Sunday, February 26, 2017

Prompt 7 Response

For this week's response I wanted to touch on celebrity book clubs, as I feel like they are something that has continually increased in recent years. Growing up, Oprah was a tv show that I watched with my mother and when I was finally old enough to comprehend the fact that she had a book club and could read books from that list I was thrilled. It may seem funny, but I felt like I achieved a close bond with Oprah when I read my first book from the list because Oprah herself had read these books!

I found it interesting and not surprising that once a person with a well known name such as Oprah announced a book, that it instantly became popular. In the article they talk about the correlations between the restructuring of the club with the waning popularity of the book club, which they make a very good argument for, however I would push the discussion past the restructuring of the club to take a look at Oprah's ratings. Would Oprah's TV ratings/viewership affect the popularity of the book club? Was there any time during the later years that the study looked at that Oprah's viewership started to dwindle and for what reason? These would all be things to discuss and look at to further discuss the rise and decrease in her book club.

Today, there are still celebrities that have book clubs and while they are not widely televised like Oprah Winfrey, they use social media and their websites to promote their clubs. Two that stick with me, as I am largely a fan of both are Florence Welch (Singer from Florence + the Machines) as well as Emma Watson (most well known as Hermione Granger and soon to be Belle). Florence's book club is mostly books that she is reading with no specific theme to it. However, Emma Watson's book club is a feminist book club that she chooses each month and she takes part in the conversation through the use of a GoodReads book group.


Butler, R., Cowan, B., & Nilsson, S. (2005). From Obscurity to Bestseller. Examining the Impact of Oprah's Book Club Selections. Publishing Research Quarterly, 20(4), 23-34. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.

Science Fiction Annotation: The Martian by Andy Weir

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Week 6 Prompt

Horror Display:

For this assignment, I thought it would be fun to do a display that would entice adults to books. My display would definitely be put up in the month of October which in my few years at the library, seems to be the month where patrons are looking for a scare. One of the great things about a display, is that not only does it catch a person's eye, but it also gives librarians and staff the chance to lay out read-alikes that patrons may like. Often times patrons can be hesitant about asking librarians for help and reading advice, and displays act almost like a middle man to give them that opportunity to find a book on their own without feeling uncomfortable. Below is an image of the display I would create. This can very easily be done on a bulletin board or with pieced together papers to create a large banner. Next to the display, I would have books on display from all backgrounds of the Horror genre. I would also create a bookmark which the patrons could easily take and look at later if they would like.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 5 Prompt

Different types of reviews:

When thinking about various types of reviews, I believe as a person who does collection development, it is important to consider what each review publication has to offer and take that at face value. I think that is important to read reviews that are both positive and negative because reading is such a personal thing and just because one reviewer at Booklist believes that the book is bad, doesn’t mean that others would, therefore including the negative reviews puts the choosing power in the hands of collection development librarians.

When it comes to ebook only books and their lack of professional reviews unless it’s a big-name author, I believe a few factors affect collection development. The first thing that I would say is that in a today’s time when budgets are tight, including ebook allocations, libraries may only have the money to purchase ebooks by more well-known authors. If this is the case, having reviews of more independent authors/publishers may not be all that big of a deal. For those specific genres that you know have pockets in reviews, it may be necessary to search for or even forget about the review sources and go with your gut. Another thing that can be done is a survey sent out to patrons asking what they want in ebooks and see if those types of books are even there. This affects collection development in that the person choosing titles may have to do a little more work, but the work if necessary could come with great rewards in circulation.

Ebook Only Romantic Suspense Novel:

Reliability: When looking at both book reviews, you can tell that neither of them are professional reviewers. With that said, I believe the second “blog review” one would be more reliable. Other than the reviewers own personal anecdote towards the beginning of the review, they state a decent amount of information about the book, and then give more information surrounding why the book is good/bad. The first review seems to be more about themselves and how they love Christmas, so everyone should love Christmas and that specific book.

Would you buy: After reading these two books, I probably wouldn’t purchase this book for the library or add it to the collection. It seems to fit a very niche market of Christmas and approachs that holiday in a way that not everyone would probably appreciate it. When there is a tight budget, it would be important to try and get books that have great ratings all around and the fact that the reviewer who seems more reliable only gives it a 3 out of 5 stars, leads me to believe that it wouldn’t be worth adding to the library’s collection.

Is it Romantic Suspense: After reading the reviews, I would not classify this as a romantic suspense novel. The first reviewer described the book as a “beautiful, clean CHRISTMAS romance” and one of the characteristics of this genre is explicit romance. The storyline also doesn’t include much violence or much suspense. It seems to be more of a contemporary romance, reminiscent of Lifetime movies.

Angela's Ashes:

Would you add to collection: Based off the reviews given about this book, I would most definitely add the book to the collection. Each of the reviews I read were highly positive, and totted this as a book they couldn't put down. With the accessibility of the BBC and their television programs, literature set in the UK and Ireland are very popular. The fact that this book is a tale of life's struggles set during a very popular period of time, only makes my choice easier. The book also seems to include some humor as relief to the very serious nature of the work, which I believe patrons will find welcoming.

