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Showing posts from 2017

Week 16 Prompt: Past, Present, and Future of Books

Reading has definitely changed since I was a child. I remember the first book I read by myself was a glow-in-the-dark book! It was so cool to be able to read the book in a closet at school. I was able to literally go in the coat closet and read my book. That was the coolest and newest thing back before everyone had tablets, mobile phones, or even computers in their home. Today all of those technologies that we rely on have a back light and thus glow, so to speak. I remember reading all the time as a child. My mother read a lot more than she watched television and so did I. We took weekly trips to the library and so did other families in our neighborhood. 

Today it is more rare to see families engaged in reading that way. However, there are new ways to read books other than going to get a hard copy. One can simply download a file to their mobile device and have the book on the go and several others at the same time without carrying the weight of all of those titles. While reading has ch…

Week 15 Prompt: Marketing Fiction

Marketing a fiction collection can be done in many ways in a library. Use of technology with social media, using library space/book displays, and interacting with patrons in person are the best ways to market a fiction collection. I will highlight these three forms of marketing.


Almost everyone nowadays has some type of social media account. As librarians we would be remiss to neglect social media, as it is the way that people tend to communicate now. Facebook posts about new books in the collection, especially new books by new authors which are less likely to be in demand could draw in users. Pinterest and Instagram highlight the crafty, catchy beautiful side of life and librarians can take advantage of this to bring in patrons who use the social media outlets. Making use of Good Reads to write reviews about some of the books in your collection and posting those review on other social media is yet another way to draw in patrons to peruse the fiction collection. The use of t…

Week 14 Prompt: Separating Fiction

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.

Response: I like to be on the side of forward thinking. Librarians have a duty to bring certain issues and in this mater types of fiction to the light. Placing GBLTQ and African American Fiction among the general fiction is almost like hiding it in p…

Urban Fiction Annotation

Tile: The Wife of a Hustler
Author: Porscha Sterling
126 pages
ISBN: 9781511476461

Synopsis: Vanessa is The Wife of a Hustler and she is tired of the hustle. Or is she? Vanessa loves her husband Ty and would do anything to keep him, including kill. However, Vanessa is having a hard time trusting Ty with her heart since he has been making more and more frequent trips to see his son and his baby mama Trinity. Trinity would love nothing more than to be Ty's main focus. She would be his main focus if she could just get rid of Vanessa. Trouble finds Trinity just in time for Ty to help out and stay a while. All the trouble causes Vanessa to get into a bit of trouble on her own. Will Vanessa be able to help Ty keep his drug empire? Will she keep her man from being taking by the Trinity the Florida's princess of the drug game?

Urban Fiction Appeal:

Inner-city life/struggle: The character of Trinity and her brother Loon were abandoned as children and raised themselves in the streets. V…

New Adult Annotation

Title; Truth or Dare
Author: Adriana Hunter
ISBN: 9781310989278

Synopsis: Wendy Jackson is relatively new to the radio dj world so when the ad executives at her station decide that she has to host the Junior League Bachelor Auction she really can't say no. Just as Wendy settles into the idea of hosting the even she sees that one of the bachelor's is one of the city's most eligible bachelors, Michael Carter. Wendy is unsettled because Michael is her college crush. As always there is more to the story and Wendy's story is quite embarrassing. Being a full-figured teenager and young adult Wendy was always shy and never got the guy she wanted. The twist is that Michael now wants Wendy because of her sexy, sultry radio voice. Drama comes into play when Wendy realizes Michael doesn't remember her or her embarrassment from a few years back so she tells a white lie. Will Wendy be able to keep herself from falling too hard for Michael? If, not: Will Michael be able t…

Week 13 Prompt: YA & Graph Novels

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?

RESPONSE: I am of the personal belief that as librarians we should not interfere with what people want to read. In any case, we should be glad that patrons want to read no matter what it is that they want to read. There are several things we can do as librarians to support adult readers who enjoy YA literature and/or graphic novels.

