Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 16

Reading has changed for me in several ways. When I was younger, I would read for fun or because it was assigned reading. Now that I am older, I still read for fun, but I try to incorporate lots of different viewpoints in my reading. I read to learn about new things or have new experiences. Also, I find myself reading more on electronic devices. Granted, this technology has only existed since I’ve graduated high school (they might have had ereaders when I was in high school, I just wasn't interested). My library offers several different platforms that encourage reading on electronic devices. We have Overdrive for ebooks and eaudiobooks, Hoopla for ebooks, eaudiobooks, music, and movies, ComicsPlus for graphic novels, and Zinio for magazines. All of these can be downloaded through apps and accessed by using your library account. I think that apps such as these will be utilized more in the future. Just about everyone I know has a smartphone that is practically glued to their hands (I’m the same way, I still think it’s pretty cool I don’t have to manually load pictures from a digital camera onto my computer in order to post them on Facebook!) so, these apps are an easy way to read while you are on the go. All of these books and other reading material are just a click away, you don’t have to carry around a book, find a bookmark, and it’s just really convenient. On most of these apps, you don’t have to wait for an item to be returned, you can automatically access the item you want at the tip of your fingertips.

It is difficult for me to think about 20 years in the future! With technology evolving at a rate I can’t even keep track of, ereaders might be obsolete at that point. However, I think that traditional publishing will still be around. It might not be at the same rate as it is today. Self publishing has grown so much, anyone can publish a book. Literally anyone, my husband wrote and published a book. I think that more people will utilize these self publishing methods in the future. Book deals are hard to come by and lots of people want their voice to be heard. There are options to publish both physical and ebooks, so if ereaders are still a thing, this will still be a viable option.

I think (hope) that we will read more in the future. According to a Pew Research survey, 72% of Americans read at least one book a year. However, 80% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 read at least one book a year. Young people are reportedly reading more than their older counterparts. Hopefully, this trend continues into the future.  

Week 15

For our library, book displays are the by far the most effective way to market our collection. The people who come into the library are usually too busy to ask for book recommendations, not saying that they never do, but for the most part, they don’t. By having books on display, having them displayed at the end of the shelf and having our big display shelf filled, patrons are able to quickly look at the books and immediately decide if they want to read them. At the moment, we have a display featuring recently returned books, so the patrons know a little bit about what their neighbors are reading. We are refilling the shelf 2 or 3 times a day, so it shows that our patrons really enjoy having books out in the open for them to browse.

Since book clubs do not work at our location, we do an annual “Genre Fair.” We have several employees gather genre specific books they enjoy reading and we each get a table in our large meeting room, to book talk with patrons as they come up to our table. In the past we have featured children’s picture books, young adult, coming of age fiction, books to movies, graphic novels, atmospheric fiction, and female written non-fiction. Patrons are able to discover books that they might not normally check out, in a no pressure environment. We handed out bookmarks that featured the specific genre we were discussing, along with a book list of our recommended books within the genre. We don’t know how many people actually got anything out of the Genre Fair, but the leftover bookmarks were popular with the people who were unable to attend the event.

As far as our future collection goes, there are several ways we promote that. Each week we put out a flier that has upcoming titles, as well as the books on the New York Times bestseller list. On our website, we also have a new releases list and books that are going to be released soon. The latter list are usually going to be bestseller books, such as James Patterson or Nora Roberts. That way patrons are able to put their name on the holds list. These lists are very popular with our patrons because it is hard to keep up with all the books that some of these authors publish.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Urban Fiction

Author: Sister Souljah

Title: Midnight: A Gangster Love Story

Genre: African American Fiction, Coming-Of-Age Stories, Love Stories

Publication Date: November, 2008

Number of Pages: 496

Geographical Setting: Brooklyn, New York

Time Period: Mid 1990’s.

Series: First of the Midnight Series, a companion to The Coldest Winter Ever. You do not need to read The Coldest Winter Ever to enjoy or understand this book, even though Midnight was briefly featured in the book.

Plot Summary: Midnight, a teenage boy originally from Sudan, is faced with balancing more than any young man (or adult) should have to balance. He has a mother and sister who he is devoted to. He is a messenger and order taker for his mother’s custom clothing business, which she works on at night and on weekends so she can work at a factory. When they aren’t working on custom fabrics, they are also event planners for other Sudanese families in the area. They are devout Muslims and this is something Midnight grapples with after seeing how Muslims, specifically Five Percenters, behave in America. It is really everyone that he takes issue with. He doesn’t like how men treat women and how women are always showing their bodies. He has a core group of friends and is popular with the ladies, however his heart has been stolen by Akemi, an art student from Japan. She speaks multiple languages, but none of the languages that Midnight speaks, so they often communicate with the help of Akemi’s young cousin while they each try to learn each other's language. On top of all of this, he also participates as a member of a neighborhood basketball team, has an actual job at a fish market, and practices the art of ninjutsu. On occasion he is known to be a vigilante when he feels that someone has done him or the ones he loves, wrong. He manages to successfully do all of these things while living in a rough neighborhood of Brooklyn.

