Posts filed under 'General'
A patron recently asked me about books that the library discards - why we do it and what we do with them. This is what our Collection Development policy has to say about it:
“Weeding (de-selection) is a continual process and necessary component of collection development. It is a subjective activity, and cannot be dictated by a mechanical formula or based solely on circulation statistics. Weeding may include replacing materials, updating editions or discarding items. Criteria for weeding an item include:”
- Physical condition
- Literary merit
- Publication date
- Additional copies
- Other materials on the same topic in the collection
- Integrity of a series or completeness of works by an author
- Inclusion in professional bibliographies
- Local interest/local historical significance
- Inconsistency with current selection criteria
- Circulation statistics
I wish we never had to get rid of a book from our collection, but the laws of physics say that if we want to keep buying new books, then we have to get rid of the old books to make room. Deciding which books to pull is not always an easy choice even though we have guidelines. It’s easiest when a book is in poor condition, but then you have to decide if you want to replace it, which we will do if it is part of a series or a classic. It gets harder when you consider novels that haven’t checked out in a while. You have to ask yourself things like: Is the author still producing books? If so, they may write the next bestseller and all of their older books will suddenly be in demand. Another question you may need to ask: Is the work timeless? Many books are obviously dated, using the slang of the day or featuring current events or themes that are no longer relevant. For example, during the Cold War era the threat of global nuclear war was a very real fear for many people and novels with post-apocalyptic themes were popular. A few of them have survived to become classics, but many more fail to connect with modern readers.
The decision to discard non-fiction books can sometimes be easier because information can change so rapidly and it is important that we provide the public with current, relevant facts. You wouldn’t want to rely on information from a ten year old book about treating cancer, or get decorating ideas from a book printed in the eighties. We recently discarded one book on canning and preserving that gave instructions for methods that are no longer considered safe or sanitary, so that was an easy choice. Decisions are a little more difficult with things like history books. Sure, the facts aren’t going to change, but sometimes the perspective does, or new information is uncovered. Sometimes a new book is published that is more complete and then it comes back down to an issue of shelf space.
Once we decide to de-accession a book, we have to figure out what to do with it. If it’s in poor condition, we send it to recycling. If it’s in good condition, we may give it to the Friends of the Library for their book sale. However, if it’s a book that is out of style that hasn’t checked out of the library for years, it’s not likely that someone will want to pay for it either. Some books go straight to recycling, some go to the book sale for a while and then to recycling. It has been suggested that rather than recycling, we give those books to other charitable organizations, but again, if no one wants to borrow it from the library for free, they are not likely to want to read it just because we gave it to them. However, if there are any non-profit organizations out there who would like to receive our discarded books, I hope they will contact me at the library to make arrangements. We would be much happier seeing books in the hands of people who will appreciate them than sending them to recycling.
July 22nd, 2009
I know that summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st but in the library world, summer begins whenever Summer Reading starts, which was June 1st this year.
Summer Reading always brings back memories and I remember one summer in particular. During the summer of 1976, I was eleven years old lived on a U.S. Air Force base in Croughton, England. I was a shy, introverted child and my family moved around a lot when I was growing up. I had friends among the other children in the family housing where we lived, but most days I preferred to ride my bike to the base library and read. The librarian was kind to me (I wish I could remember her name!) and signed me up for the summer reading program. Since it was the bicentennial year, the program theme was “Modern American Explorer” and I had to read books that were loosely about America. There were classic children’s novels like My Friend Flicka and Little Women, and biographies of famous Americans like Annie Oakley, Robert Frost and George Westinghouse. I particularly remember a non-fiction series about how things were made during colonial times like hats, wigs and shoes. For the reading program, I received a large cardboard map of the United States, and for every book I read and told the librarian about, I received a sticker with a different state that I could paste on my map. It took a while to fill in all those tiny East coast states, but the map really filled in quickly once I made it west of the Mississippi. I filled in my entire map and then started a new one and this time I started from the West coast. I ended up reading 82 books that summer. I don’t recall receiving any prizes for reading along the way, but I do recall an end-of-summer party where they gave out prizes. I did it just to read and get that darn map filled in. I guess it’s no surprise that I turned out to be a librarian.
