Thursday, April 20, 2017

Week 16 Post

First, how have reading and books changed since you were a child, for you specifically? Second, 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!

Answer 1.
Libraries have been part of my life since I was a child.  My grandmother, a nurse by trade, volunteered at the library of my elementary school.  When I was in late elementary/early junior high my mother worked at different elementary school library.  My aunt worked at a public library.  My grandmother was an avid and quick reader of mysteries and it was common for her to place several inter-library loans per week for many years.  None of my family, except for me, have any library degrees, however they loved working at libraries.  So, with so many family members involved with libraries you can say that libraries are in my DNA.  LOL.

As a child I would often go to my elementary library to get books, especially in the summer.  I was involved in sports and other activities, however my family made sure I was exposed to and spent time at the library.  I enjoyed and still feel the excitement of reading a new story. 

As I got older my love of libraries and reading were not as prevalent, especially in junior high and high school.  I was involved in more sports, activities, and with the increase in homework reading for enjoyment took a backseat.  In college library visits were for homework purposes.  Add in a job or two with homework and the library became a place for studying and doing homework.

When I graduated with an undergrad degree in Art and Education and received a state teaching license I was ready to teach.  However, vacant art teaching job were not available.  So, I saw a job add for the library evening circulation supervisor at Calumet College of St. Joseph.  I got the job and started substitute teaching at the same time.  After a few months of the substitute teaching jobs in the daytime and my library evening job was getting to be too much for me.  I wanted a full time job with health insurance and other benefits.  So, after speaking to the library director JoAnn Arnold she told me to give her two weeks before looking for a new job.  Within that time, she was able to get me promoted to full time with the understanding that my new position would include her teaching me how to copy catalog and that would also be in charge of the audio visual equipment in the library.  JoAnn said that she has noticed that I am adapting very well to the academic library environment, have a knack with audio visual equipment, and that my teaching skills have come in handy many times.  This was the start of my library career path.

To make a long story short, over the next 15 years I advanced to the standings of administrative staff aka assistant director.  I was in charge of circulation, cataloged copy and original materials, head of audio visual equipment and did reference help one-on-one and in large classroom groups.  However, something was missing.  I needed the MLS degree.  Even with all my years of on the job training I still learned an incredible amount of helpful and priceless information in graduate school at IUPUI…I am graduating in May!!!!!  To expand my horizons, I am currently working in a public library. 

Getting back to my relationship with books.  In junior high when I got the chance to read I would go to the local library or bookstore.  In high school I spent a lot of time at the comic book store.  I could have saved a lot of money if I had only known about inter-library loans from my local library.  In college my time was so consumed with school and work that casual reading was few and far in-between.  However, after college I began working in the library and began reading more and more.  Now-a-days I read when I get the time.  Some of the hard copy novels have been replaced by my e-reader.  With graduation within view I already have a large stack of books with more books being added to it that I am ready to jump into.  

Answer Two.

20 years from now when the world is taken over by the Borg there will be no need for libraries.  All essential books will already be coded into our collective. Resistance is futile…..Ok, that is not true or is it? Oh’ just beam me up!  LOL.

Seriously, with current technology and how quickly technology is changing the future of libraries, books, and publishing will be continuously evolving organisms.  As time has passed so has the way that books are seen by the consumer, the publisher, and the library.  At one time books were hard and expensive to produce and regulated to only the wealthy and religious leaders.  When Johannes Gutenberg created the printing press in 1450 the world changed.  Printed materials could be printed quicker and less expensive than by hand copying (Landis, 2012).  More and more people learned how to read and it went from text mainly about and for religious and governmental institution to being enjoyed by the common person.

Libraries started out in ancient times as part of the private collection of the wealthy and powerful people.  One of the first libraries was by King Ashurbanipal (668 BC to 627 BC.).  He was a powerful and just king to his people and prided himself in his vast collection of clay tables.  He would invite his friends to borrow materials from his library.  Of course, ruining a clay tablet was a lot more serious than leaving a book out in the rain and the punishment was far worse than having to purchase a book.  However, this shows how important knowledge and reading materials were in ancient times (Mingren, 2016).

As time flew by libraries went from subscription libraries where they collected dues from its members to eventually free (tax funded) public libraries.  As the types of libraries changed, so did the reason of the libraries.  Books are still an important part of the library structure however other types of mediums have joined them including magazines, audio books, DVDs, etc. Also add in more community programs the library setting has evolved.  

Publishers have also evolved with libraries.  Vendors work with multiple publishers to bring different books, periodicals, audio, video, and interactive resources to library patrons.