I personally feel like I struggle with time management, but I genuinely have no idea how he manages to have such an active lifestyle.

Subject Headings: African American men -- Fiction.
Africans -- Fiction.
Muslims -- Fiction.
Gangsters -- Fiction.
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.

Appeal:  This book is all over the place when it comes to appeal, it is a book about family, love, and the American dream. It is a long book, but if you stick with it, it is well worth your time.

Tone: Sobering

Writing Style: Gritty, Thoughtful

Three terms that best describe this book: Angsty, Active, Compelling

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Week 14

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Fiction section at Oaklyn Library featuring genre stickers.
At my current library, we only separate our paperback books by genre and we have a special area for Christmas/Holiday books. And by paperbacks, I mean the 4"x7" mass marketed paperbacks, and not the regular sized trade paperback editions of books. We have a general fiction, mystery, science fiction, romance, and western section for each of these collection. We do this because it's easier to shelve. Having these books that are the same size is easier for us to contain when they are shelved together. With that being said, we also have stickers on our regular fiction collection that indicate what kind of book it is. Inspirational, Romance, Science Fiction, Mystery, Holiday, and Classic stickers are on the spines of a lot of our books, so that way the patrons can easily determine if that is the genre they are looking for. I think that if patrons were wanting to know where we kept our GBLTQ or African American Fiction books, I would look into finding suitable stickers to put on the sides of the books. This way, they will be easier to find if a patron is seeking them out, or a patron knows to avoid them if they don't want to read it. I know I steer clear of the "Inspirational" sticker, but I don't think they should have to be separated from the rest of the collection. 

I don't think books should be singled out and separated just because of their subject matter, unless we are featuring them on display. In February we feature books with African American themes on our display cases and in June we display books with GBLTQ themes in order to draw awareness to the collection. That is the only time I could see myself having collections separated like that, just because it is not done with the rest of our collection with the exception of Holiday books and paperbacks. 

However, the stickers might cause some issues, for example, if a teen wanted to read a book with the GLBTQ themes and a parent who didn't approve saw the sticker, they might not allow their child to read that book, but if there wasn't a sticker, the parent would never know and the child would be able to read their book and the parent would be none the wiser. 

Ultimately I wouldn't separate these books because it might sway people away from reading them due to genre prejudices, we don't keep other genres separate, and where would you draw the line? Would every book written by an African American author be in a separate section? Would Toni Morrison be in that section, even though we have some of her books as classics? Is Oscar Wilde going to be put in the GLBTQ section? And what about James Baldwin? He discusses the African American experience, but also the experience of gay and bisexual men, so would there be multiple copies of his books to make sure both themes are covered? Who decides if he is gay or African American? I certainly don't want to make that choice.  

I would also like to note that the ALA says this about labeling: Directional aids can have the effect of prejudicial labels when their implementation becomes proscriptive rather than descriptive. When directional aids are used to forbid access or to suggest moral or doctrinal endorsement, the effect is the same as prejudicial labeling. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Week 13

I personally love YA and graphic novels. I probably read more YA than any other fiction. I have just started getting into Graphic Novels. I don’t purposely seek too many of them out (I do read every Raina Telgemeier graphic novel that comes out), but I do pick them up whenever one catches my eye. I can read them quickly and I feel productive with my time after reading one.

I know that adults are quick to judge adults who read exclusively YA, or even a lot of YA, because adults are no longer teens. But, you don’t see people who are judged for only reading Science Fiction, Amish Romance Novels, or Westerns, yet there are people who exclusively read those and no one is shaming them for doing so.

One of the best ways for YA to be read by the masses is pairing them with movies. YA books are being made into movies or TV shows constantly. No one judges people for reading the book when it is a Nicholas Sparks movie or a James Patterson movie, and to me, YA is no different. Before I Fall and Everything, Everything are coming out this year and there are countless others that are in development. John Green’s Looking For Alaska, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park, And Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places are all in beginning stages of development.

YA isn’t the only genre getting the big budget movie treatment. Adaptations of Graphic Novels and comic books have grown so much, Disney had to get in on the action. The Walking Dead is a hit TV show based on the Robert Kirkman series of graphic novels, anything that has hints of Marvel or DC have been made and remade in a variety of formats, French comics are getting into the mix with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. There are even adaptations of non-superhero graphic novels with Wilson and the Coldest Cities. By creating a display of “Read It Before You Watch It” would be a great way to incorporate these items into your community.

Each year for our Summer Learning Program, we have a variety of YA books (and graphic novels) on our recommended reading list, and they are always big hits. Incorporating the titles into relevant reading lists would be an easy way to introduce reluctant YA readers to the genre. If you don’t label it YA, would anyone notice? I think about the book The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which is in our regular adult fiction section, but is about young boys.