Fairness in Reviews:

As a person who works in libraries, I don't think that it's necessarily fair for one type of book to be reviewed way more than a different one. With that said, I believe reviews are written with the books/genres that are more popular in mind because these are books that libraries are most likely going to look into purchasing and are books that readers are going to want to hear about. The smaller niche genres and books that are written by less known authors, may not garner attention and the reviews may not be wanted as much as those by more well known writers. Because reviews are mostly written about popular books and titles, many library collections don't contain books which are independently published or may not have widespread appeal. 

I personally don't appreciate or understand review sources that won't print negative content. For me books are a personal thing, so one person may find the book as not very good, while someone else may find it good. If you censor reviews that find books bad people who are searching for reviews may be withheld of information that would be important to them and their decision making. I think that it is necessary to post both positive and negative reviews. Currently, I do not do any of the decision making at my library, but as a personal reader I don't typically use professional review sources. If I use reviews they are mostly off of Goodreads. However, if I were going to choose a professional review to make decisions it would be Kirkus because they give both positive and negative reviews, as well as having a layout that is easy to get a feel for the book.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mock Kirkus Review: The Silence by Tim Lebbon

The Silence by Tim Lebbon

A dark, intense, and compelling novel, creatures from a cave system sweeps the Earth, leaving only those who live in silence to survive.

A new cave system was discovered in the small country of Moldova, but when explorers come back on their harnesses a mass of blood and tangled limbs, quickly the world changes. As this event unfolds, Ally the main character watches everything from the comfort of her home in England, with all of Europe separating her from the disaster. Little does she know, the threat and need to survive would soon be upon her and her family. In a story that is a told in alternating point of views between first and third, readers are introduced to the mind of Ally and her experience as someone who doesn’t have hearing because of a previous accident, as well as her family. The point of view gives the book it’s thriller induced horror feeling that keeps the reader reading on to find out the fate of the family as well as the world. Everyone must adapt to not making a sound, for fear that the terrifying “vesps” will attack, kill, and possibly lay their eggs within their corpse. The “vesps” as disturbing and unsettling as they were, it was the people who were left behind that were just as dangerous. “I am the Reverend, the note said in a spidery scrawl. Would you like to join my flock of the Hushed?” The multiple layers of danger lurking behind every corner leave you gripping your seats and full of horror waiting for the fate of mankind.

A horrifying, chilling dystopia world where silence is both life and death, Lebbon brings the story to life. 

Book Info:
Pub Date: April, 14th 2015                           
Page Count: 363 pages                             
Review Posted: Feb 12th, 2016
ISBN: 9781781168813                                  
Publisher: Titan Books                        

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Secret Shopper Experience

The Experience:
I’ve been a part of a secret shopper experience before, that one being more of observation than interaction, but nonetheless I find these assignments interesting and extremely informative. I went to a library where the adult services section has the whole entire floor. There was no specific reader’s advisory desk, however there was a standard desk with a few librarians working it. The very first thing that I noticed was that there were no signs that cluttered the desk, which I’ve had issues at with other libraries and with less clutter, I felt more welcomed to ask questions.

As an almost “librarian” it honestly felt somewhat weird asking someone else for book recommendations. It was also a new experience for me because I almost never read adult books, so if I am looking for recommendations I end up asking teens, not other staff members. With that said, I was kind of glad for this assignment because I had not picked out a horror book to read for my annotations.

When I first approached the desk, I was asked if there was anything they could help me with and I replied with “I am looking for a great horror book to read.” They responded very similar to how I would, “What was the last good horror book that you read?” Fortunately for this exercise, I could respond with the fact that I hadn’t read any horror books. This definitely made the experience change because they seemed to panic just slightly and stumble to try to find exactly what they wanted to ask me next. They turned to a co-worker who apparently reads a lot of horror and science fiction books to see if they would be able to assist me. The librarian walked over introduced themselves and asked exactly what kind of book I was looking for. I explained that I wanted a horror book that was under 350 pages that was somewhat fast paced. The librarian knew a few books off the top of his head, but unfortunately they were checked out. At this point, he told me about a database they had for all library card users called Novelist. He proceeded to show me how to use Novelist, I played “dumb” and went ahead and acted like I didn’t know what was going on. Eventually after typing in some books that he liked, we came to the consensus on The Silence by Tim Lebbon. It was something that was somewhat short and described as fast pace. It seemed somewhat of a cross between a thriller and horror, but I thought for the amount of time spent in this reader’s advisory interview (about 20 minutes) I would take the book and be happy.

Overall Experience:
When thinking about the overall experience, I would have to rate it a 8/10 with 10 being the best experience I could have. I give it this rating, mostly for the hesitance of the first librarian when I said I hadn’t read any books lately or ever and for the interruption that occurred that had nothing to do with the librarian himself. The library I visited has a large homeless population, and in the middle of the interview, someone came up who was intoxicated and became very unruly. The librarian handled the situation as best as they could be expected to, but as a patron having an interruption like that would probably turn me off from possibly asking again. Other than that specific instance, I would definitely go back to them for more suggestions. They didn’t really have any bookmarks or things to take home with me, but with the time the librarian took to show me Novelist, I feel like as a patron, I would be able to find some read alikes and information on my own.

I started reading The Silence by Tim Lebbon and it is very, very good! Making this experience all worth the time!