So, where do I think books, libraries, and publishers will be in 20 years?  A better way to look at it is what do I want these three to be like in 20 years?  Let's start with the physical library buildings.  Libraries will become functional works of artistic architecture.  The buildings will bring pride to their community.  The buildings will house physical books, periodicals, video games, and other kinds of research and entertainment items.  The physical library will be an integral part of the community.  It will offer rooms for programs, a holodeck, advanced research areas, different kinds of entertainment venues, and wonderful archive museums.

Books will be available physically and through e-downloads.  Banning books from a library is illegal.  Every book will have an audio book version available through the library.    

Libraries have become part of a national organization that includes museums and national archives.  All the books and archives in all the worlds' libraries, accessible papers in national government archives, and artifacts including 3D pieces in all the worlds' museums have been scanned.  Library patrons can accesses these text via screen displays (high tech tables) and can project crisp 3D holograms of artifacts.

Publishers have accepted that charging high costs for books and academic databases is cheating the world of knowledge.  They are hiding valuable information from the world.  So, after a year all books and articles automatically become free public domain.

The librarian is a highly regarded profession.  Everyone has had to go to a library or ask a librarian for help in their studies at some point in their lives.  So, all people have realized that without the help of librarians there would be no doctors, lawyers, world leaders, and other professions.  All people have also realized that libraries have entertained them with countless hours of enjoyment.  With this realization a much higher pay grade for professional librarians is achieved (hopefully this one does not take 20 years.  LOL).

OK, maybe my version of a library is a bit far-fetched for 20 years in the future.  But I have hope.

Good Luck to everyone in their future library careers!

Cited sources
 Landis, L. (2012). The gutenberg press.  Oregon University Libraries.  Retrieved from
Mingren, W. (2016). Ashurbanipal: The oldest surviving royal library in the world with over 30,000 clay tablets. Ancient Origins.  Retrieved from

Monday, April 17, 2017

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.

First, I would start low-tech and low cost.  Those in charge of the library and their superiors love low cost options.  Creating a display of books, audio books, and/or DVDs can be very simple as placing books on a table with a sign.  It can be elaborated with posters, banners, colors, lights, and even a unique display set up.  I feel the key to a great library display is that it needs to be eye catching and located in an area of high foot traffic, such as near the front doors, circulation desk, and even the washrooms.

Below are several books displays I found on Pinterest. 

A fun idea for Halloween.  This is not practical for patrons to check out the books.  However, the library would use book sale books for the props and then put horror themed books, DVDs, graphic novels, and audio books next to them. 

This display would catch your attention or you would walk right into it!  J This 3D display may or may not work with your library depending on space, but is a great idea for getting noticed.  

This is a great idea.  Patrons can pose behind display.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles could take pictures of their loved ones as superheroes.  Even us comic book nerds would think that this is fun.  Take a large box, trace the outline, color, and cut out the whole for the heard.  Fun and very low cost.  Place a table of graphic novels and super hero movies next to the display. 

My next set of ideas is to go more high-tech, but also keeping the cost low.  For my Audio Visual class this semester I created a video advertising the new location of my library’s graphic novel section.  I wrote an outline of the script and did all the videotaping and editing myself.  I used YouTube video editor to edit the video.  If I had more time I would have downloaded free editing software and learned how to use it.  I wanted my video to start out on a serious suspenseful note and then turn really wacky.  It took many takes and editing.  Here is the video I created:

With countless people use the internet on a daily basis the library can use it to advertise, alert, and teach their patrons.  Libraries are creating blogs, vlogs, screen captures, and webpages. For my Audio Visual class, I also created a video game event to coincide with this year’s International Video Game Week.  I made up the library (named after my dog).  Here is the URL:

For my History of the Book and Genealogy classes I created a website about the history of my library’s building, mural, and nature walk.  I also added more content to cover the history of the towns three library buildings.  Here is the URL:

The last suggestion I have is very low tech, but effective.  The library can use fliers, word of mouth, and newspapers

When a patron come to the library’s circulation desk to check out books the library worker can inform the patron that they are putting a flier inside one of the books highlighting the previous month’s new fiction and non-fiction books.  These fliers can also be hung up at local community centers, schools, and businesses.  

When the reference desk is helping a patron locate a novel by a certain author they can inform the person that the library has other books by the same author available.

The local newspaper has a community bulletin section.  The library can advertise upcoming programs, activities, and information.    

Monday, April 10, 2017

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 3 reasons for or against your decision. Feel free to use outside sources - this is a weighty question that is answered differently in a lot of different libraries.


I will answer this question in two parts.  The first part will be the point of view of the library I work at and my experiences working there and the second part will be my opinion if I worked at a different library.

