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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Let's Get Excited About RA and Libraries

As you saw in yesterday's post about RA Summer Camp, I am feeling particularly inspired to provide the best RA service I can. And for those of you who know me and my enthusiasm for the field, this is saying a lot.

But I am not the only one getting excited these days.

Over at Booklist, Donna Seaman wrote a wonderful article "In Defense of Fiction." If you work with leisure readers, read this. Even after 14 years of training my patrons that helping them to find the perfect fiction book for their mood and tastes IS my most important job, some of them still think their leisure reading questions are less worthy than other's fact based questions.  I am going to use some  of what Donna has to say to help remind them, like this:
The pleasures and benefits of reading fiction are many and profound. Yet fiction is often cast as a frivolous pursuit in our utilitarian society, and under totalitarian regimes, reading fiction can be a crime. Two zealous, learned, and eloquent literary advocates—both college literature teachers and energetic critics—passionately celebrate and defend fiction and its role in our lives in two exhilarating books that combine memoir, literary criticism, and vivid portraits of the writers under discussion. 
Click through for more from Donna. And her article reminds me to remind you that books about books and reading make for the perfect "outside the box" reading suggestions for your stuck in a rut patrons. Here and here are of ideas to get you started with those suggestions.

Also, thanks to the Readers and Reference team at the Syosset [NY] Public Library, I found this article from Tuesday's WSJ entitled, "Why the Public Library Beats Beats Amazon-- For Now." This article takes a lot about what I had to say about how librarians should be reacting to all the Amazon backlash, but uses actual data to back it all up.

Be proud of our fantastic work at American public libraries.  Yes, each individual library has its own set of problems, but look at this data.  As a united front we are kicking butt!  We are putting leisure readers first and giving them the best access to all books and reading for only the cost of their tax dollars. What a deal.

We rock!

Now stop reading this blog and get out there to help match someone with their next great read!

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