Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 16 Prompt

Week 16 Prompt

Both of our readings this week talk about the culture of reading and the future of the book.  So I have two questions for you as readers, pulling on your own experiences and all of the readings we have done over the semester:  First, how have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically?  ( ) , talk a little about what you see in the future for reading, books, or publishing- say 20 years from now.  Will we read more or less, will our reading become more interactive?  What will happen to traditional publishing?  This is a very free form question, feel free to wildly extrapolate or calmly state facts, as suits your mood.

“…how have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically?”

When I was younger, I remember going on a weekly basis to our small public library with my mother.  We would leave the library with a stack of books after each visit.  I would go to my section of the library (children’s) and she would go to hers (adults only).  The staff knew us by name and there was no fear of someone walking off with me.  I felt secure and safe there. 

At home we had a library in our home where I would read my books as well as my mother’s there.  Actually I had a book practically in every room of the house.  I use to carry a dictionary and notebook with me.  If I didn’t understand a word, I would write it down with the sentence, page number, author, and title of book.  In retrospect, I guess I was doing some form of annotation without even realizing it.  Anyway, I would discuss the word with the mom (most of the time or just with an adult like my dad) and the book.  Actually my parents would ask me what I read which helped me to articulate what I liked and disliked about a book.  I use to read numerous books at a time.

It came to a point in my life that I outgrew the children’s section of the library and wanted to go to the adult side of the library with my mom.  I need to digress for a moment to say that we only (at that time) had two sections- adults only and children’s.  If we would have had a teen’s section, I probably would have gone there before moving to the adults section in the library.  Well, I believe I was the first child to be allowed to check out so called adult books at my public library.  I had a strong connection to this library throughout my life no matter where I moved because of my positive experience there.

In the 21st century, I am still in love with the written word.  I still read a physical book but I love technology and the options it has created so I have tried out ebooks on Apple products and the different versions of Kindle.  I have used the library’s website to request books as well.  I have also tried listening to a book (audio books) but I keep on getting distracted or I couldn’t hear it because I didn’t have headphones. 

I have a library in my house.  I still go to the library and pass on the tradition with my children by taking them.  I don’t leave them alone (as yet).   At this point, I still mainly read hard copy like I did as a child with multiple books throughout the house but I am still open to trying other formats in the near future again because I am truly hoping that one of them will stick like my books have stuck all of these years but so far that format is the only reliable one I have used.

“…future for reading, books, or publishing…”
Technology advancement will continue to create different devices to use the electronic format because of the popularity of these different mediums.  They are user friendly and relatively inexpensive.  Also new reader options will be installed on the new versions of IPad, Kindle and so forth.  The brick and mortar library will still be here in twenty years but I think automatic libraries will be seen more frequently.  Publishing- I think self-publishing will become more prevalent with it moving to social media where an author will create a channel and invite others to read and review her/his book.  The reviewers won’t be paid and will go to amazon and Goodreads for instance and discuss the book (review it).  I believe that the publishing companies might even join them by creating a department specifically for Self- Publishers.  In this department, the staff will seek out those authors that have channels or even Facebook pages about their stories and sign them on but the contract won’t be a tradition one but instead will allow them the freedom they want

Week 15 Prompt

Week 15 Prompt

What do you think are the best ways to market your library’s fiction collection?  Name and describe three ways you do or would like to market your library or your future library’s fiction.  These can be tools, programs, services, displays- anything that you see as getting the word out.

1.  Fiction Writer Weekly- I would focus on one author’s fiction works such as Neil Gaiman’s by creating the following displays and/or programs for it.

o   Create  booklists of all his works and put that on the library’s website and have copies of it in front of the display that has all his fiction books.  Also display similar types of fiction books in another area of the library.

o   Create a Neil Gaiman Book Club

o   Make copies of his book covers and place all over the library.

o   Create a game with trivia facts about him that are placed throughout the library.  If the patron answers the questions correctly than he/she will be able to pick a cover like “Stardust” and write their name on it.  The staff will display it in the library and mention it on the library’s website.

o   Create book marks

o   Add links to his fiction works on the library website and other resources

2.  365 Days of Fiction Fun!

