Sunday Lowdown #38

Interesting Facts From School This Week:

This week is all about customer service, which includes not only how staff treat patrons, but “user experience” (UX), which includes signage, accessibility, and what appears in the library collection.

  • “Selecting materials for purchase? It impacts UX. Choosing replacement carpet for the YA department? It impacts UX. Taping up a sign? Changing the hours of operation? Cleaning the restroom? Waiving or collecting a fine? Creating the structure on your website? Yes, all of these things impact the experience you’re giving library members.” — source
  • “Because of an aging population, it becomes increasingly likely that there will be more people with physical or mental disabilities in your community in the future.” — source
  • “Your library’s collection should include resource materials on physical disabilities. Fiction collections for all ages should include books that feature adults and children with disabilities.” — source
  • “Some libraries offer a drive-up window with customized service to make pickup and delivery easier for people with disabilities—and provide a great convenience to the general public.” — source
  • “As with many disabilities, the biggest barrier to service for people who are deaf is often other people’s attitude.” — source I RELATE TO THIS SO HARD.
  • “According to mental health professionals, people with mental illness typically comply with explicit rules, and when told there are rules against certain behavior, they will change their behavior to conform to the rules.” — source

This Week’s Blog Posts:

On Tuesday I shared my review of the satire/memoir What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal by E. Jean Carroll. Thanks for all your comments about your knowledge of the author and your feelings about the #MeToo movement.

On Friday I shared the horror novel Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage. Again, this Friday review didn’t get much attention, so I’m definitely changing my posting days to Tuesday/Thursday. If you’re looking for a scary, smart book as Halloween approaches, you can go wrote with Baby Teeth.

Next Week’s Blog Posts:

Bill @ The Australian Legend mentioned that I haven’t shared a Meet the Writer feature in some time, so I reached out and secured an interview with author Jayne Martin. You can read about her on Tuesday. In my questions, I don’t focus on a book in a way that prevents readers who aren’t familiar with the author’s work from enjoying her answers, so please check it out!

On Thursday, I will, come hell or high water, have The Summer Queen by Joan D. Vinge reviewed. This novel has taken me twice as long as I expected to read it. In fact, it’s currently over due at the library — and it’s an ILL. Oops. Maybe if someone published the book in relatively normal font, I wouldn’t be here ass-hanging-out-in-the-wind on a review, but here I am indeed.

Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:

It’s a Christmas miracle! We’re done with David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Thanks to Shell @ Books by the Cup for cheering us on the whole way. On Saturday we started a novella that came recommended by Karen @ Booker Talk called The Room by Jonas Karlsson, translated by Neil Smith.

Books Added to the TBR Pile:

21 comments

  1. Well done for finishing David Copperfield! I am working my way through Nicholas Nickleby at the moment – without competition the longest audiobook, I have ever listened to. I always enjoy Facts from School. I wonder where these facts come from? Are you attending a course? Or actually teaching?

    Like

    • The course is an extended education course that is working toward warning my LC5, which is a library certification that allows me to do more tasks at work. So far, it’s been very helpful for me at work. I’m going to do 3 courses total.

      Thanks for the congrats! I’ve read a few Charles Dickens novels, and the nonfiction text in listening to, The Victorian City, is a great companion. I’d recommend it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ah I see. I’m glad the courses are proving useful. They do sound interesting. Thanks for the recommendation of The Victorian City. Generally, I enjoy to learn about London. I actually live in central London and often walk around in the areas described in Dicken’s stories, which gives the reading an extra dimension.

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        • There are entire chapters about walking in London, the rise of buses and cabs, and then trains. Apparently, Dickens used to walk London to get a feel for it for his writing! I get the feeling you would like The Victorian City.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only read one novel by Joan Vinge but I remember it being a slow, dense read too (maybe because I was also reading some other, more page-turner-type SFF by women at that time, my expectations were along those lines). Hopefully you can get your copy returned before too long!

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      • It must have been, because I would have been stringent about reading in order for SFF at that time, and now that I see the copyright dates I can’t see another of hers that would fit. But I also see that it’s still marked TBR in my GR. Maybe I just selected the wrong shelf when I keyed in my older reading logs, but maybe I never actually finished it. I’d have to dig up the real notebook to know for sure. She’s such an important writer, I should probably try it/them again. But I’ve already got a couple other SFF projects underway.

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  3. I’m curious about Ali Wong’s book, hopefully it’s not another stupid celebrity memoir, but as long as it’s hilarious, I’ll give it a pass.

    Very interesting to hear of a library with a drive-thru window. In fact, I would use this b/c getting my kids in and out of their car seats is a huge pain in the ass, when I just need to pick something up quickly. Of course it doesn’t stop me, but it would make my life so much easier!!!

    Like

    • I do think about parents when I’m considering the benefits of a drive-thru window at any place of business. I remember back when parents would tell their kids “wait here” and run in for less than five minutes. Now you do that and they send you off to jail.

      I’m not big on celebrity memoirs myself, especially after Joan Fontaine’s autobiography ruined the way I felt about her. However, Tiffany Haddish’s audio book was great, and I’m interested in Wong because she’s the first comedian I’ve ever seen who did stand up while largely pregnant. Amy Schumer did a special while pregnant and ill a few months ago, and I felt like her condition humbled her to the point where she was actually funnier. I felt like she used to try and be Gillian Flynn’s definition of “the cool girl,” but being pregnant and sick threw all of that out the window. Ali Wong was a trailblazer for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was planning to read The Snow Queen (it’s the next pick for the Sword and Laser book club) – if it’s taken you this long, though, maybe I should give it a pass? Looking forward to your review!

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    • NO! Definitely read this series. SUPER worth it. I would recommend getting e-books, if you can, so you can increase the font, though. I’m going to write my review today and publish it tomorrow. Then, I’m going to get the last book, Tangled Up in Blue, as soon as I can! OMG, I would love to have someone to talk to about this series!

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