Summer Reading at the Morgan County Public Library has quite a bit more to it than stickers on a card to encourage readers. The children’s program “Be Creative @ Your Library” rewards children with small prizes for every 2 hours that they read or are read to and there’s no set list of books that they have to choose from. There are free, fun programs every week that they can attend. You can go to our web page to see what’s going on. Registration may be required for the programs, so check with your local branch.
The Teen program is “Express Yourself @ Your Library.” Teens get prizes like wrist bands, buttons, pens and t-shirts for reading a certain number of pages, plus they can earn entries for an end-of-summer raffle. Last year’s raffle grand prize was an I-Pod. There are some great teen programs too, like henna tattoos (parental permission required!), bleached t-shirts, Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, movies and parties.
Adults are encouraged to “Master the Art of Reading.” Adults read books and submit mini-reviews on them. After four books, they receive a beautiful pewter lapel pin in the shape of an open book. Each mini-review is also an entry to an end of summer raffle for tote bags loaded with books and goodies.
As always, all of our programs are free, so if the economy has forced you into a ’staycation’ this year, at least you can still get out to the library and do something together as a family. We hope to see you soon!
June 5th, 2009
As I may have mentioned before, the Library’s budget is always tight so we frequently seek grants to help ease the burden. Grants are usually for a specific purpose or program, and not intended as supplements for day-to-day operating expenses. Sometimes they are monetary and sometimes they are materials, they can come from local groups, state level or even national organizations. So far this year, we have been awarded four grants and we are so grateful for the wonderful organizations who make these grants possible.
The first grant is from the Community Foundation of Morgan County and it was technically awarded last year, but it is for our upcoming summer reading program that will kick off in another month and so I tend to think of it as this year’s grant. The summer reading theme is “Be Creative @ Your Library” and this grant of $1,100 will help pay for a special quilting program for children. Kids will actually get to make a quilt block and they will also receive a free copy of the book, The Quilt Story by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola. This program will be presented at each of the six branches in early June, so contact your local branch to sign your child up for it if you are interested.
The second grant comes from the American Library Association and Toyota Motor Corporation. It is a collection of notable Japanese books that have been translated into English and is valued at over $900. These translated works of award winning authors (through Vertical Publishing) provide a great sampling of popular works from Japan in many genres and will add diversity to our library and introduce readers to new authors.
These are the books we received. If you click on the headings, you can see reviews and plot summaries:
Crime and Mystery
Ashes, Kitakata Kenzo
Winter Sleep, Kitakata Kenzo
The Cage, Kitakata Kenzo
The Poison Ape, Osawa Arimasa
Promenade of the Gods, Suzuki Koji
Twinkle Twinkle, Ekuni Kaori
May in the Valley of the Rainbow, Funado Yoichi
A Rabbit’s Eyes, Haitani Kenjiro
Naoko, Higashino, Keigo
Boy, Kitano Takeshi
The Guin Saga (Book 1, 2), Kurimoto Kaoru
The Blade of the Courtesans, Ryu Keiichiro
Outlet, Taguchi Randy
Sayonara, Gangsters, Takahashi Genichiro
Zero Over Berlin, Sasaki Joh
The Battle of Lepanto, Shiono Nanami (2 copies)
The Fall of Constantinople, Shiono Nanami (2 copies)
The Siege of Rhodes, Shiono Nanami (2 copies)
The Crimson Labyrinth, Kishi Yusuke
Now You’re One of Us, Nonami Asa
Parasite Eve, Sena Hideaki
Birthday, Suzuki Koji
Dark Water, Suzuki Koji
Ring, Suzuki Koji
Love & Lust
Paradise, Suzuki Koji
Translucent Tree, Takagi Nobuko
To Terra… (Volume 1, 2, 3), Takemiya Keiko
Andromeda Stories (Volume 1, 2, 3), Takemiya Keiko
Black Jack (Volume 1, 2, 3), Tezuka Osamu
Guin Saga Manga (Volume 1, 2, 3), Kurimoto Kaoru, Illustrated by Yanagisawa Kazuaki
Saying Yes to Japan, Clark Tim
J-Horror, Kalat David
A Slow Death, NHK TV Crew
The Toyota Leaders, Sato Masaaki (2 copies)
North Korea Kidnapped My Daughter, Yokota Sakie
Loop, Suzuki Koji
Spiral, Suzuki Koji
The third grant is a Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that is administered through the Indiana State Library. This $6,500 grant will allow us to purchase a new digital microfilm reader-printer for our genealogy department. If you’ve visited our genealogy department recently, you’ll know that our two old Minolta reader-printers are on their last legs and a new one is desperately needed. The addition of a new one will give us two up-to-date working machines for genealogists and local historians.
