Interesting Notes from Class:
We’re on week #6 of the Organization and Management of Collections course, and we’re getting started on thinking about collection development policies. Some libraries don’t have one. Others have a short document. Larger libraries, like the San Francisco Public Library, have a policy 54 pages long. A collection development policy communicates to stakeholders — the employees, patrons, government funding the library, etc. — and should discuss obtaining and weeding materials, intellectual freedom, and that particular library’s goals, among other things.
- To buy an e-book or print book?: it turns out it depends on why the person is reading. In-depth reading, that cover-to-cover sort of reading, means people prefer print books. However, the searchable, easy-to-skim reference work is preferred in e-book format. Reference works tend to be large and take up limited space, and when it’s in print format libraries often mark the book as in-library use only. E-books change that. — Peggy Johnson, Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management, 4th ed. pp. 93-94
- “Not only are public libraries not to be held responsible for deciding what minors may and may not read, the Library Bill of Rights states in no uncertain terms that minors have the same rights as adults in libraries, meaning that any attempt to assume parental responsibility is not only unprofessional but goes against the professional guidelines of librarianship.” — Jennifer Downey, Public Library Collections in the Balance, 2017, p. 21
- Some groups that sound positive are actively fighting to censor library collections. Active groups include the American Family Association, Family Friendly Libraries, and Focus on the Family — Downey, p. 28
- Oftentimes, librarians self-censor by refusing to buy romance or urban fiction due to the perception that such novels have no value, despite the tendency for these genres to be gateways books. pp. 32-33
This Week’s Blog Posts:
Lots of people were excited to read The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware review. It sounds like lots of folks have similar feelings about Ware being a must-read author whose work always lets us down just a smidge. Will you try her fiction in audiobook form in the future and see how it changes your feelings about this mystery/thriller writer’s work?
Doris Lessing writes fiction, but it seems she wants to make you think, too. With her shorter works (a novella or smaller), her tactic is successful, but I’ve been awfully bored by a Lessing novel in the past. I was interested to see such a split in the comments of my review of The Fifth Child. Parents seemed horrified, and my child-free readers were patently uninterested in the plot!
Next Week’s Blog Posts:
Earlier this year I listened to and reviewed Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor, and I’ve been giving intermittent updates on her biography by Brad Gooch. Now, I’m gearing up for a Flannery O’Connor read-along! Many of you have expressed how you own a copy of The Complete Stories and would like to read it someday. Well some day is approaching, and it’s in May 2020! Get your book ready and start thinking about your schedule. I’ll announce the readalong, when I’ll be reading each story, and how I plan to tackle reviewing this chonky book. Check back Tuesday!
On Thursday I’m reviewing The White Gryphon by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon for #ReadingValdemar 2020. I’ll explain how this book lets me down, the potential I see, and why I keep reading a series that’s getting hazy in terms of characterization.
Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:
You guys. True Grit by Charles Portis is so funny. It doesn’t hurt that I read Rooster Cogburn’s lines in a John Wayne voice, either. I mean, it’s so painfully cowboy that my husband keeps saying, “Now that’s a line!” (or something like that — sorry if I’m misquoting you, Nick). We both noticed the way the characters tend to speak without using contractions, which can make for some formal sounding people, but then they throw in an idiom like “lip flapping.” I also like this passage in which Rooster Cogburn is trying to tell fourteen-year-old Mattie that she won’t be comfortable if she tags along on his hunt for the man who shot her father:
“I will not be stopping at boardinghouses with warm beds and plates of hot grub on the table. It will be traveling fast and eating light. What little sleeping is done will take place on the ground.”
Books Added to the TBR Pile:
Thanks to Nicole for her recommendation!