We gave our academic compadres the love last issue, so I thought it would be nice to tailor some content to the youth librarians in our midst this time around. In this issue, you'll find news from Baker &Taylor regarding their exciting acquisition of BWI, an interview with YA librarian and blogger Carolyn LaMontagne of Librarian in the Middle, and two Readers' Advisory Corners featuring professional reading of interest to children's and YA librarians. In addition, our "Weeding Tips" series continues with the vast 600s, and "Twenty Best Bets for Student Researchers, 2012" offers up titles we reviewed in the reference section of Booklist over the last 12 months that we recommend for students.
This issue also sees the debut of a new regular feature for Corner Shelf, "RA Showcase," where we will feature a reading list or display from various libraries. You're all out there creating these great read-alike lists and displays for your patrons; here's your chance to show them off to your fellow librarians. If you'd like to see your library featured in RA Showcase, or if you are interested in contributing an article on Readers' Advisory or Collection Management topics to Corner Shelf, please contact me at email@example.com.
—Rebecca Vnuk, Editor, Reference and Collection Management, Booklist
by Rebecca Vnuk
So many libraries are putting together fantastic book lists, displays, and reading guides. In this new Corner Shelf feature, we'll be taking a look at the offerings of various libraries, linking back to the original library list. If you have a read-alike list or display that you'd like to see showcased here, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Saint Charles (IL) Public Library offers an online database of nearly 1,800 book reviews called "You've Got to Read This!" that features contributions from staff and local youth readers. The database was custom designed by independent contractor Greg Less. Primary contributors are youth-services staff members as part of their monthly readers'-advisory objectives. One of the read-alike lists available is titled "Especially for Boys Book Reviews."
by Joslyn Jones
Demographics are shifting and becoming ever more diverse by the day/hour/minute. In light of recent news reports that racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., and with those children increasingly identifying as bi- or multiracial, Mixed Heritage: Your Source for Books for Children and Teens about Persons and Families of Mixed Racial, Ethnic, and/or Religious Heritage is a well-timed and exceedingly useful bibliography to add to your juvenile collection-development arsenal.
Carolyn LaMontagne, the Librarian in the Middle
by Rebecca Vnuk
Carolyn LaMontagne's YA-friendly blog, Librarian in the Middle, is a gold mine for anyone personally or professionally interested in books that work for middle-school readers. LaMontagne uses her experience working with students in grades 5–12 to test publisher predictions of what kids will like and get honest feedback. Her blog is a space for book reviews, links, and random tidbits of interest to students, their parents, and teachers.
Rebecca: Tell us a little about yourself and your library background.
Carolyn: My background is random! Philosophy major; creative writing MFA; teaching composition and creative writing at the college level; editing for a small educational publishing company; and then freelance editing. I loved aspects of all of those things, especially teaching and writing (including writing an unpublished YA novel), and while I was freelance editing and trying to figure out what to do next, a friend suggested school librarianship. About a year later, I went back to school (at University of Illinois) for my MSLIS, and I got my current job about 7 years ago, right out of graduate school. It has been a perfect blend of many things that I loved in previous "lives," plus a lot of fun that I did not anticipate.
Rebecca: What drew you to working with middle-school students?
Carolyn: This age group is never boring, and for me, their curiosity and energy are contagious in ways I never expected when I was first looking into librarianship. I knew I'd enjoy the job, but, as cheesy as it sounds, I didn't realize how much of my heart it would capture. I sometimes think it's crazy that I get paid to do something so fun.
Rebecca: Tell us about your job. What's a typical day at work?
Carolyn: I am a Librarian at Collegiate School, a private K–12 school in Richmond, Virginia, and my library currently serves grades 5–12 (about 1,000 students). We are in the process now of preparing to split into two libraries next fall, one for middle grades (5–8) and one for upper (9–12), and I will be working exclusively in the middle-school library. There isn't really a "typical" day for me, thank goodness, but my job includes regular library classes with fifth and sixth graders (I do a lot of booktalks and also teach library and research skills), running a weekly book club with seventh and eighth graders, assignment-specific research classes, readers' advisory, crowd control (the library is the upper-school hangout space), and just chatting with students of all ages about all sorts of things. I'm also an advisor for 10 sophomore students.
by Rebecca Vnuk
As the new school year gets under way, our annual "Best Bets" list features titles we reviewed in the reference section of Booklist over the last 12 months that we recommend for students.
