Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flavorwire jumps into the Terry Deary Fray

Here's flavorwire's answer to Terry Deary's rant quotes from 20 authors on the importance of libraries.  'Nuf said!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Lost Art of Letter Writing

I brought this up in meeting I attended the other day, that I still, occasionally, set pen to paper and write a letter to a friend.  In this article, author Susan Evans McCloud explains why email and IM can never replace the personal, intimate act of writing a letter.  (Just one more reason to keep teaching cursive in public schools.) 
Maybe not really a library issue, but I'm wondering, could we do a program on letter writing? Something to think about.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The UK library flap continues ...

Another reaction to Terry Deary's ill-thought out remarks.  On his blog British Historian Marc Morris writes an open letter to Deary, pointing out the historical inaccuracies in one of his books and suggesting that perhaps a little library research time would stand him in good stead.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are Libraries Passe?

There's a major flap going on in the UK over whether or not libraries still serve a purpose.  Children's author Terry Deary commented in an article in the Guardian that book stores are being forced to close "because someone is giving away the product they are tyring to sell."
On Friday, another top selling and top borrowed children's author, Julia Donaldson, commented in a rebuttal article that Deary's logic was severely flawed because libraries don't harm the book trade, they create readers. 
The article also goes on to say that since he made his comments Deary has been flooded with hate mail and some of his most vociferous critics have been other authors.  What a shock .. most authors love libraries because they know we love their books, promote their books, and turn people on to their books.  People who just might go out and buy one or two.  I'm sorry Deary thinks we're robbing him of his justly due royalties, but if he thinks parents can afford to buy every kids' book their kids want to read he's dreaming. AND if he really believes that compulsory education exposes kids to literature and books the same way that a library can, I bet he's sending his kids to a private (or is that public) school.
The good news is all the wonderful authors who've spoken up in defense of libraries and who champion the cause.  But it's time libraries championed their own cause a little more.  We shouldn't even need to have this debate.  And if we are having it, it's because we're not letting the public know just how relevant libraries are.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The LongList is Out!!

The longlist of 50 titles for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction is out.

The Carnegie Medal was established in 2012 to recognize the best fiction and nonfiction books for adult readers published in the U. S. the previous year.  The list is drawn from lists created by RUSA Notable Books and Booklist Editor's Choice.  The medal, named for library patron and champion Andrew Carnegie is cosponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association.  Their goal is that the Carnegie Medal will be to adult books what the Newbery and Caldecott Medals are to children's books.

The shortlist of finalists will be announced this spring and the awards will be given out at a dinner at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago on June 30, 2013.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Libraries, the Digital Divide, and the FCC

Do you have 3 minutes?    FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has some great things to say about the work libraries do to bridge the digital divide in this YouTube video.

Do you want to create a Makerspace?

An invitation for libraries to get more involved in makerspaces.  Check out this blog post at PC Sweeney's Blog.

What I love is the observation that libraries are already involved in makerspace activities.  Every time we have a class where we teach teenagers to make duct tape wallets, let the kids play with Legos, or have the adults doing hands-on crafts, cooking, or tech classes ... that's a makerspace.  They're learning to create and the library is facilitating the process.  That's all it is.  A $2 million space with an enormous annual budget is great, but it starts with people getting together to create.  We can do that ... we already are.

Friday, February 8, 2013

How does your library's website rate?

Here's a great blog post about the importance of the library's website from the reDUX blog from the Libraries of Indiana University.  In "The Library Website as Place," author Anne Haines explores the idea that "... our website serves as our front door for a rapidly increasing percentage of users, and it needs to be at least as welcoming, as professional, and as helpful as our physical entry points are."

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What are they up to in your library?

And how do we let people know?

There's a new "exclusive" marketing study out at Library Journal.  It seems libraries have been weighed in the balance and found wanting where getting the word out is concerned.  We seem to be the best kept secret of the century (and the last century, too).  Click here to read Nancy Dowd's article at LJ (first in a series) about the marketing survey and what libraries can do about it.