Daily Thoughts 7/7/2010This is a link to an article and video from News 12 on the layoffs at Mount Vernon Public Library http://www.news12.com/articleDetail.jsp?articleId=255625&position=1&news_type=news I also posted it on Twitter which feeds into my linked in account now. I want to have maximum linkage and exposure for what I am saying. Part of that process is creating links between social networks
It felt odd coming in today. I was reading the New York Times Book Review and looked at the routing list. It had my initials only, with four other initials crossed out. It reminded me of how many people were affected. I also took some time to read Publishers Weekly. One book which caught my eye was The Vertical Farm The World Grows Up by Dickson Despommier. It is about urban agriculture. Vertical farms, are hydroponics and aeroponic farms inside skyscrapers. They are often designed to be mimic ecology. I find them to be fascinating. Part of this concept originates in The New Alchemy Institute which developed the bioshelter concept. It is radical science at its most interesting. http://www.thegreencenter.net/
I also had a chance to log in to my first online chat session of The Readers Advisory 101 Class. I learned quite a few interesting ideas. Joyce G. Saricks suggested The Adult Reading Roundtable as a resource for readers advisory www.arrtreads.org/ which is in Illinois.
There were a number of suggestions on how to pick books for patrons.
1) Check on the last book they read. 2) Check on the last book they returned to the library. 3) Suggest they read the jacket blurb, and read two pages at random to see if they like what they are reading. The librarians also use Goodreads a lot to pick out books to read. They think of it as an excellent social network for readers advisory. http://www.goodreads.com/ It is also important to make displays of books which you can recommend. Many also used Novelist which is a database about books and book reviews to find read alikes, or similar titles between authors. Some librarians used Fiction Connection which is a readers advisory tool created by Bowker. http://www.bowker.com/index.php/bowker-brands/fiction-connection
There is a difference between a book which you can recommend. A book which you can recommend is a book or author you have read and like. A suggestion is something you think a person may like based on other peoples reading habits or literary reviews. This is the general idea.
We were talking about appeal what makes a person interested in a book. This is different than whether it has quality. It is about what people like to read no what matter what it is. Joyce G. Saricks, the instructor has a quote, "Never Apologize for Your Reading Tastes." A lot of the discussion was about popular genre fiction. A lot of appeal is about how a book affects us.
We discussed how people track their books. They often keep a log of their reading in a binder. I don't. I use this blog and Goodreads right now. This is a good enough way to track my reading.
A lot of appeal is being comfortable talking about books and recommending what people may like. I picked ups some ideas that the small group of librarians taking the class have about literature. Character centered books tend to be literary oriented, plot centered books tend to be more action oriented, women tend to read authors by both men and women, and men often only read books by other men. Romance tends to be better when there is an element of suspense. Books that are banned often become even more popular because of censorship. Political views can skew whether or not people will like a book.
It was an entertaining session. I am looking to catch up for my next session. I was really supposed to start last week, but the potential of layoffs before it happened upset me a little bit.