Interesting Notes from Class:
This week is all about weeding books out of a library’s collection, a challenging task as patrons worry that libraries are throwing books away and wasting money, but a task that has great value for the success of a library.
“Weeding has been shown time and again to be one of the best ways to stimulate circulation, especially in public libraries, as overcrowded shelves discourage browsing by users.” — Vicki L. Gregory, Collection Development and Management for 21st Century Library Collections, p. 120
Everyone who works at a the library can and should help with weeding the collection. Even the shelver, who has no library degree, can pull books that look gross or have obvious damage and give them to a librarian for inspection. — Gregory, p. 123
“Approximately 50 percent of the circulation of a title occurs in the first five years after publication and acquisition.” — Hali R. Keeler, Working with Library Collections, p. 73
The website Awful Library Books accepts submissions of books that should have been weeded but were still on the shelves to emphasize the importance of getting rid of books. Some are so awful there are actually categories entitled “Satan for Kids” and “Crafts for (the) retarded?” I kid you not.
This Week’s Blog Posts:
Sarah @ Hamlets & Hyperspace and I realized something this week: WordPress no longer notifies you if someone tags one of your posts. On Tuesday I shared some love to other bloggers in a post entitled Time to Ponder Books: reasons I love book blogging that actually have nothing to do with reading. Until late Saturday night, it received almost no attention. Perhaps the title was too “meh,” I wondered. Maybe you all thought I was too saccharine. No. It turns out WordPress didn’t alert any of you to the fact that I tagged (so many) of you.
On Thursday I inspected that original Flannery O’Connor novella, the classic starring Hazel Motes: Wise Blood. As I post more about audiobooks, I’m noticing you’re giving me feedback about the ways in which my attention to audio delivery is making you more (or less) interested in audio works. Cool!
Next Week’s Blog Posts:
For some reason, it always slips my mind to think about which holidays or celebrations occur in a month and to shape my reading around that. February is Black History Month in the States, and while I didn’t forget, I did fail to plan some reading around the celebrations. In a better-late-than-never effort, I’m sharing reviews of To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry on Tuesday and Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston on Thursday.
Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:
I asked the spouse what stood out to him this week about the book I’m reading to him, Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins. Two things he noted: he’s really enjoyed the structure of this odd work of nonfiction. Robbins isn’t working through his life chronologically (autobiography), nor is he expounding on one facet of his life (memoir). Instead, Robbins writes short chapters with a theme — snakes, the circus, church — and gives several brief anecdotes from different points in his life that fit into the theme. The result is a nonfiction work that is perfect for us, as we don’t read for long stretches each day (usually about 30 minutes).
The other thing the spouse noted is that he’s never read any fiction by the famous Tom Robbins, and it doesn’t seem to matter. Now aged 87, Robbins’s life is so full that he’s an interesting person in general.
Reading Side Projects:
I did a bit of audiobook juggling this week. I tried listening to The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, but the cast is huge and the setting jumps in time. Sending the file back to the ether to be checked out by someone else, I went on the hunt for a new story for my commute. I discovered something I’ve been craving: a full cast production! I love radio plays and wish audiobooks were closer to them, but I understand how cost-prohibitive hiring a full cast and doing all the editing can be. But that didn’t stop the good folks producing The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Each character is a different voice, and the man who reads the narrator’s parts has a voice like the narrator from Winnie the Pooh. *sigh of contentment*
Books Added to the TBR Pile: