I planned to be off all week, but I preloaded Monday and Tuesday.
I will be on and off Twitter, but no blog posts until Monday 4/4.
See you in April
I have 8 reviews in the April 2022 issue of Library Journal. Below are the titles with my three words and links to my full draft reviews.
I want to remind everyone that I craft this column very deliberately to suit public library needs. Every single title is a great edition for all library collections. I do not allow myself more than 3 stars out of the 8 titles I review in each column. These are all Becky approved. Now the details.First the STARS:
And the remaining titles:
Editor's Note: RA for All is on vacation and there may be typos here. I will fix them later. It was key to get this published though
Friday began with Amy Schneider, Jeopardy! champion in conversation with a staff member for PLA [who did a fantastic job, by the way]. Amy began talking about her historic run, becoming the most winning woman in the show's history and the first openly transgender contestant to make the Tournament of Champions.
She was charming. She was honest about how she prepared and spent a few minutes talking about how she stayed in the moment. This was excellent advice for all. She also discussed her own anxiety and how she worked to figure out how to keep it at bay for each 30 minute taping. Her focusing techniques and pre-show playlists helped.
As she began winning, she realized that everyone was coming for her-- and her future house [LOL]. She told them to herself, "I know this is your dream too, but sorry."
She lost only 3 games before her shows would have aired. She was living this double life, going to LA Monday, Tuesday and taping 10 shows in 2 days, then going back to Oakland and working. She was exhausted, but she could not tell anyone. Thank goodness she was working remote so no one realized how much work she was actually missing. And, she was frank, she was not doing a great job at her day job during that time.
Her self awareness and ability to deal with fame was discussed. It was weird knowing one of the best things to ever happen to her, a life changing event, was about to happen in a few weeks but she could not share it with the people in her life. Also, knowing she would soon be recognized on the street-- she is still dealing with that and her comfort there.
But as a trans woman, who didn't transition until adulthood, who spent a life time hiding her true self, hiding something so important was hard. "I hid so much for so long," but in this case she knew it would end.
Watching herself on TV was hard, she is still getting used to herself, her voice, and her thinning hair. But it was also enlightening because as the run went on, she realized she was the only one who really cared about how sushi looked.
She was asked: What has your viability represented to the trans world? Reply: It is hard for me to see because I am in that world. She has friends at the Trans Lifeline [which she said helped her many times] and they told her that she helped a lot of people. Many were calling because they saw her on TV. But she is mostly proud that her appearance, on a show that skews older, has allowed parents and grandparents to understand trans people and have conversations with the trans people in their own lives. That people so graciously and happily let her into their living rooms day after day and accepted her, even rooted for her, made her proud.
She said she didn't even understand what "trans" was until she was 30. The world has branded us as freaks for so long and here I am, a trans person who is normal and relatable on TV, in your living rooms.
She did feel a responsibility to the trans community saying, I did not present and idealized version of myself. I did not want to give other trans people who saw me something hard to reach. I am not perfect, but this is me and I am loved and accepted for the woman I am.
In summation-- she was funny and charming and self aware. It was a wonderful way to start the final day.
Next up, Horrible, Evil Library Books: Normalizing Intellectual Freedom Standards in Customer Service.
First, here are the slides and handouts. Please look at them to supplement this recap.
Thursday began with the Big Ideas with Brittany K. Barnett. Click here to read about Ms. Barnett and her upcoming book. Her overall theme in one sentence...Representation Matters. But here are a few things from her powerful talk that I wanted to share with you:
Based on research done by library staff, Glendale became the first city in California to pass a Sundown Town proclamation, acknowledging and apologizing for its history of racist treatment of Black people. Glendale Library, Arts & Culture (GLAC) was a leader in the City's effort to build a collective understanding of historic and present-day systemic racism, through partnerships, events and exhibits. GLAC is working towards becoming an antiracist organization internally as well.
This was a wonderful return to the LibraryReads branded live events. It was a chance for those of us assembled to meet the authors and hear about their books. Some were there in person and some were virtual. But, right before the event, I was texting with Executive Director of Library Readers, Rebecca Vnuk, who was there virtually, and she said they are committed to making these panels hybrid going forward. They are looking into to hiring people to record them at every conference where they will happen and then allow people to watch them after.
Wednesday at PLA was the first full day of the conference and I did something at every session. This post is a recap of the main points and resources from what I learned today.
The opening session was Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Professional Troublemaker. Ms Jones gave a talk that reminded the group assembled that the things we all must do are way more important than our fears. Here are a few of the things she said--paraphrased-- that I want to share:
Whether you weren't able to make #PLA2022 or you got a chance to see the live event, we have all the important information from our Book Buzz!
We'd like to once again thank our panelists:
Annie Mazes, Senior Manager, Adult Library Marketing, Workman Publishing
Virginia Stanley, Director of Library Marketing, HarperCollins Publishers
Amanda Crimarco, Library Marketing Manager, Macmillan Library Marketing
Melissa Nicholas, Director, Account Marketing, Hachette Book Group
Margaret Coffee, Director of Sales-Schools, Libraries, and Independent Bookstores, Sourcebooks
And finally, I ended my day with a program I had high hopes for, and it exceeded it-- Removing Bias and Barriers From Your Cataloging, a case study from the River Forest [IL] Public Library by Megan O'Keefe.
