I got out of the habit of doing recaps the last half of 2014, but I’m getting back in the swing of things this year. January started off terribly, with a bout of the flu that lasted for days. I was miserable. At least I got a lot of reading done.
Work has been full of fun. I’ve already checked off some of my goals, like starting a horror movie collection. Previously, we’ve divided them between science fiction and suspense, and people are always asking. Past administration hadn’t supported the idea of a horror collection, but luckily the new director is on board. I’m not a fan of horror movies myself, but they circulate like crazy and I am all about making things easier for patrons to find. That’s the whole purpose of organizing information, right?
February looks to be our busiest month in some time. We’ve got Read Across Lawrence (Margaret Atwood! John Corey Whaley!) and I’m also doing Harry Potter Night next week. So much awesome.
I’ve started my first YA for Grownups book club and am doing Teens’ Top Ten, so there is a whole lot of book club action in my work life, which I love.
I also started a new semester at library school. I decided to only take one class this semester, mostly because I wanted to finagle a way to do an independent study and an international trip for my remaining electives, and since I’m not in a hurry to finish my degree to get a job since I already have a full-time, professional position I love, it made the most sense. I’m taking a Children’s Literature and Programming class, and it looks like it will be a lot of fun. I’m also trying to make something happen with our student chapter of ALA. Library school has not been as fulfilling as I had hoped, and I am hoping this form of participation will make it more meaningful.
Real life has been routine and uneventful, which was much needed after the craziness of November and December with traveling and weddings and the holidays. I’m trying to convince Mister BS we need a new kitten, but he thinks I’m in danger of turning into a crazy cat lady…we shall see.
The big event of the month was President Obama coming to give a post-State of the Union speech at the University of Kansas. He also visited the church that houses the local Head Start program that is down the street from the library.
Also I watched a lot of Adventure Time.
Here’s what happened on the blog this month.
Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Hepperman
The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
Booklists and Readers’ Advisory
Top Ten (er…14) 2014 Releases I Still Need to Read (I’ve already gotten to two of them!)
I hope to write more posts on programming, collection development, and other library-related issues over the next few weeks, but this month I shared some social media tips in this post: 5 Tips for Using Instagram in Libraries. Some older posts that may be of useful to those getting reading for February in the library are this post on my blind date with a book display and this passive program on the Race Card Project in a library, which would be good anytime, but seems especially relevant as we are seeing race as such a hot button topic in the news that really warrants a discussion.
Around the Web
Here are articles and blog posts I wrote for other outlets over the last month.
I really had a lot of fun with this NoveList article, but it was also a challenge. I’m still searching for more urban fantasy I personally enjoy, and trying to untangle the appeal factors of these two overlapping subgeners is a complex puzzle.
Even though I thought I’d step back from blogging for the Hub after my two year term, I decided to stay on and do Tweets of the Week and also post when I have something I feel is important to say and that The Hub is the best outlet for the thoughts. That was definitely the case of an analysis of TIME Magazine’s list of their 100 best young adult novels, which was…flawed. I took the list out of that horrendous slideshow and made it into a google doc, where I noted the year of publication and compared the titles to what had won YALSA and other ALA awards.
Don’t Miss Links
Books + Reading
I’m so glad Edi made this post rounding up this list of POC authors who have a 2015 debut YA novel.
Teen Services Underground, the teen version of Storytime Underground, debuted this month, and features awesome content contributed by some truly amazing teen librarians. My favorite post from their first month is this list of 8 Books that Will Mess With Your Head.
Shannon at River City Reading had an interesting discussion about spoilers. Even talking about certain elements of a book can effect a reading experience. I am rather torn about spoilers in general, and this post and the comments got me thinking about them. On one hand, I really like good, detailed books, talking about specific plot points and appeal factors for a book. It so helps me in my job. I can’t read everything. But, I do like forming my own, unbiased opinion, which is why I love randomly picking up an advanced readers’ copy and not having someone else’s opinion influence me.
I know I reviewed All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven myself, but I really loved what Emma at Miss Print had to say about the book. It’s a very thoughtful review about a book that is getting a lot of attention.
Feminism + Literature
Amy was asked for “feminist middle-grade fiction” and realized there is not enough, even when you use awesome tools like the Amelia Bloomer project list.
This list of 50 Best Novels about the Female Experience at Flavorwire is a kick ass booklist.
Comics + Graphic Novels
Tessa at Crunchings and Munchings has been reviewing all the comics and graphic novel nominated for the Great Graphic Novel for Teens list, which is an awesome resource. It’s definitely been nice to have this reminder to check what I’ve purchased that has been nominated, and to see if anything I didn’t get previously I want to add to our collection.
I am so excited for several forthcoming Image Comics titles. Like Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn and a book from Sex Criminals co-creator Chip Zdarsky that is like a “gay Saga.”
Hello Waffle Cosmetics has a collection named for cats and literature which contains lip gloss and eyeshadow you didn’t realize you needed.
This post from Becky at RA for All has an amazing tip for staying on top of all the different genres and subgenres so you can be on top of your readers’ advisory game is a must read. It’s such a simple but helpful strategy.
This post from Cory at Storytime Underground really got me thinking about my career goals, participation in the profession at large, work/life balance, and librarianship as social justice activism.
What were you up to this month? What links did I miss? Let me know in the comments!