Part 1.  The library that I work at has a mixture of ultra conservative and more open minded staff.  The problem lies in that the ultra conservative staff members express their personal opinions (especially considering sex topics in general and LGBTQ) about what is ordered.  They do not always think of the patron base.  For example, I ordered the book "Barbara Gittings: Gay Pioneer" by Tracy Baim.  After I catalogued the book it went on the new book shelf and then disappeared.  There is no record of it being checked out.  Was it stolen by a patron? Maybe. But why would a patron steal this biography?

Another example is recently the book called "This Book is Gay" by James Dawson was on my desk to be cataloged.  I found this strange, because there is already a record in the system that I catalogued the book earlier this year.  When I asked the YA Librarian what happened to the other copy she told me that it is missing.  It went from the new book shelves to missing and she is tired of this happening.  So, when I catalog this book again it is skipping the new book shelve and going right into the YA section.

It sounds like I am accusing a certain staff member or two of removing these books.  Don't get me wrong I do not have any evidence nor am I going to blame someone(s) who may be innocent.  However, it just seems strange that LGBTQ books seem to go missing quickly after being out on the new book shelf.  However, the stuff that skips the new book shelves and is put directly into the YA section is still there. 

The question is: is there a need for LGBTQ material in my library?  The answer is yes, especially in YA.  The YA librarian has told me that several of the teens in her programs have requested materials on LGBTQ and the materials that she orders is checked out.
So, will my library allow a LGBTQ section in the library? Sadly, I strongly feel that bringing up even doing a simple display of LGBTQ materials at a full library staff meeting would ruffle some seriously narrow mined feathers.  I already caused an issue last year and a separation of staff opinions when I ordered the graphic novels "Sex Criminals" by Chip Zdarsky and "Motel Art Improvement Service" by Jason Little.  These two books were discussed in several monthly staff meetings that actually ended up in a final heated shouting match.  The director saw merit in these books and left them on the shelf until a staff member checked it out and kept on renewing them until she was told to return the books.  Then she finally did a formal complaint and filled out the book challenge form.  From there the books have been removed from the shelves. 

What about a separate section for African American materials?  The library does not have a lot of materials on the subject nor does it have a strong African American patron base.  We maybe get one black person a month in the library and the school children seem to only ask for reference materials on black singers. So, there does not seem to a need for a separate section.

Part 2.  If I worked at a different library in some other city I could imagine having a separate section for LGBTQ and African American Fiction if there is a need for it.  There should be enough books, a strong patron base, and available space as the three reasons to separate fiction books into these two sections.

In my opinion it does not matter if it is possibly controversial genres like LGBTQ and African American Literature or more common genres like mysteries and science fiction; I feel that there needs to be enough interest in patron requests and circulation numbers in order to make these two or any genre a separate section of the library.  For example, for a class assignment way back when I started grad school (I am graduating this May!) I shadowed a reference librarian in a mid-large city library that has a strong African American patron base.  They have a lot of fiction books on this genre, so they created a separate section of the library for these books.  I was told that these books are among the top circulated items in the library.  Then the library separated their Harlequin novel featuring black characters onto a separate display near the security officer's desk.  Why? Because these are the top stolen book genre from the library. So, there is strong patron base for African American literature and the library filled it by separating the books into a separate genre and in return made it easier on their patrons to find these books.  

LGBTQ: Sunstone


Written by Stjepan Šejić
First published in 2014

To just look at the cover and thumb quickly through the pages one would think that this book is about kinky sex and they would not be wrong. However, the story is so much more than simple beautiful art with bondage. It is a beautiful story about two lesbian women who have wanted to, but never have acted out their sexual fantasy roles of a dominatrix and a submissive. They meet on-line and over the course of a couple of months become friends. When they decided to finally meet and play the BDSM roles they are nervous, unsure, scared, and excited at the same time. That is what makes this such a great story. It is not a story about sex. It is a story about how their lesbian relationship started out as just fulfilling a fantasy and developed into a deep friendship and love for each other outside the bedroom.  


The two lead characters, Ally and Lisa, are written in a realistic way.  They are lesbians, but are not portrayed as stereotypes.  The fact that they are lesbians are not an issue in this story.  There are a couple of scenes were people act smug or negative about their life choices, but this is quickly dismissed as a passing rude comment. 

Before their first in-person date they are both experiencing the typical emotions of excitement, fear, dread, happiness, and hopefulness that most people experience when meeting someone for the first time.  As the story progresses they develop deep meaningful emotions for each other. 

The BDSM scenes are not violent or dark. In their roles Ally is the Dom in the relationship, however even then she is not truly in charge. She is nervous and unsure of her role.  Outside of the game the two woman are equals in a loving relationship.