At the Corner of Baker & Taylor: Baker & Taylor Enhances Top-Notch Children's and Teen Services
RA Showcase: Books for Boys
Weeding Tips: Shelf by Shelf: 600s
Readers' Advisory Corner: Catherine Blackmore's Mixed Heritage
Baker & Taylor Best-Sellers
Notes from the Field: Carolyn LaMontagne, the Librarian in the Middle
Twenty Best Reference Bets for Student Researchers
Readers' Advisory Corner: Scott Robins and Snow Wildsmith's A Parent's Guide to the Best Kids' Comics
Baker & Taylor Enhances Top-Notch Children's and Teen Services
by Jill Faherty
Baker & Taylor's Children's and Teen Services (CATS) is the one-stop source for all the needs of public libraries, offering more than 1,500 standing order plans for popular series, authors and illustrators and notable awards-list titles. Baker & Taylor's "CATS Meow" newsletter provides informative and timely updates to librarians each month.
Notification services for many youth-services librarians work as the backbone to their collection development routine. One of Baker & Taylor's most popular publications, Growing Minds, highlights and annotates upcoming titles and provides selections by trends. CATS Booking Ahead provides a monthly overview of titles that are projected to be popular. FirstLook is a tiered advance notification program that provides selection lists based on projected popularity and reviews. FirstLook can also be customized by series, publishers, bindings, date range, author, and more.
In September 2012, Baker & Taylor announced that it was acquiring the BWI public library business, which will enhance Baker & Taylor's children's and teens programs and services. This transaction is the result of a strategic decision by the Follett School & Library Group to concentrate on the PreK–12 market. Baker & Taylor is extremely pleased that Follett identified Baker & Taylor as the partner most capable of continuing the highest levels of service to BWI's customers, based on extensive experience with public libraries and commitment to personal attention and detail.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Well, we had it pretty easy with the last installment of Weeding Tips, even managing to do two sections at once. Enough lollygagging—now it's time to get back to work and tackle the 600s.
The sheer scope of the 600s is what makes it so daunting. You'll approach the medical books in a much different way than the cookbooks. Parenting books go in and out of style like you wouldn't believe, and how about those trusty (ahem, dusty) car-care books? And you will note that in several places throughout the 600s there are very similar books in other Dewey areas. If you are a small library, it may make sense to combine those items and reclassify as needed.
Top-selling books at Baker & Taylor in September for teens, children, and adults.
Top Titles for Teens
- Confessions of a Murder Suspect, by James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
- The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
- Seconds Away, by Harlan Coben
- Son, by Lois Lowry
- The Diviners, by Libba Bray
- Tilt, by Ellen Hopkins
- Carnival of Souls, by Melissa Marr
- Tiger's Destiny, by Colleen Houck
- Naruto 58, by Masashi Kishimoto
- The Crown of Embers, by Rae Carson
Top Titles for Children
- The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan
- Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, by Mo Willems
- Mossy, by Jan Brett
- Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All, by Rachel Renee Russell
- Bear Says Thanks, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
- Llama Llama, Time to Share, by Anna Dewdney
- Bear Has a Story to Tell, by Philip C. Stead / Erin E. Stead
- Olivia and the Fairy Princesses, by Ian Falconer
- Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers, by Dav Pilkey
- Oh, No!, by Candace Fleming / Eric Rohmann
Top Titles for Adults
- Low Pressure, by Sandra Brown
- A Wanted Man, by Lee Child
- The Casual Vacancy, by J. K. Rowling
- Severe Clear, by Stuart Woods
- Winter of the World, by Ken Follett
- Mad River, by John Sandford
- NYPD Red, by James Patterson / Marshall Karp
- Delusion in Death, by J. D. Robb
- Zoo, by James Patterson / Michael Ledwidge
- No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, by Mark Owen / Kevin Maurer
by Jesse Karp
A blogger and frequent contributor to comics-related works, Robins teams with Booklist reviewer Wildsmith to produce this answer to parents'—and many librarians'—prayers: a book devoted exclusively to recommending the best graphic novels available for kids. Broken down by age level from Pre-K through eighth grade, each of the entries contains a summary of the work, a few words on its particular strengths, notes on awards, educational tie-ins, issues of possible parental concern, and read-alikes. Also included, of course, is publication information, as are covers and full-color page samples from the work in question.