The fourth grant we’ve received is the We the People - Picturing America Bookshelf from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association. This collection of twenty-two books for young readers aims to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture through reading. Click here to see a list of the books and descriptions.
Once again, I’d like to thank the organizations that made these grants possible. Libraries open windows to new worlds for people who might not otherwise be able to afford it and these wonderful organizations provide funds that allow for new programs, new ideas and new opportunities. Even the smallest gift can make a difference and if you would like to give to the library, be assured that we will put your gift to good use.
May 4th, 2009
This week, schools, campuses and communities across the country celebrate National Library Week, a time to remind the public about the contribution libraries, librarians and library workers make to their communities everyday.
In today’s economy, libraries offer free resources to help people find jobs and learn new skills.Worlds connect @ your library, with people of all ages and backgrounds finding entertainment, self-help or their place in the community.With free resources like books, magazines, DVDs and computer and wifi access, people can do better in school, tackle projects and learn new ways to improve their health.
What makes the library unique is access to trained professionals – librarians – to help people find and interpret the information they need to make a difference in their lives. Our libraries also help keep us connected, providing a space for people of all ages, classes and races to come together, while keeping us connected to events and people around the world. It’s where people can keep up with world events or research where to volunteer locally.
Here are some of the things you can do this week at your library:
4:30 p.m., Main Library - Curious About…. A reading program for children ages 5-8
4 p.m., Brooklyn Branch - Brooklyn Kids “Picturing America in Watercolor” Stories and crafts for elementary age children
4-7 p.m., Main Library- Meet local author Terry Bailey and get a signed copy of his book, “The Pilate Plot”
7 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Bedtime stories for all ages. Pajamas optional.
10:30 a.m., Northeast Branch Preschool Storytime Express featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
10 a.m. & 2 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Preschool storytime featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
4 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Tell Me A Story - an after school reading program for elementary aged kids.
7 p.m. Main Library - Picturing America in the Civil War - a program for all ages.
7 p.m. Monrovia Branch - Bedtime stories for all ages. Pajamas optional.
10:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. Main Library - Preschool Story time featuring stories, pre-reading activities and crafts.
7 p.m. Brooklyn Branch - The Brooklyn Cro-knit club meets to share tips and help each other out.
What can you discover?National Library Week is the perfect time to find out. Worlds connect @ your library.
April 9th, 2009
Hey Billy! Thanks for changing my graphic!
April 2nd, 2009
Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings. (A Month of Sundays)
John Updike passed away today and his death has left me feeling low. I didn’t like everything that he wrote, but some of his works I loved (Rabbit, Run or Gertrude and Claudius). Even when it left me confused (Brazil), I felt that he was a true master of his art.