I would spotlight a fiction book and its author for a day (or two depending on the author and how many books he/she has written) including trivia facts and making it even interactive (if applicable).  I would involve the community businesses to donate prizes.  I would have the marking department contact the media.  It would be put on social media. I would display the days (in large print or on an electronic device) and keep counting down each day.  Example- The Wizard of Oz.  Have the staff dress in costumes and in the library create the yellow brick road.  Then on this ‘road’ have displays setup, like asking the patrons questions or sending them on a quest.  I would use music, lights, and sounds to create the perfect Oz library set. 

3.  I would use displays, bookmarks, book talks, and social media to continually promote fiction in my library.




Week 14 Prompt

Week 14 Prompt

Consider yourself part of the collection management committee of your local library, or a library at which you would like to work.  You must decide whether or not to separate GBLTQ Fiction and African American Fiction from the general collection to its own special place.  Some patrons have requested this, yet many staff is uncomfortable with the idea-saying it promotes segregation and disrupts serendipitous discovery of an author who might be different from the reader.  Do you separate them?  Do you separate one and not the other?  Why or why not? You must provide at least three reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources.

I would separate the GBLTQ fiction and African-American Fiction from the general collection because “some patrons have requested this” and our collection should reflect the community we are in, right?  I need to digress to say that I took that request to be positive requests from patrons as opposed to be discriminatory.  Also it doesn’t have to be in a “special place” within the library but just a place where it’s accessible to all.  The library environment should foster acceptance so patrons should never feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by seeking these genres out. I would create displays for these genres so that patrons know that we value them which is why we are promoting them.    

The second reason they should be separated is for the convenience for the patrons.  I have been in over twenty different libraries throughout the United States (and abroad) and I have either encountered too tall shelves, narrow aisles, poorly lit areas so it is near impossible to see the books, too busy librarians and/or confusing filing system (not everyone uses the Dewey Decimal system) which has always resulted in me stopping my quest for a book.  If these two were placed separately in the library, I would easily recognize them and thus be able to pick out a book.

The third reason is because I wouldn’t want them to be ignored due to the sheer volume of the fiction section.  I have been to large libraries that have thousands of fiction books.  It’s an amazing sight but it can also be very overwhelming.  I feel to show that these authors and their stories matter and to help their ‘voices’ to be heard, they need to be separated so that they will get the attention they deserve.


Week 13 Prompt

Week 13 Prompt

Though this week’s group of “genres” all seem very different, they all have in common the fact that many people don’t feel that they are legitimate literary choices and libraries shouldn’t be spending money on them or promoting them to adults.  The common belief is that adults still don’t or shouldn’t read that stuff.  How can we as librarians work to ensure that we are able to serve adults who enjoy YA literature or graphic novels?  Or should we?

I was flabbergasted when I read this week’s prompt because I never thought that people would discriminate against YA Fiction and graphic novels just like the Romances.  Everyone has the right to read whatever kind of genre they want and I love and appreciate that librarians (and library’s) adhere to that believe with their Intellectual Freedom and Bill of Rights doctrine.  Anyway, graphic novels and YA Literature are both extremely popular which should merit their inclusion in the collection development process (which includes purchasing and promoting). 

Graphic novels such as Smile by Raina Telgemeier has been used successfully in schools to promote reading in reluctant readers but they also benefit people (which includes adults) who are dyslexia, visual learners, English as a Second Language individuals or people who just love to read them (like I do).  Graphic novels aren’t just about comics and superheroes.  There are realistic fiction, non-fiction, and science fiction and fantasy graphic novels.  Well, The Walking Dead graphic novels series which my husband reads has drawn attention to the genre.  I have read all of Raina Telegemeier graphic novels to my children and I have personally read Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese, Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Gareth Hind’s The Odyssey which is an adaptation of Homer’s classic poem among others.  I am planning on reading the Hind’s book to my children.

The other genre- Young Adult Fiction is extremely popular with adults.  It’s also recognized as an ‘legitimate literary ‘  genre by American Library Association who gives out a yearly YALSA  award.  According to a 2012 Publishers Weekly study, 55% of adults are buying YA books.  That percentage is probably higher now but it doesn’t surprise me because I enjoy reading this genre and I know quite a few adults that do as well.  The stories are very creative, the authors are excellent writers, and they are short and easy to read.  This genre (like graphic genre) is broken into different categories- realistic fiction, fantasy, realistic historical fiction and romance fiction.  I started to notice adults taking notice of YA literature when the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling started gaining popularity in the late 1990’s here in the United States.  Now I am noticing that YA novels such as A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (it deals with bullying and a sick mother), Looking for Alaska by John Green, ( a cerebral teen that falls for a girl named Alaska), “All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (discusses suicide and transgender) are so popular that they are being adapted to the silver screen.

We as librarians can serve our patrons who enjoy graphic novels or YA Literature by promoting these genres in our libraries.  I would create displays for both genres.  I would host authors of these genres in the library.  I would create lists of YA novels that adults should read and create displays showcasing them.  I would also develop a Book club for graphic novels.  I would create a program for ESL individuals (which would include tutoring, GED completion, learning the computer, and resume assistance) and I would introduce graphic novels to them.  I would use the “I Read YA” campaign in my public library for adult fans.

Week 12 Prompt


Shetterly, L. Margot. (2016). Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race

1. Where is the book on the narrative continuum?

It is highly narrative (reads like fiction)

2. What is the subject of the book?

It is about three African American women, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson who worked at Langley Field for the National Advisory Council for Aeronautics in the segregated Jim Crow era of the 1940’s through the 1980’s.

3.  What type of book is it?

It is a biography of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson’s lives before and during their careers from the 1940’s to date to at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Lab (renamed later to NASA).

4.  Articulate appeal

o   What is the pacing of the book?

It is slow because of all the historical information presented in the book.

o   Describe the characters of the book.

The main characters are as follows:

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson were all math teachers in segregated schools, married and with children.  They were also confident, very smart, and extremely hardworking and dedicated to their jobs and family even when they were far away from them.  

o   How does the story feel?

o   It was a very detailed, thoroughly researched story but it felt sterile and impersonal.  The author just wrote the facts and details but didn’t include any descriptive characterizations that would have brought these incredible women to life!

What is the intent of the author?

The author is a daughter of a NASA scientist and grew up in the community where NASA is located at (formerly known as NACA- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in Hampton, Virginia.  She wants to tell the unknown true story of  African American women who worked as ‘human computers’ for NASA and made lasting contributions in the United States history of Space Science.  She focuses on the lives of three of these women in her book.

o   What is the focus of the story?

              The book discusses the women’s lives before and after being hired at the Langley                                    Research Center and the projects they were on.  It also includes social injustice issues         that were taking place during that time such as segregation in all areas of life and the  Jim Crow law.   In addition, the author mentions other historically significant facts such as the Cold War, scientific developments and the advent of the first generation of IBM computers.

  o   Does the language matter?  Yes

o   Is the setting important and well described?

              Yes, the author describes the different areas in great detail.  The Langley Memorial        Center where the women worked as well as the town, Hampton, Virginia where it is located is important to the narrative of the women’s story.

o   Are there details and if so, of what?

The author uses a descriptive style to describe the Langley Memorial Center and the campus of the military base and the town where both resides in.  The details that stayed with me was the description of the wind tunnel that were three stories high and called the sixteen foot high-speed tunnel and it stretched over three hundred feet wide and one hundred feet deep!

o   Are there sufficient charts and other graphic materials?  Are they useful and clear?


o   Does the book stress moments of learning, understanding, or experience?

              Yes, it’s a part of history which was unbeknownst  to the general population for         decades.             

5.  Why would a reader enjoy this book (rank appeal)?

o   Inspiring

o   Compelling subject

o   Historical facts throughout the book







Week 11 Prompt

Week 11 Prompt

Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape.  What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors?  If you can’t hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre?  How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text- how does that affect pacing and tone?  How about audiobooks?  Track length, narrator choice, is there music?  I want you to think about how ebooks and audiobooks affect appeal factors- also think about appeals that are unique to both mediums.

I love technology so I have used a Kindle (and the upgrade Kindle Fire), read a book on my IPad and even listened to an audiobook but my preference will always be the physical hard copy book.

The story doesn’t change when using these devices.  In fact, these mediums just add to the story appeal factors by creating new appeal ones for the reader.  The ebook is making reading accessible and affordable as well.  I consider these two appeal factors because if they weren’t so convenient and in expensive (prices are continuing to go down and you are able to borrow an ebook from the library) a lot of people would not be using them (myself included).  Another appeal factor is being able to use a variety of different formats to read.  For instance, I can use my Kindle Fire at home and once the battery is dead, I will switch to my IPad and then use my wireless capabilities while I am out doing errands and have a break in between, I will use my Apple IPhone.  These different mediums enable me to change the font, line spacing and/or the color of the text depending on the device.  I consider these reading preferences appeal factors that just add to the story appeals.   On the other hand, two of the appeals - tone and pacing change in the Ebook format.   The tone can be affected by utilizing the font size, line spacing and even color of the text because it distorts what the author is trying to convey to the reader.  The appeal factor of pacing is lost because you don’t have the physical book to see the pages.

