Friday, June 21, 2013

Book Review Friday ...

A confession.  I am reading 3 books right now, and I'm only up to about chapter 3 in each of them.  It's not as crazy as it sounds, one print book, one audio book, and one on my nook.  But I can't do a book review justice on only 3 chapters.  In addition, my older daughter is graduating from high school this weekend and reading and writing have taken a back seat.
So, to keep the promise to myself to get my blogging act together and post SOMETHING.  Here's a link to a great blog post at the AMACOM Book Blog.  "Discovering the Library and the World" by AMACOM's managing editor Andy Ambraziejus is an essay on what libraries meant to him growing up and how he feels about libraries now.  As a librarian it was good to read about someone with such warm memories and strong feelings about, what I think, we are all trying to accomplish in our libraries. 

Here's a sample of what he had to say:

"For me, the library was both a refuge and a place of discovery during adolescence and my teen years."

"The memory is of a place, a place where I felt at home.  Safe and secure, and away from the tumult of the real world with its responsibilities and sometimes conflicting demands. The quiet hush was not oppressive but nurturing, a place to unwind and relax and start exploring everything the library had to offer. And being surrounded by other people doing the same thing gave added comfort and security.  There were other people like me who preferred this place to hanging out or playing outside.  I wasn’t alone."

This is how I want people to feel about the library.  This is the goal of every transaction and communication, to make patrons feel welcome, safe, and home.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Historical Archives online ... WooHoo

Check out this amazing database available from the National Archives.  Founders Online is still in beta, just launched last week on 13 June 2013.  It comprises over 100,000 searchable documents.  The correspondence and other writings of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Why do we still need libraries?

Ever been stumped when someone asks this question?  Here's a blog post that'll give you the answers you need to never get stumped again. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review Friday: Rules of Civility

On New Year's Eve 1937, a chance meeting with Tinker Grey changes the lives of Eve Ross and Katey Kontent forever.  Looking back on that year Katey recalls the lives, loves, friends, and enemies that crossed paths in that city of crossroads, Manhattan.    
Rules of Civility is author Amor Towles first novel, and it is amazing.  The story is descriptive, witty, complex, and surprising.   And, just like Agatha Christie, Towles "doles out [his] little surprises at the carefully calibrated pace of a nanny dispensing sweets to the children in her care" (p. 251).  Reviews elsewhere have gushed over Towles's descriptions of Manhattan (practically a character in the story) and the ease with which he writes his first-person female narrative.  They are all true.   
I listened to the audio, narrated by Rebecca Lowman. The audio treatment was excellent, but I reached a point when I couldn't wait for my next commute to finish the tale, so I picked up the print copy and finished the last 100 pages in one sitting.
 Read alikes:
The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow by Thea Astley
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
Ask Alice by D. J. Taylor
Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
And, for reasons that I won't explain, this story put me in mind of, and in the mood for, an evening with the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

RA/Technology mashup ... wow

The Chelmsford Library in Massachusetts is taking Readers' Advisory to the max.  Reading Lists?  They've got reading lists.  Now they're taking the lists to the readers.  Linking their online lists to QR codes and putting the QR codes in the back of the book.    One stop shopping for read-alikes ... provided you've got a smart phone. Check out the blog post here.