Updike’s characters often felt trapped in their lives and his strength lay in the portrayals of their every day relationships. These relationships weren’t anything extreme - there were no axe murderers or husbands living double lives as secret agents, but rather everyday interactions that rang so true you felt like Updike had bugged your living room. Sometimes he exposed the beauty in a glance between a husband and a wife. More often than not, his characters were petty and cruel to each other. They knew which words would sting like a paper cut or slice deep like a razor. Sometimes I hated his characters, but he always managed to make me feel sympathy for them.
Regardless of the subject of his books, I always admired the precision and beauty of his prose. It seems he chose his words very carefully, selected the one that had the exact meaning he intended and never used ten words if five would do. It’s something I strive for in my ramblings, but fear I’ll never accomplish.
We have many of Mr. Updike’s books. My favorites are the Rabbit series, beginning with Rabbit, Run, that he wrote over a thirty year period. It follows the life of Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom in his up and down marriage, infidelities, failings and triumphs. I’m also fond of Gertrude and Claudius which is a re-telling of Hamlet through the eyes of his mother and uncle.
January 27th, 2009
As promised, here is the list of the Most Checked-Out Non-Fiction of 2008. I’ve included the top 14 because there was a seven-way tie for 8th place.
We have a few repeat entries from last year’s list: the warm-hearted and wet-nosed dog story Marley & Me; the perennially popular Guinness World Records and Dave Pelzer’s true story of overcoming child abuse in A Man Named Dave. Cookbooks are once again popular, and once again with a split between eating healthy and comfort foods (last year’s entries included The South Beach Diet, Classic 30 Minute Meals and Cook Once, Eat Twice). Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this list is the local focus. We have Colts’ coach Tony Dungy topping the list followed closely by local historian Joanne Stuttgen and only a little farther down the Historic Homes book.
- Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
- Morgan County by Joanne Raetz Stuttgen and Curtis Tomak
- Best of Hometown Cooking edited by Jessica Saari
- Guinness World Records by the Guinness Publishing Company
- A Man Named Dave: A Story of Triumph and Forgiveness by Dave Pelzer
- Vintage Cottages by Molly Hyde English; photographs by Tom Lamb
- Plain Secrets : An Outsider Among the Amish by Joe Mackall
- 99 Historic Homes of Indiana : A Look Inside photographs by Marsh Davis; text by Bill Shaw with a foreword by J. Reid Williamson, Jr.
- Dinnertime Easy: Slow Cooker Recipes by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens
- Marley and Me: Love, Life, and Drywall Repair With the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan
- A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
- Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites : Over 200 Best-Ever Recipes From the Weight Watchers Test Kitchens
- What Can I Bring?: Cookbook by Anne Byrn
- Escape by Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer
December 22nd, 2008
New kids computers!
Have you seen our new AWE Learning Stations? If you’re the parent or caregiver of a preschooler or early elementary child I highly recommend you take a look at them. These computers have a fun, captivating interface that encourage children to explore on their own and they come packed with educational software programs spanning seven curricular areas. The computers are targeted for children from toddlers through the second grade.
We purchased four of them for the Main Library in Martinsville and the Monrovia branch with a Library Services and Technology Act grant, but I just found out that we have a received another grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Indiana State Library for three more units that we’ll install at the Brooklyn and Northeast branches. Kids love these computers because they are made for little ones to explore on their own. They are bright and colorful and make cool sounds too!
Get rid of pesky overdue fines while doing something good for the community
If you’re like most people, you probably have some overdue fines on your account. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone sometime (even librarians!). This December, however, you can do something about it. Food for Fines allows you to take $1 in overdue fines off your account for every canned or non-perishable food item you bring in and then we’ll donate the food to a local food pantry. Please note that Food for Fines will only reduce your overdue fines and doesn’t apply to lost or damaged materials or collection agency fees.
David Ross Retirement Reception
Many of you already know that David is retiring at the end of December. He has been the Library’s Director for sixteen years and has wrought so many positive changes in our library system during his tenure. Please come out to honor him on Sunday, December 7th between 2 and 4 p.m. The Friends of the Library are sponsoring the reception.
