Monday, May 23, 2011
Daily Thoughts 5/23/2011
Last night, I finished reading Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. It is a rewrite of the classic H. Beam Piper novel, Little Fuzzy. I especially liked the dislikability of the main character. It was very well done. Right now, I am reading China Mieville, Embassytown.
I went to Day of Dialog today presented by Library Journal. It was very enjoyable. I got to see some colleagues who I have not seen in a long time. I had chicken wraps and diet coke for lunch. It was a very pleasant event. You get a sense that things in the library world are very much on the edge.
One of the speakers, Karin Slaughter who writes mysteries talked about her campaign to raise funds for libraries. http://savethelibraries.com/
The line up was quite impressive. It was well worth going to. I got to see a few new things including a Playaway device for videos with preloaded sets of videos. http://playaway.com/view/ All three major library vendors were present at Day of Dialog, Baker and Taylor, Ingram, and BWI.
I picked up a lot of things to add to the collection, several audiobooks; Steinbecks The Grapes of Wrath Cliffs Notes CD Audiobook, Sue Grafton U is For Undertow CD audiobook, The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell CD Audiobook, and Martin Misunderstood by Karin Slaughter. I also picked up some MP3 CD Audiobooks which are a slightly different format than regular CD Audiobooks, Danielle Steel 44 Charles Street, Harlen Coben Live Wire, Paul Reiser Familyhood, and Nora Roberts Chasing Fire.
There were a number of panelists who also signed books which I picked up sign copies from, Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America Mightier than the Sword by David S. Reynolds, A Young Wife by Pam Lewis, and When Tito Loved Clara by Jon Michaud. Jon Michaud is a librarian for the New Yorker magazine in their archives.
I don't want to go into exact details about everything that was said. There were some common themes in the conversations with authors, however. Jon Michaud said that his love of reading started in the library and Karin Slaughter said that libraries are what made her an author. Most of the authors did their research in libraries.
There was also an idea that word of mouth had become even more important because of blogs and social media. Getting the word out included covering blogs, talking to librarians, and doing outreach to publishers and bookstores.
I rather liked John Lithgow's statement that libraries are a combination of intensity and serenity and that librarians are on the side of the angels. It was quite pleasing. I also might read P.G. Wodehouse because of him. I do like the classic authors.
Another theme was that ebooks were becoming the standard way of reading books. There is going to be an online conference on October 12, 2011 presented by Library Journal called Ebooks The New Normal. This should be very interesting.
Some of the coverage of social media was a bit different. Some librarians are using Facebook as a way to give Readers Advisory for books as well as make book recommendations. I have noticed that there is a fairly common practice around recommending books for people to read on Twitter. Several of the presenters suggested that libraries have a specific social media policy.
In addition to the freebies, there were three nonfiction books that were recommended by panelists that stood out; A More Perfect Heaven How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel coming in September 2011, Three Famines; Starvation and Politics by Thomas Kenneally, and The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke and the World by Samantha Power. I liked others, but these caught my attention.