With all that being said, I DOUBT I would suggest a YA book to an adult unless they specifically say they only read YA or have a particular title they are looking for. Luckily, I don’t get asked by too many adults for reading suggestions, since I am in the children’s department. However, my co-workers and I are always letting each other know about the new books we are excited to read! For example, I just read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and can’t wait to get my hands on Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. And my husband will only read graphic novels, currently he is on a wordless graphic novel kick. But, we are young at heart and want to remember the joys of youth through our reading material.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12 Prompt

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Image result for trevor noah born a crime1. Where is the book on the narrative continuum?
Highly narrative (reads like fiction)

2. What is the subject of the book?
Growing up in South Africa towards the end of apartheid with a white father and a black mother.

3. What type of book is it?
A memoir style collection of stories from the author's childhood and adolescence

4. Articulate appeal

What is the pacing of the book? Quick

Describe the characters of the book. The characters are determined. The main character is his mother, who was able to hold a full time job in an upscale area of Johannesburg, even though she was black. She lived in a house with 14 other people growing up, and was able to become a successful woman, even though the odds were against her. She had a child with a man of Swiss/German descent, during a time where it was illegal to be in mixed company. She later married and had a child with a man who was abusive to her and her children, and attempted to murder her. As much as this book is a testament to Trevor Noah’s success, his mother is the one who showed him how to achieve and thrive in the most difficult of times.

How does the story feel? The story is humorous, but sobering. We often know that apartheid was the separation of black and white, but it also caused a riff between the different tribal heritages that were in the area. Having these bits of humor makes it easier for a white woman living in Southern Indiana to swallow the harsh realities of the world.

What is the intent of the author? Trevor Noah is shining a light on what is was like to be neither white nor black during a time in history where it was dangerous to be either. How his own family treated him differently because he had lighter skin than them. How he was able to navigate segregated neighborhoods, but never felt that he belonged to either group. He had to be quick thinking and quick on his feet to get himself out of some sticky situations.

What is the focus of the story? Being an adolescent in South Africa during and after apartheid. It focuses on the family dynamic that he grew up in. This is as much a coming of age story as it is a family drama.

Does the language matter? Yes, because the subject matter is difficult to swallow, the humorous stories allows those who might have only picked this book up because he is a comedian to take everything with a grain of salt. Due to his writing style he is able to humanize a rough time in history.

Is the setting important and well described? Yes, Trevor Noah describes the different areas he lived very vividly. From the slums, suburbs, and upscale areas in the various townships that he lived in growing up is important to narrate his story.

Are there details and, if so, of what? He uses a very descriptive style to describe the area he grew up. The details that really stayed with me are how houses were built in the poorer townships. Most did not have a bathroom, so they were forced to go in an outhouse. There were always several family members living in one or two bedroom houses. The houses would be built up one wall at a time over many years, and if they were lucky, there was a fence several years later.

He also discusses how his mother owned a very old Volkswagen to get them to the various churches they attended on Sunday. It often broke down and were forced to take a minibus, which ran on it's own schedule. Getting around was difficult and his writing style made it evident.

Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials? Are they useful and clear? There were no charts of graphic material in this book.

Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience? Absolutely. His story is unique because there were very few mixed children in South Africa, so he is able to give a special understanding to what it was like during apartheid.

5. Why would a reader enjoy this book (rank appeal)?
1. Compelling subject
2. Unique look at South Africa toward the end of apartheid
3. Humorous writing style


Image result for hidden figures book coverAuthor: Margot Lee Shetterly

Title: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women
Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

Genre: Non-Fiction, Science, History, Biography

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

Number of Pages: 368

Geographical Setting: Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory and Hampton, Virginia

Time Period:1940’s-1960’s

Plot Summary: At first glance, I figured this book would be about the African American women who worked at Langley Field for the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics (later it would become NASA) and their journey to become the unsung heroes of space exploration. While it is that, it is so much more. Most of these women were hired during World War II to be human computers. They were expected to do the same work at the male mathematicians for the same pay. Not only that, but these women were kept in a segregated “computing” area due to the Jim Crow laws of the time. These women proved themselves to be valuable assets to the organization and went on to become department heads and engineers. This book weaves together personal and professional lives, as well as the important social justice issues that were taking place at the time. The author touched on segregation, education, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Star Trek and how all of these played an important role in how these women came to be pioneers in their field and advocates for STEM education in young women and African Americans. This book is filled with triumph and heartache, but to see how these women persevered under these circumstances is truly inspiring.   

Subject Headings: United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- Officials and employees -- Biography.
Women mathematicians -- United States -- Biography.
African American women -- Biography.
African American mathematicians -- Biography.
Space race.
HISTORY / United States / 20th Century.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies.
SCIENCE / Space Science.

Appeal: Anyone interested in the history of space exploration and stories about strong females.

Genre: Adult books for young adults; Books to movies; History writing; Science writing

Tone: Inspiring

Writing Style: Richly detailed

Three terms that best describe this book:  Empowering, Technical, Dry

Relevant Works and Authors

I wanted to love this book so much, but this was tough for me. I love non-fiction, I love strong women, space, and shattering glass ceilings. I thought this book was written for me. The writing was very dry, had little personality, and the stories overlapped in a strange way that made following a timeline or even characters difficult. I liked it, just didn’t love it. I have not seen the movie yet, but I imagine that it brings to life these obviously dynamic and courageous characters better than the book does.