As I'm writing this issue's editor's note, I have weeding on my mind. Specifically, the webinar "Weeding: The Basics and Beyond" I'll be presenting later in the day. (If you missed it, check the Booklist webinar archive page.) This issue is also full of weeding topics—our ongoing "Weeding Tips" series, having traversed the shelves in Dewey order, turns to frequently asked questions regarding weeding. The "Notes from the Field" interview features Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly of the hilarious book blog, Awful Library Books.
But there's more than just weeding. "At the Corner of Baker and Taylor" focuses on the company's CATS program for youth services departments, and you can get a taste of what's happening in reference publishing with a link to "What's New with . . . Rowman & Littlefield," the first in a series of chats in which we get the latest on what publishers are up to and what their plans are for the future.
This issue also features a topic that's even more important to me than weeding—women's fiction. In "Rebecca's Rules: Defining Women's Fiction," I discuss what differentiates women's fiction from general fiction and why your patrons are clamoring for more. But I'll admit, I'm not the expert in everything—and here's where you, the reader, come in. If you're interested in contributing feature content to Corner Shelf, I want to hear from you! Is there something in particular your library does really well in the areas of collection development, reference services, or reader's advisory? Are you an expert in one of those areas and interested in sharing your knowledge? E-mail me at email@example.com.
And if you're tired of hearing me go on and on about weeding, don't worry, even I can't talk about it forever. But when we give weeding a rest (a temporary rest, mind you), I'll need something else to talk about. So if you're looking for coverage of another topic in collection development, drop me a line and let me know what you'd like to read about next.
—Rebecca Vnuk, Editor, Reference and Collection Management, Booklist
Attending ALA Annual in Chicago this June? We'd like to talk to you about the tools you currently use for collection development. Please e-mail Rebecca Vnuk at firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation to a special Booklist in-person focus-group opportunity.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly, public librarians from Michigan, run the blog Awful Library Books.net(tagline: "Hoarding Is Not Collection Development"). I had the chance to speak with them about their collection philosophies and dish about their snarky site.
by Rebecca Vnuk
It's incredibly difficult to pin down exactly what women's fiction is (or what it isn't) because everyone seems to have a different take on it. It tends to be a catchall term used by readers and library staff to quickly identify a book—seemingly any book—containing female characters, or any book that might appeal to a female reader. But it's more than that. It's not even really a genre; it's a reading interest.
As the author of reference works on women's fiction (Read On . . . Women's Fiction and Women's Fiction Authors: A Research Guide, both 2009), I am often asked to define the field. My answer is always this: these are novels that explore the lives of female protagonists, focusing on all kinds of relationships, be it lovers, spouses, parents, children, friends, or members of a community. The common thread is that the central character is female, and the main thrust of the story is something happening in the life of that woman (as opposed to the overall theme being a romance or a mystery of some sort). Emotions and relationships are the common thread between books that belong in this category. A woman is the star of the story, and her emotional development drives the plot.
It's time to take the ambiguity out of women's fiction, and so I give you Rebecca's Rules. (And, no, "Must have legs, feet, or shoes on the cover" is not one of them.) Of course, they are "rules" merely in a tongue-in-cheek way—for most casual readers, it makes no difference whether we call it a romance or we call it women's fiction, they just want something good to read about women. Placing an author in one category or another is a much bigger deal to librarians than it is to most readers. That said, here are the rules.
by Rebecca Vnuk
We've spent a lot of time in the last year discussing the future of the publishing world, particularly reference publishing. As noted in our September 15, 2012, feature "Encyclopedia Update: Reboot, 2012," many publishers are changing their delivery models, while others are sticking with print, all upping the ante by refining coverage and focusing on user needs. To continue the conversation, we're launching a series of publisher chats in which we get the latest on what publishers are up to and what their plans are for the future.
Starting off this series is a look at Rowman & Littlefield (R&L), one of the largest and fastest-growing independent publishers in North America. R&L publishes hundreds of reference works annually, mostly (but not always) under the Scarecrow Press imprint. And a new academic publishing business is on the way—Rowman & Littlefield International, which will be located in London—with the mission of publishing in the humanities and social sciences for a global academic audience.
At the Corner of Baker & Taylor: Supporting Youth Librarians with Market-Leading Services
Rebecca's Rules: Defining Women's Fiction
Weeding Tips Shelf by Shelf: FAQ
Notes from the Field:Talking about Awful Library Books with Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly
What's New with . . . Rowman & Littlefield
Baker and Taylor Best-Sellers
Supporting Youth Librarians with Market-Leading Services
by Jill Faherty
CATS gives cause for celebration! Recently Baker & Taylor's Children's and Teens Services (CATS) provided grants supporting the ALA's Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) and Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) members. In addition to supporting libraries through ALA, CATS has been creating new programs to optimize collection development services. To accommodate these new programs and overall growth, CATS has added regional specialists with a combined 48 years of public library experience. CATS also presents innovative ways to assist with library workflows and digital information needs.
Among the CATS latest offerings: libraries are migrating to Baker & Taylor's revolutionary ordering system, Title Source 360. The system replaces the Title Source™ 3 database and is more intuitive, visually appealing, and designed to keep users abreast of current trends. Users see popular titles scroll across the screen matched to current events or themes. For April 2013, for example, users may see trending Earth Day titles. As the warmer weather approaches, summer-themed reading suggestions may appear.
The database also offers enhanced search capabilities, such as the ability to filter within a selection list or bibliography. Bibliographies are easy to access in the system, and links quickly connect users to items such as a desired author or series.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Now that we've made it through the Dewey system, we can focus on different specifics of weeding. We'll start off with some frequently asked questions regarding library weeding. When giving weeding workshops and webinars, I hear many of the same questions pop up over and over again, so here they are, complete with answers.
What can we do with weeded copies?
Depending on what your library's policies or restraints may be, there are a number of ways to clear out weeded copies. (Academic and school libraries in particular need to check with their administration to make sure they are following proper procedures.)
Top-selling books at Baker & Taylor in November for teens, children, and adults.
Top Titles for Teens
- Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare
- Requiem, by Lauren Oliver
- Dark Triumph, by Robin LaFevers
- The Rising, by Kelley Armstrong
- Inferno, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
- Light, by Michael Grant
- Panic, by Sharon M. Draper
- If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch
- Fox Forever, by Mary E. Pearson
- Period 8, by Chris Crutcher
Top Titles for Children
- Stallion by Starlight, by Mary Pope Osborne / Sal Murdocca
- My Brother Is a Big, Fat Liar, by James Patterson / Lisa Papademetriou / Neil Swaab
- The Dark, by Lemony Snicket / Jon Klassen
- Geronimo Stilton: Rumble in the Jungle, by Geronimo Stilton
- White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
- Now I'm Big!, by Karen Katz
- All's Fair, by Nancy E. Krulik / John & Wendy
- Ol' Mama Squirrel, by David Ezra Stein
- Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping, by Melanie Watt
- Chasing the Prophecy, by Brandon Mull
Top Titles for Adults
- Daddy's Gone a Hunting, by Mary Higgins Clark
- Unintended Consequences, by Stuart Woods
- Whiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts
- Starting Now, by Debbie Macomber
- Don't Go, by Lisa Scottoline
- Six Years, by Harlan Coben
- Secrets from the Past, by Barbara Taylor Bradford
- Tapestry of Fortunes, by Elizabeth Berg
- Taking Eve, by Iris Johansen
- The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout