Thursday, April 29, 2010


(After just being informed that my job may no longer exist in a year or two and that this degree may have been for nothing not to mention the thousands of dollars in debt and the loss of 2 1/2 years of my life, I am not so motivated anymore to do anything today....alas, I will try...)

The next victim that filled out a form was my old roommate, Gena.  Gena is the one who loves I knew this could be rough.  On her form she listed that she is interested in cooking, wine, travel, and Italy.  She listed humor and women's lives as genres and told me that she likes women authors and female characters.  I found her a biography about a man who was well known for his wine knowledge, a few light and fast reads that were humorous and about women's lives similar to Sophie Kinsella. 

Michael was my other victim and since it was a guy, I did find it to be more difficult.  He likes to read Westerns, fantasy, humor, and horror which are the opposite of the type of books I am familar with.  I search books similar to the authors he listed and found an award list of Westerns to look at.  I found him a couple of good Westerns and fantasy/horror books that he said look like good reads.

My last person to do was the hardest.  Devin did not put much on his form and from my personal experience of him being in the book store with me for hours, I knew this one was going to be painful.  He said he likes espionage.  I didn't know what that is...had to consult with Michael.  He said he liked Tom Clancy and J.R.R. Tolkein so I searched for read alikes by author.  He liked the Bourne series so I did find similar on those as well.  I did find him some books that he thought he might read.  He isn't an avid reader like me! :) 

Over all, I think it was a good experience and my people seemed to be happy with what I found.  I used Fiction Connection alot but also used Fantastic Fiction, Amazon, Mid-Continent Public Library, Stop! You're Killing Me!, and Library Thing for my searches.  I love these resources and will be sad when I no longer have access to them.


Well, for some reason I totally spaced it on having to blog about my lab.  Looking now at my blog, I see that I posted about getting started, but failed to update.  ahhh....the joys of having too much on your plate.  So to catch you up....

I sent out my fictional form to 6 of my friends and family.  I figured I needed 5 so if someone flaked, I was covered.  I got all six back and all were really well filled out except one.  

I chose my Mom since well, she is my mom and a reading specialist.  I know we love reading the same things but was interested to see what she would put on her form.  She said she liked Jane Austen, historical fiction, humor, and mystery.  I found her a book written in 2007 about Mr. Darcy, a mystery/romance series from Meg Cabot, and one of the historical fiction books about WWII I read for this class but had forgotten about already.  Over all she liked the list and was looking forward to reading them over the summer.

I also asked my best friend, Mandy, to fill out the form since she is currently flying through books.  We have been been on a vampire kick since we read Twilight but she also likes Sophie Kinsella. She loves reading series books.  I found her a series called Vampire Kiss that I am now dying to read as well.   I also found a series that Kinsella recommended about girls in a boarding school and each book covers one year in the school.  They encounter lots of girl drama.  Since Mandy and I are Jacob fans after seeing the last movie...hello, he is HOT....she also wanted me to look for topics on shapeshifters.  I found a series about shapeshifters that form into werewolves.  After looking at my list and reading the information that I put with it, she is excited to finish Burned byProxy-Connection: keep-alive
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.C. & Kristen Cast so she can start on those 3 series.  (She needs to hurry with Burned, I get it next!) She is hoping to finish those 3 series before the school year is out because for some reason she has not read Harry Potter and plans on doing that over the summer.

Well that is the length of my first break of the be continued!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

524-YA Books!

I was looking forward to hearing what Dr. Irwin had to say about Young Adult Literature.  I have loved getting to read adults books this semester since I am usually surrounded by children's books, but last year during my Materials for Youth class, I fell in love with Young Adult books.  My best friend and I are addicted to Twilight, we have read then multiple times and were among the 12-18 year olds that were at the theatre at midnight when New Moon came out.  We even have "Property of Cullen"  sweatshirts made.  Yes, we were those people! :) haha  We now can't seem to get enough to vampire books.  She has devoured the True Blood series and we are both addicted to the House of Night Series.

I agree with Dr. Irwin that teens read YA "edgy" books because they can relate to it.  I teach in IPS and some of my kids have had it pretty rough.  They can relate to the drugs, alcohol, abuse, sex, etc.  But I also think they read it because they want to read about someone's life that is worse than theirs.  I think so that they can say, see my life isn't so bad, look at this kid's.  They love the fast paced short stories.  They love that they aren't in the children's section.  I think it makes them feel older and more important.

I think for the same reasons teens read YA, my age group reads YA.  I love fast paced books.  Otherwise, I fall asleep.  I have to get thrown in to a book and get hooked.  I like a book that I take everywhere and can't stand to put down.  I like the drama.  I grew up very very sheltered out in the fields of Kokomo.  I went to a country high school where diversity was a word that didn't exist.  You were either Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic...that was our diversity.  So to read about inner city kids going through all that horrible stuff not only makes me glad I grew up where I did, but also gives me an idea of what others's lives are like. 

I was surprised that the older generation of women are loving YA, but like I pointed out in class, they watch Lifetime and well the same type of drama is in those movies that is also in YA books.  I am sure they, too, appreciate the fast paced shorter novels.

Regardless of the reasons why people are loving YA, they are and we have to make sure as librarians that we keep up on it to be able to recommend it to those who want it.  I know with budget cuts things are getting tight everywhere.  I hope that YA departments can stay in tack.  Teens don't want to go to the children's section to get their books and they think they are "old" if they go to the adult's section.  Teen are "special" people and therefore need the extra "special" attention.