Location, location, location. One of the key aspects of supporting adult readers is the location of adult or, in this case, young adult and graphic novel titles. If graphic nove…

Week 12 Prompt: Readers' Advisory Matrix - Non-Fiction

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Author: Susan Cain
Year: 2012
Pages: 333

1) Where is the book on the narrative continuum?
     This book is a mix. It is highly narrative with periods of fact-based prose.

2) What is the subject of the book?
The book is about introverts, introversion, extroversion, and interpersonal relationships.

3) What type of book is it?
General non-fiction that is about social, economic, and/or political sciences.

4) Articulate Appel
    What is the pacing of the book? Leisurely
Describe the characters of the book:  The book does not focus on any one character. Rather, the it explores many people's experiences as introverts.
How does the story feel?  The story feels informative with a little bit of uplifting tone.
What is the intent of the author? To inform people about introversion. To help introverts see that there is strength in introversion.
What is the focus of the story?  Exploring introversion through different peopl…

Week 11 Prompt Ebooks & Audiobooks

Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape.

What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors?

One of the most interesting differences pointed out by the articles this week is that genre appeal factors do not necessarily contribute to whether or not the reader will choose an audiobook or ebook. Audiobooks tend to be more dependent upon who is narrating the book. Interestingly enough when I was younger I loved audiobooks and only really liked ones read by female narrators who had a excited sounding voice or who read at a faster pace to make the story go by. I especially loved the Princess Diaries series because of the pace on audio because I was and still am a slow reader. Another appeal with audiobooks is the mobility factor especially with today's downloadable audiobooks. While I personally don't like to listen to audiobooks in the car others do because it helps them relax while driving. Some people even exercise to audiobooks.

Ebooks can have the appeal fact of…
Fantasy Annotation

Stars of Fortune By: Nora Roberts
Berkley Books
314 pages
ISBN 9780425280102
Synopsis: Long ago three goddesses made three stars for a newborn princess knowing that she would be good and he stars powers would be use for good. Evil goddess Nerezza decided she wanted the powers to herself to rule the worlds. To keep this from happening the goddess sisters brought the stars down and sent them in three separate "safe spaces" to be later found to fulfill their destiny. On present day earth Sasha Riggs is a painter who paints fantastic pictures from her dreams. Bothered by her dreams Sasha sets off to find out if there is more to them. Upon meeting five "strangers" Sasha realizes her dreams are more vision than dream. The five band together to form a powerful search team in charge of finding the Stars of Fortune hidden by the Goddess sisters. Nerezza's darkness lurks everywhere and threatens to disband the team before they can really come to trust one …

Book Club Experience

The Spades Park Book Club is an intimate book club with an attendance of about five to seven people at any given meeting.  The meeting I observed had five in attendance not including myself. The book club is made up of mostly women with the occasional attendance of a lone man. At first glance one can tell that these ladies are friendly with one another. However, upon further observation through conversation it is apparent that this book club crew is connected at a deeper level as they begin by discussing what is going on in their lives before delving into actual book discussion. The character differences amongst the crew made for an interesting observation.

Who is asking the questions, is there a leader or do people take turns?
The leader of the Spades Park Book Club is an older woman who is retired and also attends the library's Shared Reading program which is another book club hosted weekly. Her leading style tends to be to guide the discussion back to the book when other member…

Special Topics Paper: Celebrity Book Clubs

Book clubs have been around since, well since the American library has been around. Actually before American libraries the French apparently had salons that had book clubs (Chelton, 2001). In more recent history Oprah brought about the celebrity book club. Of course, before Oprah Americans read books, but reading was apparently on the decline. Maybe this had something to do with Americans watching more TV than reading, but Oprah set out to get Americans reading again. Through her television talk show Oprah brought about a book club that got many Americans reading again.