The art work helps to add to the realism of this story.  The women are not drawn like exaggerated caricature models.  Nor are their bodies drawn in a negative stereotypical lesbian way where one woman is more masculine than the other one.  They are both drawn like real women.  Sometimes they are in sexy lingerie and other times are wearing over-sized sweat pants and t-shirts.
The tone of the story changes depending on the scene.  Sometimes it is fun and erotic when the ladies are participating in their BDSM roles.  Other times it is relaxed and romantic as they are cuddling on the couch watching television or playing video games.  Still at other moments they are anxious, confused, and happy when they are thinking about each other and where their relationship is going. 

The story is about two women who are lesbians.  Their sexuality does not define who they are; it is a part of who they are.  They are sexually curious women who start a BDSM relationship that developed beyond their sexual needs.  They develop a friendship that turns into love for each other.   

The story uses the BDSM life style to show a kinky side to their lesbian relationship.  It is the reason the two meet, but is not the main point of the story.  The developing relationship and emotions between Ally and Lisa is the core reason for the story.

The story continues in volume 2 with more attention paid to the developing relationship between Ally and Lisa and less about their sexual exploits.  

This is a graphic novel and uses word bubbles and the inner monologue boxes very effectively. The banter between the different characters flow nicely.  The conversations do not seem rushed or forced in order to fit the scene. 

The inner monologue is used effectively to express additional emotions the characters are feeling.

Pacing: The story unfolds at a good pace. It can be wordy in spots and sparse in other areas allowing the art to tell the story.  It does not feel rushed or drawn out, however it is a quick read.

GoodReads Choice Award Nominee for Graphic Novels & Comics in 2015. 

Goodreads gives it 4.41 stars out of 5.

Wendy Browne from Women Write About Comics states: “Scratch the surface of this book and you’ll find a heartwarming little story about friendship and romance.”

Jessica Camacho from Geeked Out Nation states: “Sunstone is heartfelt, honest, sexy and beautiful.”

Sunstone v.2-5 by Stjepan Šejić.

Jane's World Collection Volume 1 by Paige Braddock.

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh.

Dates! An Anthology of Queer Historical Fiction edited by Zora Gilbert.

Love is Love by various writers and illustrators.

My Opinion and Second Opinions
This book could fall into several different genres or sub-genres, such as Women's Lives and Relationships and Erotica. I agree with the book falling into these other genres or sub-genres, however I find it to be more about the relationship of women who are lesbian.  I liked how the underlying message did not center only on Lisa and Ally being lesbians; nor did it center on their sexual adventures.  This book shows how their sexual preferences does not define them.  It is only one part of who they are.  In the end it is about two woman falling in love with each other.

As someone who is not part of the LGBTQ community I wanted to get some other opinions about the books, so I asked a few of my lesbian and bisexual friends who read comic books and manga to read this graphic novel.  Of course this is only their opinions.  They told me that they really enjoyed it because even though it is about lesbians it is not preachy or trying to prove an equal rights point. At the end of the day the book and my friends lives are not about standing up and announcing they are homosexual; it is about living life with the ones you love.   

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 13 prompt

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?

There is no doubt that as librarians and book lovers we should encourage adults to read YA and graphic novels in they want to.  There are two important steps to help serve adults in the YA genre and graphic novel format.  The first is to not be judgmental.  Adults can read any genre they chose.  It is based on their own taste, not the age of the reader.    

The young adult genre centers on stories about young adults characters.  It does have plenty of books with similar fantasy and romance themes like the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer to real life issues from books like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.  The YA genre, like other book genres, has many sub-genres, such as historical fiction, humor, horror, science fiction, mystery, etc.  Sometimes YA stories have many sub-genres within the same story.

Graphic Novels and there readers can be stereotyped easily.  This is wrong.  The graphic novel format is a form of a written story told through words and images or a story told just through images.  Some graphic novels like the ones written and illustrated by Lynd Ward from block prints tell entire stories without a single written word.  His books, God's Man and Madman's Drum tell complex stories of love, hate, religion, life, death, government, industry, and society.  Other graphic novels like Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns are very wordy.  Since, graphic novels are a format and not a genre it can include stories about ALL genres and sub-genres. What makes someone want to read a graphic novel story is the same as a novel; it involves the six appeals of pacing, story line, characterization, frame/setting, tone/mood, and style language.  However, with graphic novels is another very important appeal: art.  The art style and story can separately make or break a graphic novel.  For full enjoyment the story has to have the appeals the patron wants to read and the art style that is pleasing to them.

The second important step with helping serve adults in the YA and graphic novel format is to do your research.  If YA, graphic novels, or any other genre or format is not part of your normal reading choices then as a librarian you will need to take time to learn about these different areas.  There are many ways to learn about different areas outside of your own genres.  You can read scholarly articles, read book reviews, talk with fellow librarians and books lovers about different types of books and possibly the most important way is to give other genres another chance.  With so many sub-genres available you may find a niche that you did not know you like.