First, here are her excellent handouts and slides:
Yesterday afternoon Robin Bradford, Alene Moroni, Alma Katsu [pre-recorded] and I presented a three hour pre-conference "Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers."
|Click here to go to the full PLA site|
Only those who paid for the pre-conference are supposed to have access to the slides and handouts, but you know what, that is not inclusive. So below, I have our slides and the video interview I did with Alma Katsu:
And here is a short recap [w/ pictures] of how the day went and what each of us presented on for a little bit of context.
This was the first time Robin and I have done this program in person together, after many months of doing it virtually. And Alene is an old friend who we were so glad could join us and enhance our existing program.
|The three of us before presenting.|
Robin began with her talk about ActivelyAnti-Racist Collection Development and I followed, as per our usual program on this topic, with my Actively Anti-Racist RA Service talk. After a short break, Alene provided actual examples of how she provides Actively Anti-Racist service at her library.
|Robin presenting and Alene looking on|
We then took 45 minutes of questions before allowing author Alma Katsu to have the final word, speaking about her new novel, The Fervor, writing from her Japanese-American perspective for the first time, and the rise of hate in our country [Katsu worked in American intelligence for many years].
|Alma Katsu and Becky conversing on the big screen|
We then ended the day by giving away 5 copies of Katsu's ARC courtesy of Putnam.
|Katsu's novel on the podium.|
Today, the conference proper begins and I will be back to report on what I learned tomorrow, but I hope what I have given you today can help some of you learn from afar.
Back to in person conferencing this week with the return of PLA Annual. Click here for the conference website. I will say I am very excited to get back to conferencing, but let's see how I feel on Friday.
Today I have a couple of notes for all readers of this blog, whether you are coming to the conference in person, doing it virtually, or staying home.
First is the Library Journal Galley Guide made specifically for this conference, a list of all of the ARCs that attendees can get in the exhibit hall along with scheduled author appearances. You will notice the Galley Guide is smaller than usual because everyone is bringing fewer titles and hosting fewer authors. This is the cautious first steps back into what our new normal will look like.
But it is important to remember that the LJ Galley Guide for any conference is not just for the people who are at the conference. Why? Click here to read my explanation from a previous round of Galley Guides. This post his about how and why Galley Guides are an excellent RA and Collection Development resource.
Second, on to more pressing matters....me. No seriously. Many of you have asked about my schedule, both to meet up with me in person and the blogging schedule. So here are those details.
This post is prescheduled to go live at 7am central time on Tuesday 3/22, but I finished writing it Monday, 3/21 in the afternoon, before I got on my 8:20pm plane to Portland. Why I am telling you this, because of two things.
So posts about PLA Wed-Saturday mornings. And then, silence. I get home on the red-eye early Saturday morning and do a 36 hour turn around to do a road trip for spring break. We are taking our son to look at colleges. I know, very glamorous.
I will be on Twitter that week of 3/28 though, because there will be a lot of down time for me, as our son has classes to attend, student bands to play with [he is applying to college for music], and hanging out with current students. And I will be reading. A LOT.
But I won't be blogging. Spring break is always a week off from blogging for me, even if I don't go anywhere.
So enjoy the PLA coverage, comments, and resources here on the blog [and Twitter] this week, but after that I will see you in April.
I am getting ready for PLA [leaving later today], and I will have a detailed post about that including my blogging schedule tomorrow, but today, I wanted to send you to a recent article in Library Journal by some of my colleagues at NoveList entitled, "Readers’ Advisory + Reader Engagement = Reader Services for Our Times."
It is behind a paywall, but you get a few articles for free a month, If your library subscribes to LJ [which it probably does], you can set up digital access as well. Today might be a good chance to look into that.
Please read this article because it outlines the 21st century mission of RA Service that I teach. In fact, I have given a talk about this topic with one of the authors here, Autumn Friedli [link to our slides here].
This is a great explanation of how you create service to leisure readers that is about conversations, not transaction.
This article is so important that I will be linking it to my 10 Rules. It outlines the HOW and WHY behind our service to readers through the library.
Finally, if you really cannot read this in any way, let me know and I will send it to you as a PDF. It really is that foundational.
by Tim McGregorApr. 2022. Silver Shamrock, paper, $14.99 (9781951043537).In the summer of 1987, Mark worked at the local ice cream stand, where the product was subpar and a wasp nest ominously hung outside the window. It is the summer he fell in love with the middle Farrow sister, a Horror reading witch, a complex and beguiling girl whose family are the town pariahs. And, it is also the summer when a very real ghost began haunting him for the rest of his life. Looking back as an adult, Mark is able to own his mistakes, as he spins a vivid tale of the shattered innocence that defines him as an adult. Filled with evocative and captivating scenes, strong female characters, and an engaging narration, readers will become engrossed immediately, while the threat and fear at the heart of this story, satisfyingly, sneaks up on them. The provocative title, paired with the equally intriguing chapter titles, allows the tension and pacing to steadily increase until that titular nest and all of the consequences from a lifetime of choices come violently crashing down upon Mark and the reader. This spectacular example of coming of age Horror, the best since Janz's Children of the Dark and Kiste’s The Rust Maidens, and reminiscent of McCammon’s Boy’s Life, will delight and chill this subgenre’s numerous fans.
First published March 15, 2022 (Booklist).
YA Statement: With its 1980s nostalgia, vivid cast of realistically depicted teenaged characters, touchingly awkward descriptions of first love, and a chillingly realistic haunting, this novel will attract a swarm of teen readers.Further Appeal: McGregor is a name to watch. I gave his historical Horror novel from 2021-- Hearts Strange and Dreadful-- a star in Library Journal.