Other celebrities followed suit. In Britain a talk show husband and wife pair Richard and Judy had a talk show that went on for several years. As time passed book both Oprah and Richard and Judy's book clubs became top book clubs in their respective countries. Oprah's book club was a sensation and soon became an online presence. The book club gave way to other celebrity book clubs from the likes of Reese Withe…

Celebrity Book Clubs & Readers' Advisory

Butler, R., Cowan, B., & Nilsson, S. (2005) discuss the effect of Oprah's book club on selected books' performance on the best seller list after being selected. The study took at look at how well books did after Oprah selected books for her book club in the three months following her selection. Butler et al. discovered that all books ended up on the top 150 best seller list for several week after selection.

How do these celebrity book clubs influence readers' advisory?

I remember working in the library when Oprah would select a book. Several people would call the same day wanting to find that particular book. Unfortunately the library's supply was always much lower than the demand. This left readers wanting something that they could not get. Back then I had no idea about readers' advisory. I just shelved books and occasionally pointed out the non-fiction area or the children's books. Today I know that celebrity book clubs have boosted the need readers'…

Mystery Annotation

Christmas Caramel MurderBy: Joanne Fluke
Kensington Books
210 pages
ISBN 9781617732287

Synopsis: Hannah Swensen is baker with a "slaydar" or a knack for finding bodies. More specifically, Hannah Swensen has a knack for finding bodies of those who have been murdered. Christmas Caramel Murder is the latest story in the Hannah Swensen Mysteries. This mystery finds Hannah and her friend Lisa in quiet the conundrum when Lisa ends up on the suspect list for the latest murder. Phyllis Boyd, set to play Mrs. Claus to Lisa's husband Herb who is playing Mr. Claus, winds up dead in a snow bank just days before the town's Christmas play. The story unfolds with a bit of humor and a few seemingly tasty recipes. Hannah's efforts to find the killer and clear her friend make the story move along quickly.

Mystery Appeals: 

Crime, usually murder: Hannah investigates a murder. Characters followed through long series: Over 20 Hannah Swensen mysteries.Amateur Investigators Subgenre:Invest…

Romance Novel Marketing

I personally like the idea of the blind date with a romance novel for marketing romance. However, I think a more interactive display would be a Dating Game display. Books for a Dating Game display would be covered up like blind date books. In the Dating Game Display books would be covered up with different wrapping paper or be numbered. A Dating Game quiz would lead patrons to "The One" book that they want to read.

An alternative Dating Game display can be found here:

Gentle Reads Annotation

Sandy Toes
By: Robin Jones Gunn
Robin's Nest Production, Inc.
273 pages
ISBN 9781942704072

Synopsis:  Christy and Todd are Southern California residents who happen to believers in Christ. This first installment in Christy & Todd: The Baby Years visits Christy and Todd during Christy's first pregnancy. Christy thoroughly enjoys the gift that she is about to receive in having a child. However, during the course of her pregnancy and through changes with Todd's career path Christy finds that having a baby can be taxing on relationships.

Gentle Reads Appeals: 

Emphasis on relationships: Christy's relationships with God, her husband Todd, and her mother are focal points of the story line.Story line offers few surprises or shocks: While Gunn does not let readers know the sex of the baby until Christy has the baby there are no other real surprises in the story.Gentle or unhurried pace: The pace for Sandy Toes is leisurely, but readers are enticed to keep reading to find out h…

Week 5 Prompt: Book Reviews & Collection Development

"Different publications review different types of books and they allow different types of conversations. For example, Booklist will not publish negative reviews, while, as you have all seen, Kirkus has no problems with it. Ebook only books, which are increasingly popular (especially in the romance genre) see little to no reviews in professional publications unless they have a big name author, and then still it's usually only RT Reviews (formally Romantic Times) or other genre heavy publications." ~ Erin Cataldi
How does this affect collection development? I believe that this heavily affects collection development. I know that selectors in the system I work for look to many of the top publications to help in building the collection. I am responsible for the purchasing of juvenile paperbacks at my location, but I also tend to use reviews from top sources to pick out new paperbacks.
E-Book Only Romantic Suspense Review Look over the reviews - do you feel they are both reliabl…

Kirkus Style Review

Nichols, Nikita Lynette. The Ugly Side of Me
Paperback 335 pages. Urban Books, LLC. 2015. 
ISBN 9781622868216.  $14.95.

 Rhapsody Blue knows she has a problem with falling for the wrong guys, but The Ugly Side of Me heroine does not let that stop her from falling for the much younger Malcolm Washington, making this the not-so-typical Urban Christian tale. Nichols' tale starts with a warning from Rhapsody to the reader not to be like her. As with any "Don't go there" warning, the reader is intrigued and pulled into the story if for nothing else, but to find out how Rhapsody ends up in her predicament. Honestly, that is about as good as this twisted tales gets. After the warning the reader is forced to watch Rhapsody go down in flames as her counterpart Malcolm carelessly handles the bad romance with Rhapsody. It is hard to read and to believe that a 34 year-old woman would behave so irresponsibly over a more that 10 years her junior. The breakneck pacing of the boo…

Secret Shopper

As I walked into the library I felt like a bit of a spy on a secret mission. Sounds like the start of a good book. Maybe even a good mystery. However, it is just my account of what happened when seeking readers' advisory at a public library. I went a few minutes out of my city of Indianapolis to an affluent library to get some help finding a good mystery.

False Assumptions I Had:
Readers' Advisory would look different in a bigger library. I would not receive great service because I was not the "regular" patron.I would do something to give away that I was a future librarian and not an innocent patron.
1) Reader's Advisory should be basically the same at any library you go to. Patrons should be seeking books and the librarian should be ready and willing to help said patrons find books.

2) I am not sure what a regular patron is, but somehow I had the idea that I was not that patron. I worried that being of color and having outrageous hair would somehow cause the li…

How I Choose Books

Working in a library gives me access to tons of books. I must admit that I typically read what comes across my desk based on the title. That is to say, I first see the title of books that are being shipped to my library and then I read the back of the book or the excerpt from the inside jacket to help me decide whether to read a book or not.

My library uses NoveList which I find to be a helpful tool in finding read-alikes. I have also used Goodreads because I really like to see what other people are saying about the books they are reading. I also check my local library's blog to find out what other librarians are recommending. IndyPL's page is called Staff Picks and can be found at:

Overall, I look for books in a lot of places. For myself, there is nothing like looking at a book in person and studying it before I decide to read it.

NoveList Suggestions

1. I am looking for a book by Laurell K. Hamilton. I just read the third book in the Anita Blake series and I can’t figure out which one comes next!

     Of, course I help with that. It looks like the next book is called The Lunatic CafĂ©. I like to use a database called NoveList Plus which you can use with your Indianapolis Public Library card. I found that title by doing an author search and then clicking on the series tab to open up the Anita Blake series. The titles are listed in order of publication date which makes it really easy to figure out the next title in the series.

2. What have I read recently? Well, I just finished this great book by Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer. I really liked the way it was written, you know, the way she used language. I wouldn't mind something a bit faster paced though.

     A great way to find read-alikes is through our database NoveList Plus which you can use with Indianapolis Public Library card. I do a quick title search for the novel …

Reader Profile

If a book does not make me feel anything I am probably not going to read it. What can I say? I am an emotional reader. Last year almost every title I read had something to do with romance or relationships. I like the feel good romance books where the girl gets the guy that she never thought she would get. There is also something to be said about uplifting stories. To me, reading is about the escape. I like to get away from everyday life and step into a good book. Teen and Young Adult books also appeal to me due to the emotionally-charged nature.

I used to say that I am not a non-fiction reader, but the truth is I do like some non-fiction titles. I gobble up Self-Help and Inspirational titles. Again this touches on my emotional side.

I will also admit that I am a slow reader. For this reason I tend to like books on the shorter side. Less than 300 pages is usually what I go for. However, I did read all of the Twilight books in under a month. So I will give longer books a try if they ca…