December 1st, 2008
I can’t believe it’s July already, and I really don’t know where June went, but it was quite a month.
We kicked off Summer Reading at the beginning of June, and for the first time since I’ve been here, we have an adult summer reading program. It’s Summer Reading Bingo, and you cross off a square on your bingo card by reading a book and writing a mini-review. Complete your first square and earn a bookmark, complete a bingo and earn a library desk clock. Each mini-review also earns you an entry for the end of summer raffle and you can earn up to 24 raffle entries if you do a ‘coverall’ of your bingo card. Sounds easy, right? The catch is that you might have to read something outside your normal comfort zone - like a romance novel, western, true crime or a classic. We’ve had a lot of fun plotting our reading strategies and finding books we may not normally read. The challenge of it also pulled me out of my reading slump. There’s still time if you want to play along. Pick up your bingo card today at any library location.
The next thing that kept us busy was of course, the flood. Our sump pump at the lower level entrance failed to keep up with the rainfall and the drains were partially clogged, so the area outside the entrance flooded to about three feet deep. Fortunately the glass door held most of the water back, but a lot of it made it in to soak the carpeting and drywall in the Children’s Department. It wasn’t deep enough to damage the books on the shelves, but we had to move many of them so the carpet and walls could dry as well as knock some holes in the walls. It took several days before we could get the drying equipment out of the way and everything put back together again, but we’re back and good as new.
We were lucky that we had flood insurance and I know many of our patrons didn’t. If you were flooded and you had library books that were lost or damaged as a result of it, please let us know immediately so we can submit the information to our insurance company and take them off your record. I know library books are probably the last thing on a person’s mind when all of their belongings are floating downstream and we want to help out our flooded patrons, but we won’t know unless you tell us.
The final big thing this month is the imminent completion of the new Monrovia branch library. It’s beautiful and I can’t wait for everyone to see it! The construction is mostly complete except for a few odds and ends, like a light fixture that was overlooked and delays on the circulation desk construction. Now it’s our turn to get to work - there’s phone systems to be installed, internet connections to be set up, furniture deliveries to be coordinated, interior signage, landscaping and oh yes, books! Based on our calculations, we can pack about 32,000 books in there if we stuff the place completely. We want room to grow and add new materials as time goes by, so we’ll start out with about 16,000. We plan on a grand opening in early September, so watch this space as well as the newspaper for more information.
July 15th, 2008
Have you ever had one of those times where you just can’t find anything to read? You browse the shelves and nothing looks appealing? I’m in that sort of slump right now. I’ve tried all my usual tricks like asking myself what book from the past sticks out in my mind and trying to find a read-alike but it’s just not working. I always like books about rare and ancient books, so I placed a hold on Geraldine Brooks’ People of the Book, but it’s checked out. The review in Publisher’s Weekly sounds promising:
Late one night in the city of Sydney, Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call. The Sarajevo Haggadah, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to report on its condition. In the present, we follow the resolutely independent Hanna through her thrilling first encounter with the beautifully illustrated codex and her discovery of the tiny signs—a white hair, an insect wing, missing clasps, a drop of salt, a wine stain—that will help her to discover its provenance. Along with the book she also meets its savior, a Muslim librarian named Karaman. In the other strand of the narrative we learn, moving backward through time, how the codex came to be lost and found, and made.
In the meantime, I picked up a Young Adult novel, Devilish by Maureen Johnson, that has some witty observations of a Catholic high school but it won’t last me very long. It has many of the usual teen themes - popularity, fitting in, finding yourself and having your best friend sell her soul to the devil to achieve it all. OK, maybe that last one isn’t quite so common, but it makes this book unique.
Does anyone out there have any suggestions? Something you’ve read lately and loved? Or maybe an old favorite that I’m missing? A broccoli book? E-mail me, please, or post a comment - I’m desperate!
May 24th, 2008