Have you seen Amazon's readalike tool, What Should I Read Next? The website lets you type in a title or author, then using Amazon's extensive database of books, provides a list of books that are similar to the one you entered. You can then click on the little book icon next to the title in the list to be taken to Amazon to learn more. Simple and effective! You can use this when patrons come in and are seaching for a book to read and don't know where to start, or patrons can use it themselves from home and then put the books they'd like on hold in TRACpac.
The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic takes place next month, so media coverage is picking up as is general interest in the Titanic from young and old alike. Kids are learning about the disaster in school, and James Cameron's Titanic, which was originally released in 1997, will be released in theaters on April 4th in 3D.
So, how can your library help people satisfy their Titanic information cravings?
Feeling a little stale with your storytimes? Want to start doing a storytime but aren't sure where to start? The Youth Services Section (YSS) of the Wisconsin Library Association has put together a fantastic list of blogs devoted to storytime tips and ideas. You'll find links to blogs that have flannel board ideas, theme and book combinations, crafts, how to do a storytime plan, tips and tricks for getting the most out of storytime, and more!
There are a many other blogs that aren't on that list, and here are some that are worthy of mention:
Struggling with questions to prompt your book club members during the discussion? Not sure how to run a book club? Can't decide what to read next? Looking to do a book club with a twist?
Below are some helpful websites that offer book club resources. Do you have a favourite book club website not listed here? If so, leave a comment and we'll add it to the list!
The Canadian Library Association has revealed the shortlists for the 2012 CLA Book Awards.
I'm sure we've all heard the saying, or may have even said, "It's not you, it's me" when trying to spare someone some potentially hurtful information. It can be second nature to put the focus on ourselves. Well, twice this week I've heard - from entirely separate sources - in two entirely different contexts - that, well, it's not me, it's them.
The first was at the BMI 100 training that took place at PLS headquarters from March 5 - 7. First let me say, that if you ever have the opportunity to take BMI 100...just do it. It'll change how you see yourself and others, giving you a whole new perspective. For those that are unfamiliar, BMI stands for "Become a Master Instructor" and provides training strategies to engage your audience. Anyhow, on the first day I confessed that I found presenting in front of a crowd to be, well, terrifying. Everyone's staring at you, with expectations. Our instructor's response? It's not about you, it's about them. Think about that for a moment. You're up there at the front, maybe introducing an author or welcoming people to a program, and you're nervous because everyone's looking at you. But so what? They're there to hear what you (or your guests) have to say. They're not there to pass judgement on you.
The second time I've heard "It's not about you, it's about them" came at the Southern Alberta Library Conference down in Lethbridge. The keynote speaker, Paul Born, is an expert on community engagement, and quite frankly a brilliant speaker. During his breakout session, "Conversation, Collaboration and Community Change" he stated that libraries are asking the wrong question about their community. It's not, "What can we do?" but rather, "what do they need?" We really have to understand our communities before we can begin to think about what we can provide.
Mr. Born suggested (and this is really ideal for small libraries) this: print of your list of library members. Put each name on an index card or a separate piece of paper - and study the name and think about what you know about them. Ask yourself, what is their quality of life? What can be done to improve their quality of life? Who can the library work with to help improve their quality of life? Figure out who your members are. Get to know them. Only then can you truly provide service to them.
Understand that as a library, you have more people as members than any other community organization. As a public library, every resident is a potential member. As a school, every student. Your library represents your members - and ultimately your community. Don't do things that you're not willing to talk to the community about. Their well-being depends on the library's well-being, and the library's well-being depends on theirs.
Mr. Born admonished libraries to be present. Be aware, be involved. He said, it's not that you have to do more work - but find people who are engaged and want to do more. Yes, it may take a bit of work to find these people, but once you do, let them help you help the community.
St. Patrick's day is coming up, so if you're looking for some crafts, decorations or activities to have in your library, check out the following links:
If you're familiar with Pinterest and have an account, follow the PLS Boards at pinterest.com/peacelibrarysys. If you're not familiar, click on the link to view our boards to see what Pinterest is about!
Perhaps you've heard people talking about the new Internet craze called Pinterest. Pinterest is what is called "social bookmarking," which means that you can share things you've found on the Internet with anyone or only those you choose to. And people can share with you! It's a little bit like Facebook, and a little bit like Twitter (you can follow people and boards, and they can follow you). Now you may be asking, so what's the big deal? Well, it's a fast, easy and incredibly fun way to find crafts and activities. Libraries are popping up on Pinterest on a daily basis, creating boards for craft ideas, programs, new books and recipes! For some other ideas, there's an article called "Five Ways to use Pinterest in Your Library."
How does Pinterest Work? A user creates an account, and then creates "boards" - think of them as electronic bulletin boards. For example, PLS has boards for Teen Program Ideas, Children Program Ideas, Easter, Snacks, etc. You can make a board for any category you wish, and at any time. Now, with my boards set up, I installed the "Pin it" button for my web browser (it's very easy and clear instructions from Pinterest are provided). This allows you to instantly pin something neat that you find while browsing the Internet. So, for example, I'm searching for holiday crafts, and I find something really great - I click the "Pin it" button and a window pops up that asks me which board I want to pin it to! This way, when I'm done browsing, I can go to Pinterest.com and see all the things I've bookmarked. I can also see other people's pins, and search. It's very visual, too. So I see a craft I like, I click on the pin and I'm taken to the instructions on how to make it. A great article to read is Everything You Need to Know About Pinterest.
If you'd like to get started on Pinterest, send an email to Jen at PLS. I can send you an invite, which will get the ball rolling faster for you or your library. Otherwise, it may take a few days to a week from the time you sign up for an account until you're given access. That's the only downfall on how Pinterest works, that I've experienced anyhow.
And, a special thank you to Sheryl P. for sharing her Pinterest addiction with me and getting me hooked!
Have you heard of PUBYAC? It stands for PUBlic libraries, Young Adults, and Children.
It is an Internet discussion list/listserv, like PECANS, that focuses on the practical aspects of childrens and young adult services for public libraries. People from libraries all over North America share their programming ideas, discuss issues like censorship or policy creation, collection development - or just to ask a question, such as "A patron came in trying to find a book they read when they were six, it was about...." It's a safe, helpful environment to learn and to share and I encourage everyone that is interested in developing their children's or young adult programming to join the list. Don't worry about the volume of email, there are options to manage it. And at the very most there may be 15 messages a day.
Sampling of recent topics: How to start an anime club, Titanic programs, ideas for Storybook Character Day, how to find longer "gentle reads" books, etc.
To sign up for PUBYAC, visit http://www.pubyac.org.
Wondering what books are considered "classics"? Modern Library has compiled lists of the 100 best novels and the 100 best non-fiction books, as based on the findings of a committee. What makes it extra interesting, is that beside the list from the comittee is the list determined by readers. Needless to say, they're are some expected differences. Also, Modern Library provides another list, Radcliffe's Rival 100 Best Novels. How many have you read?