I always find myself energized after interviewing library staff for Corner Shelf's "Notes from the Field" feature. There are such fantastic things happening in libraries today, and we all know that library folks love to adapt the great ideas of others. This issue features Tara Bannon Williamson and her ideas on customer service and collection development—as well as using your whole collection when doing readers' advisory. Do you know someone who would make a great interview subject (or perhaps you'd like to showcase your ideas!)? Please contact me for details.
We've got a lot of collection ideas in this issue—start with "Professional Reading Roundup: Spring 2013" to make sure you're up-to-speed on the latest Booklist reviews of professional reading titles; meanwhile, Baker & Taylor shares news about digital collections in this issue's installment of "At the Corner of Baker & Taylor." Last month's "Weeding Tips: FAQ" was a big hit, and this issue brings "FAQ: Part 2." And don't forget, May is mystery month here at Booklist. All month long, we've been featuring numerically themed lists of mysteries on BOL, including "No Clue Where to Shelve These: 6 Women's Fiction Novels That Think They're Mysteries."
I'm hoping to get the chance to meet up with many of you at this year's ALA Annual Conference here in Chicago next month. We'll be holding a focus group on collection development on Saturday, June 29, and I'll also be in the Booklist booth. If you're attending Annual Conference, please get in touch! I'm always interested in hearing more of your ideas for collection development and readers' advisory.
—Rebecca Vnuk, Editor, Reference and Collection Management, Booklist
Attending ALA Annual in Chicago next month? We'd like to talk to you about the tools you currently use for collection development. Please email Rebecca Vnuk at firstname.lastname@example.org for an invitation to a special Booklist in-person focus group opportunity.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Professional reading materials are reviewed exclusively on Booklist Online and to make sure you haven't missed any, we present a roundup of titles reviewed from November 2012–May 2013. Be sure to click through to read the full reviews.
50+ Library Services: Innovation in Action. By Diantha Schull. 2013. 335p. ALA Editions, $55 (9780838911198).
Programming ideas for senior populations are showcased here. Librarians face more demands with less time and resources available, so having these examples will help them reflect on whether they are meeting the needs of their senior community and give them know-how to advocate for their elder patrons.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Women's fiction is the hardest genre to pin down—probably because it's not even a genre, per se, it's actually a "reading interest." Women's fiction books can be funny, sad, suspenseful, historical, and, yes—even mysterious. Following are six novels that couldn't quite decide whether they wanted to be women's fiction or straight mystery. Although most of these books have been billed as mysteries (and may even be so branded on the cover), libraries should consider shelving them in general fiction, as die-hard mystery fans may be less than impressed.
As Husbands Go. By Susan Isaacs. 2010. Scribner, paper, $15 (9781416573081).
A Long Island housewife and her feisty Jewish grandmother become unlikely detectives in the veteran novelist's twelfth book. When Susie B. Anthony Rabinowitz Gersten's husband is found stabbed to death in a prostitute's apartment, Susie is devastated, skeptical about the open-and-shut case touted by the district attorney and her impossible in-laws, and determined to unearth the truth about Jonah's killer. That might sound like the tragic plot of a hard-hitting thriller but, actually, it's hilarious.
by Rebecca Vnuk
Tara Bannon Williamson, senior librarian at the Park Hill Branch of the Denver Public Library, was gracious enough to share her thoughts on customer service, readers' advisory, and collection development with us (hint: they're all related).
Rebecca: Tell us a little about yourself and your position.
Tara: My library career began at the impressionable age of 14 when I was asked the question, "You are here so much, why don't you just work here?" The proverbial lightbulb went off in my head, and I decided to apply for a page position at the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library. Years later, when I was at a crossroads during my final year of undergraduate work, after deciding that being a teacher wasn't for me, I fondly recalled my first job at the library, and my true calling was found.
At the Corner of Baker & Taylor: Baker & Taylor and Axis 360 at Center of Effort to Promote Digital Titles
Weeding Tips: FAQ Part 2
Professional Reading Roundup: Spring 2013
Notes from the Field: Whole-Library Advisory with Tara Bannon Williamson
No Clue Where to Shelve These: 6 Women's Fiction Novels That Think They're Mysteries
Baker & Taylor Best-Sellers
Baker & Taylor and Axis 360 at Center of Effort to Promote Digital Titles
by Michael Bills
We all dream of the day when e-books are widely available to libraries so patrons can discover and download them quickly and easily.
That day is not here yet, of course. But recent developments make clear that day is coming.
Baker & Taylor is proud to be at the center of efforts to ensure libraries have equal access to e-books—and when they are available, that readers have a no-hassle way of getting them.
By now, you probably have read about Hachette Book Group's announcement in early May that it is making its full e-book catalog—including new releases—available to libraries. Public and school libraries using Baker & Taylor's Axis 360 digital media platform now have access to more than 5,000 Hachette titles.
by Rebecca Vnuk
The Booklist webinar "Weeding Tips: The Basics and Beyond" was a huge success—if you haven't viewed it yet, the recording is available online here. We extended the program to accommodate questions from the audience, which are presented here.
Question: Our mystery titles go out many times a year and are, by and large, in good shape. But we need space. So how do I know what to weed? Similar question: How do you weed collections that continue to circulate—such as audiobooks and DVDs—so that you can make room for new acquisitions and requests?
Rebecca: It is a tough call when your patrons are using the materials and they are in good condition. If it's a space issue and not a use condition, you might need to tighten up how long you're willing to go between checkouts. Some smaller libraries use three years as a benchmark. It's not unusual to go down to two—but even I will admit that's getting harsh. Any chance you could weed a less-used area and expand the tight section?
Top-selling books at Baker & Taylor in May for teens, children, and adults.
Top Titles for Teens
- The Elite, by Kiera Cass
- Obsidian Mirror, by Catherine Fisher
- The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
- The Reluctant Assassin, by Eoin Colfer
- Game, by Barry Lyga
- Legend, by Marie Lu
- Darius & Twig, by Walter Dean Myers
- Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer / David Levithan
- Quintana of Charyn, by Melina Marchetta
- Icons, by Margaret Stohl
Top Titles for Children
- That Is Not a Good Idea!, by Mo Willems
- Fancy Nancy: The Fanciest Doll in the Universe, by Jane O'Connor / Robin Preiss-Glasser
- Brianna the Tooth Fairy, by Daisy Meadows
- Best Friends Forever, by Kate DiCamillo / Alison McGhee / Tony Fucile
- Fyre by Angie Sage / Mark Zug
- Spymasters, by Clifford Riley
- Big Nate: Game On!, by Lincoln Peirce
- House of Secrets, by Chris Columbus / Ned Vizzini / Greg Call
- Puptastic!, by Victoria Kann
- How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel: The Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup the Viking, by Cressida Cowell
Top Titles for Adults
- 12th of Never, by James Patterson / Maxine Paetro
- The Hit, by David Baldacci
- Whiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts
- Silken Prey, by John Sandford
- Taking Eve, by Iris Johansen
- Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah
- The Mystery Woman, by Amanda Quick
- Wedding Night, by Sophie Kinsella
- Best Kept Secret, by Jeffrey Archer
- Dead Ever After, by Charlaine Harris