, filing the suit was a radicalizing act that empowered them to "find themselves" and stake a claim. Others lost their way in a landsc…

NF Book Display January 2013

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Wanting to do more with our non-fiction collection, I started to put together small themed displays a few months ago.  With the new year started and the displays receiving positive support I wanted to make a record for at least myself of the displays, their themes, and perhaps see if they grow/mature stylistically.  This makes the 4th library display I've ever been responsible for, and I am having quite a bit of fun.  It also adds a neat facet to collection development as I find areas that need more coverage, areas that happen to need something more current (the cover of our copy of Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry -- and Made Himself the Richest Man in America is fantastically dated), and sometimes odd duplications (Steve Jobs may be a popular title, but we do not need three copies of it).

I went with Computers (and related tech) for the month of January as my job gets quite busy and at times interesting with a surge in tutoring and tech support I provide …

Book Love: Indispensable to all, even the shallow

"Okay, for anyone who's still not convinced that books--paper books, as sold in brick-and-mortar bookstores--are not absolutely indispensable to even the most shallow among us, here's my go-to argument, my deal closer, as it were. Listen up, horny people, and hipsters: Anyone who ever said they got laid reading an e-book is lying. It is physically impossible to look cool in the coffee line holding a tablet. You just can't do it! But if you've got a thin volume of Baudelaire poems, say, or a Murakami novel, look out! That Rolodex you bought at Goodwill is gonna fill up in a hurry, bro! You know why? Because books are social currency, always have been. Books will always be cool. Even if most people don't read them. As long as they buy them, the rest of us will be okay."
--Jonathan Evison, author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, in an essay called "The Argument for Books: 'Heavy, Smelly, Cumbersome, Perfect Bound Books' &qu…

[Book Review] Hedy's Folly : The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Hedy's Folly : The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World  / Richard Rhodes (Powell's Books):
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes delivers a remarkable story of science history: how a ravishing film star and an avant-garde composer invented spread-spectrum radio, the technology that made wireless phones, GPS systems, and many other devices possible.

Beginning at a Hollywood dinner table, Hedy's Folly tells a wild story of innovation that culminates in U.S. patent number 2,292,387 for a "secret communication system." Along the way Rhodes weaves together Hollywood’s golden era, the history of Vienna, 1920s Paris, weapons design, music, a tutorial on patent law and a brief treatise on transmission technology. Narrated with the rigor and charisma we've come to expect of Rhodes, it is a remarkable narrative adventure about spread-spectrum radio's genesis and unlikely amateur inventors collabora…

The continued life of the printed word

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In response to being interviewed for this article,  I wrote in my last blog post:
All of the complications concerning library ebooks aside, and there are many, booms in technology are bringing new opportunities to libraries.  The internet has not killed libraries, but it did drastically change aspect of our services.  Ebooks are changing libraries, and the needs that we meet are changing as well.  Flexibility in meeting is necessary to sustain demand and viability of libraries, but ebooks aren't the end of the road for books, and books are not the only service libraries provide. I then found several articles today about how bound paper books might just not be as doomed as everyone's been saying.  In particular tying both my interview and these new articles together, is a Pew Study displaying an increase in ebook reading and a decrease in printed book reading.  What's really interesting about this study is that it doesn't really show the death of printed books,…

Acting as a reputable source on ebooks

Last week I was interviewed for an article on e-books for the Springfield Republican.  Ultimately only a very small fraction of what we discussed made it into the article, but it was still fun and always exciting to make it into the paper (and in a story on the front page).
At the Westfield Athenaeum, the city’s public library, technology services librarian Tegan Mannino said the boom in technology has translated into “getting new patrons and serving long-term patrons in a new way.”

On the other hand, while circulation at her library has “skyrocketed” in the past year, “e-book lending is comparatively a small fraction of what we circulated,” Mannino said.
The full article can be found here. All of the complications concerning library ebooks aside, and there are many, booms in technology are bringing new opportunities to libraries.  The internet has not killed libraries, but it did drastically change aspect of our services.  Ebooks are changing libraries, and the needs that we m…