My dislike in using these devices to read a book on was never fully articulated until I had to answer this prompt. Well, I don’t have to use the reader preference options so the tone can remain intact but I don’t know how to remedy the pacing issue.  If a visual representation of the book was presented with the capability of actually turning the page maybe that would work.  Of course, it would need to allow the reader to look ahead and turn the pages.  I foreshadow that this function will be a reality soon.

During the times I have used an audio book (yes, I have tried more than once because I love technology as previously stated and I greatly need this medium at times in my life), the narrator’s voice has distracted me to the point where I didn’t care about the tone, the pacing, or any other of the appeal factors.  I have come to the conclusion that the narrator really makes the story either successful or not successful because the listener is totally dependent on him/her for all of the appeal factors (no, physical book).  I tried the audiobook again by searching for a narrator’s voice I recognized and it was successful because I also checked out the book and followed along which kind of defeats the purpose of using this medium.  The voice/narrator was Campbell Scot and the audio book was “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. 


Monday, April 17, 2017

African American Annotation

African American Annotation

Title:  The Color Purple

Author:  Alice Walker

Publication Date:  1982

Setting:  Rural Georgia; Western Africa in a small village

Time Period:  Early 20th Century

Genre:  African American

Summary:  Celia is a black, poor and uneducated fourteen year old girl living in rural Georgia.  She starts writing letters to God because her father Alphonso rapes and beats her.  She is also tasked with cooking and cleaning for her brothers and sisters.  She is pregnant (again) and her mother is dying.   The first one was taken away and thought to be dead.  Once her mother is dead, her father continues to abuse her.  He takes the second child away and then starts focusing his attention on her younger sister Nettie.  Alphonso remarries.  Celia marries a widower who mistreats her.  Nettie runs away from her father’s house to Celia’s and her husband (“Mr.”) who originally wanted to marry her but got Celia instead tries to initiate an encounter and she runs away.  Celia thought she was dead.  “Mr”   has a mistress, Shug Avery who is a lounge singer and Celia is fascinated with the picture she found of her.  “Mr”’s oldest child, Harpo married an outspoken and defiant Sofia who is also pregnant.  Celia admires her spirit and “Mr” tells his son to treat her like he treated Celia which results in Harpo getting beat up!  Shug is suddenly ill and Mr. takes her into the house and has Celia take care of her.  They ended up being friends and lovers.  Sofia moves out with her children because of Harpo attempts to subordinate her.  He opens a juke joint where Shug sings nightly.  Sofia ends up being the mayor’s wife maid for twelve years because she told him she wouldn’t be her maid and the white mayor slapped Sofia who consequently slapped him back.  Shug asks Celia’s about her sister, Nettie and Celia tells her she thinks she is dead because she promised to write but never did.  They discover letters from Nettie that Mr. has hidden over the years.  She is in Africa with a missionary couple named Samuel and Corrine who have adopted two children, Olivia and Adam.  It’s discovered that those two children are Celia’s and Alphonso is there step-father.   After confronting Mr., Shug and Celia move to Tennessee.   Sofia comes home also.  Celia has a business there sewing and designing pants.  Celia returns to Georgia for a visit, and Mr. is a better person. The step father has died and the house and land is Celia’s now.  She moves in there.  She reconciles with “Mr” and her sister comes back to America with Celia’s children.    

Subject Headings:  Domestic Fiction; African American women-Fiction; Sisters-Fiction

Appeal:  This book appeals to anyone that who has been either witnessed or been the victim of abuse (mentally, physically or sexually).  This book is proof of the resilience of the human spirit. 

Tone:  Bittersweet; bleak; and moving

Writing Style:  dialect filled; stylistically complex

3 Terms that best describe this book:  Sisterhood, Painful, and Hopefulness

Storyline:  Character-driven

Read-a-likes:  Ruby by Cynthia Bond, Bastard out of Carolina by Dorthy Allison, Silver Sparrow by Tayari  Jones, Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote