Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Week 16 Prompt:

I feel like the biggest thing that has changed for me in regards to books is that I have less time as an adult to indulge in reading. When I was younger, especially in my teens, I would spend hours curled under a blanket with a stack of books next to me. I could go through 5-10 books in a weekend. Now, unless something is assigned like in this class, I can hardly get through a book a month. I work full-time and have far too much to read for school, plus I need to make time for family and friends. I usually get to read before I go to bed at night. I loved that we got to read five books this semester of our choosing because I was able to finally pick up books that I had been wanting to read for years. I understand that I can listen to books while I'm driving or doing other things, but as I described in a previous post, I have done that and it's just not my cup of tea. Unless I'm holding a book in my hands (yes, a real physical book!) I have a hard time focusing on the story.

With that being said, I feel that books and how we read them has already changed dramatically and I believe it will continue to change. Even if I don't particularly like it, right now, we can read pretty much wherever we are with the use of electronic devices such as e-readers and even our phones. We can also carry around hundreds and thousands of books and it weighs less than a pound. For those that are already avid readers, this is wonderful. For those that aren't, that is where I believe we will start to have interactive books, perhaps something that takes you into that world, like a video game would. This would encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book. As far as publishing- that has already changed as well. People are downloading a lot of their books on e-readers and now people can self-publish in e-formats and hence, don't need to find a publisher. I'm not certain how much this will change the industry but I definitely feel there could be less publishing companies, less jobs, and possibly an inflated book market. I guess only time will tell.

Week 15 Prompt:

Book Displays
This is the number one way that I, and I think most libraries, promote their fiction collections. Book display ideas are practically endless. You can go on Pinterest or just do a Google search to come up with thousands of ideas. They can be as simple as a shelf with a sign or something more elaborate that really draws people into the display. There can be props involved or promotional material available that relates to the books being displayed. 

Social Media
My library is connected to a website called Wowbrary that does a weekly update and newsletter letting people know what new materials we have gotten over the past week. We feature this each week on our Facebook page as well. It lets patrons know what is new and encourages them to check out or place holds on the items. We also have blogs that feature staff recommendations throughout our whole system. Occasionally, we will post fun little booklists that appeal to different readers.

Book Talks
I think book talks are a great way to introduce different books that people might not know about. I particularly like them for the middle and high school crowd. Teens seem hesitant to pick up a book that they haven't heard about. Doing book talks for schools, either in person or via video uploads, shows teens new material and gets them excited about books, especially since they can discuss them with their friends. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Week 14 Prompt:

Let me start out by telling a little story about an experience I had with a similar issue. Years ago I was in charge of doing the book displays at my branch library. It was February and I decided to have Black History Month display featuring mostly fiction works written by African Americans. I live in a slightly backwards and almost completely white town. That being said, one of my co-workers was very upset with my choice of display and said that if I wanted to have a Black History Month display then I should also have a display for every other race. I told her I would be more than happy to do a display for National Hispanic Month and so forth, but there isn't a national month for Caucasians and that most of my other displays already prominently feature white authors. We never really came to an agreement, but because she was not my supervisor (who had approved the display), I kept it up. The books didn't have a large circulation but that was beside the point. I felt it was necessary to display acceptance and equality in a public library because that is what we stand for- freedom.
As for whether I would create a separate section for LGBTQ and African American books, I don't think I would make a permanent location of either of them. I would do the same thing I did above; I would dedicate a display during Black History or Gay Pride. While it is important to highlight these topics, I don't want to divide them from the rest of the collection. That is creating a segregation of sorts in the library stacks. The library is essentially saying these books are different than the others and must be kept separate. Also, the patrons may feel targeted if they are browsing a section of just LGBTQ books. I also agree with the idea that it "disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader;" we want people to browse and expand their reading horizons.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Week Thirteen Prompt:

I guess it just seems obvious to me that we should encourage and promote the reading of YA literature and graphic novels by adults, or reading of any kind really. As a public library, we have no right to determine what is or is not appropriate, especially for grown adults. We promote and protect the freedom to read. Furthermore, many of these YA books are considered "crossovers" because they appeal to more than one audience. Their subject matter goes further than teeny bopper love story (which is also fine if that's what you like to read). Graphic novels can definitely be more than comics; Watchmen is considered one of the greatest novels ever written. 

With that being said, there are several things that can be done to ensure we are serving adults, such as myself, who enjoy YA literature and graphic novels. We can continue to promote these materials through displays and booklists. I created a list a few weeks back for my special topics paper that has YA books that will appeal to adults as well as teens. Librarians can also offer book discussions geared towards adults that discuss young adult works or graphic novels.

One of the most important things we can do because there is such a stigma towards reading these books is making sure that we have an excellent selection available online. This included ebooks and e-audiobooks. If people are embarrassed of showing the cover, as we saw in the case of romance books, ebooks allow them to keep their reading selection private. Along these same lines, librarians can offer online book discussions so that people can still share about their books but in the privacy of their own homes.