Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Original scan of The Library 2nd edition by Andrew Lang
Daily Thoughts 2/24/2010
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Today, I did more weeding in the mezzanine, worked a little bit more with the 800s, and spent a little bit of time looking at the displays. We have been getting a lot of obituary requests for our ereference, that and a lot of local history requests, especially about people who live in our community. I also looked throught the bookmobile request list. There were a lot of things which people have been requesting.
I also finished pulling books that needed to be added from the gifts. The shifting project on the main floor is moving along steadily.
On the way home, I read some more of The Responsive Public Library. One subject which I found particular interesting was the idea that 16% of bestselling books are award winning titles or have high literary merit.
It is not uncommon for prominent people to recommend quality titles and those books to become bestsellers. In a way, I am not surprised by this. There are a number of readers choice and viewers choice awards for different subjects. The Hugo Awards in science fiction are based on a popular ballot, and many people wait eagerly to get the Edgar Award winning books for mysteries. The Pulitzer Prize books and the Nobel Prize books have become a byword in what is good. This is also true of films. If a film wins an Academy Award it is almost guaranteed to have a burst in popularity.
I often think there is a narrow corridor where popularity and quality intertwine. This is a place where library collections can be at their best. Having Caldecott and Newberry Books in childrens collections is an almost guaranteed draw for usage. Even genres like romance will have titles which are well written. The RITA awards list the best romance titles. Virtually every category of material has awards. Finding which of these combine with popularity is a good point to start from.