Friday, April 2, 2010

524-Lab Intro

I decided to do my lab on advising 5 people.  When I thought about reader advisory, I know a lot of people are much more comfortable with the anonymity of computers, texting, and other non face to face ways of communication.  So I think what I am going to do is create a document that would then be placed on a librarys website to assist with reader advisory.  Patrons would then be able to fill out the form and submit it to the reference desk.  On my form, I am going to have options for the follow up.  Do they want to make an appointment and come in to the library and meet with me about the selections I have chosen for them?  Do they want me to call them and discuss the selections over the phone?  OR Do they want me to simply email them the selections with descriptions about the books I think would interest them?  I think that by giving those options, I will be better ablet to help different types of people and their preferences.  Some people may not have the time to actually come into a library and go through the reader advisory interview in person, but would like the face to face discussion about the books found and then be able to take them home at that time.  Other readers may just want the information over the phone or by email so they can come into the library at their leisure to check out the books, or though we might not like to think about it, they may just order them through Amazon or head to Barnes and Noble to purchase the books.  Either way, I like my idea.  I already have 3 people in mind to do my advising with.  Need to find 2 more victims! :)

524-Programming-Baby & Toddler Reading Time

I decided that during my Spring Break I would find a program that interested me either at the library close to me or the library close to Devin and attend.  Unfortunatly, all the programs close to me cost money and well...I'm broke after visitng a friend in Nebraska for the first part of my break.  So I decided on the Baby and Toddler Reading Time which is held Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.  Parents can bring their babies and toddlers up to 2 years old for stories, songs, and social interaction.  Since it is the week before Easter, the librarian chose stories about chicks, bunnies, and Springtime.  She read two stories to the kids and then together they learned some songs with hand motions.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.  There were only about 5 babies with their moms present.  The librarian said they usually have a few more but with schools being on Spring Break she had expected fewer in attendance.  After they read and sang, the librarian let the children play with the toys and eachother.  The actual program only lasted about 15 mins, but parents lingered with their kids playing for about another 15-20 minutes.  This not only gave the kids time to socialize with other babies, but the moms got a chance to talk to other moms as well.

I really like the idea of this type of program.  I think it is good for babies to learn to play with other babies and it is definitely a good idea for moms to have other moms to talk to as well.  The library also does a preschool program as well as other age groups throughout the month.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

524-Secret Shopper

For my Secret Shopper assignment, I went to a Indy suburb branch.  When I walked up to the desk, the Reference Librarian looked up and smiled and asked what she could help me with.  I told her that I was looking for book to read but was tired of what I have been reading (white lie) and that I wanted to read something new.  She continued to look at me which I took to mean keep talking so I said I had been reading a lot of historical fiction about WWII.  She immediately lit up like a Christmas tree and asked if I had read any of W.E.B Griffin's books.  I said no, and she grabbed a reference book of the shelf, "What's Next," or something like that.  She looked up his name and showed me the series he writes.  She told me she absolutely loves his books and if you are going to read one you need to read them in order since the paragraphs at the end of one book lead right into the first paragraphs of the next book.  She told me the topics of his series.  One was about cops, one about post WWII, during WWII, presidents.  She also told me that if I was going to read one to also check out the second because I wouldn't want to wait to come to the library to get it.  I decided to try the post WWII because she said it was written more from the war strategy perspective rather than the survivor stories I usually read.  She was so excited walking me over to the paperback sections and actually told me that I had made her day because Reader Advisory is her favorite part of her job.  I just smiled and told her I was happy to help.  I was thinking "Great, now I have to actually read this book because she is going to tackle me at the door the next time I come in to ask how I liked it."

So now here I sit writing this with yet another book on my to do list! :)  I was glad that she was very friendly and excited about helping me.  However, I wish she had asked me some questions other than if I had read that author.  I would have liked her to ask me what I have read in the past and what I liked or didn't like to read.  Overall, though, it sounds like I had a better experience than most. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

524-The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Genre: Gentle Reads

I loved this book!  But hated that I bought it and a week later my mother says "Oh Christ gave me this book for you to read, she thought you could use it for your class."  What do you know, same book!  ug!  There goes $14!!!

This is set in the aftermath of WWII in London and Guernsey which is an island in the channel.  The author begins to write letters back and forth with a man who had read her book and wanted to see if she had information on another book.  Through their correspondence, she realizes she could write an article about thier lives during the war.  She then begins to write to other islanders and learn about thier stories during the war.

She also writes to her editor and his sister whom she met while in boarding school.  After falling in love with her friends on the island she decides to visit them and falls in love with island.  Through the book her friends learn that girl, Elizabeth, who started the society on a whim when being questioned by the Nazis as to why they were out after curfew, died in the concentration camp she was sent to for harboring a worker.  Her daughter was being raised by the other members of the society and after Juilet (the author) comes to the island she stays with her in her mother's cottage.

Juliet stays on the island for a few months and realizes she does not want to leave and would be content living there and adopting Kit.  She also realizes she has fallen in love with Dawsey who was the man who originally wrote to her.

Through reading all the letters written amongst them, you learn so much about each of their lives and about how life was during the war.

I was originally worried about the format of the book since it was written completely in letters.  After a while you don't even notice the letters and just get caught up in the story.  It is a smooth quick read and very enjoyable.  I feel like it ended too quickly, however.  We never knew if Juliet was able to adopt Kit.  Even so, it gets 5 stars from me!