The most exciting thing about February: we got a new kitten! Meet Marceline.
Spike and Angel are totally tolerating him. Yes, all our cats are named after fictional vampires.
The local human society was running a Valentine’s Day special, so we got her for just a $14 adoption fee. We’d been talking about another cat for a while, even though it is kind of crazy. But when we opened the sad little cage that held Marceline, he leaped into my arms, curled up on my shoulder, and would not stop purring. He demanded to come home with us. I had not wanted a black cat (they are just not photogenic) but he was such a little snuggle bug, with slightly crossed yellow eyes. I had to have him. After three tries, we finally have a lap cat.
Yes, we are crazy cat people. We are kind of okay with that.
Here’s what happened on the blog this month.
I haven’t had as much time for blogging or reading this month, but here’s what I did manage to review.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
And I discussed the four other books I read in this reading recap: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, Red Rising, Blood of My Blood, and The Boy in the Black Suit.
Library Programs + Readers’ Advisory
Harry Potter Night was such an overwhelming success! In case you didn’t know, everyone (except John Corey Whaley) loves Harry Potter.
Where Things Come Back Scavenger Hunt was perhaps my favorite scavenger hunt to date. We’re planning a Sherlock-inspired mystery hunt for summer reading! It’s so awesome that Karen (former teen librarian, current youth services manager) taught me how to do these, and now I’m doing them with Miriam (current teen librarian) and we’re really hitting our stride and figuring out how to execute these labor-intensive programs.
I teamed up with the tumblarians at Pickerington Public Library to make Buzzfeed-style book match quizzes! We are going to try to make this a quarterly thing.
Both my post on how to ask for help from professional colleagues and my post on how to decide which extra-curricular professional activities are right for you started out as conversations on twitter. These were my attempts to turn some frustration and angst into something positive.
Around the Web + Don’t Miss Links
I am insanely proud of my latest article for NoveList, which has my favorite headline ever: If Books are Magic, Librarians are Wizards. It’s about creative ways to provide readers’ advisory services in libraries. Click through for the picture of my director dressed as a fortune teller (it’s not to be missed).
I work in a Kansas library, so we’re no stranger to drama with Overdrive (our state library balked when Overdrive doubled prices and moved to 3M. We didn’t have Kindle availability for over a year at my library until we signed up with a consortium). I only order ebooks and eaudio once a month, but I slowly noticed that new releases didn’t have Kindle formats. We’ve noticed this as late as last summer, when I bought The Strange Maid and had to email our rep about why it didn’t have a Kindle version. They got back to me and said that sometimes it takes a few extra weeks to get the Kindle version and I didn’t think much of it. Then our adult selector noticed it last month with some Thomas Pynchon books (not new) and our children’s selector noticed it with an ebook only title he was trying to get (a Wonder by RJ Palacio companion). This time, the rep’s response read like something out of 1984—total doublespeak. When I ran a search for young adult fiction released between 2-1-15 and 3-31-15 yesterday morning, there were only 3 titles in Kindle format (some weird random series). I got suspicious and started digging around on the internet and found this blog post which confirmed my fears that these weren’t random, isolated incidents. Kindle format versions of books from all 5 major publishers were experiencing delays, and there was speculation that contract negotiations between Overdrive and Amazon were going poorly. Then, in the afternoon, this blog post was published, reporting that Kindle availability at Overdrive had been fixed. I ran my regular monthly search again, and confirmed that instead of 3, there were 100 young adult titles available in Kindle format published during February and March. This is still something we’ll be keeping an eye on at my library, because the state of ebook availability in libraries is constantly fluctuating.
I’m watching our state legislature closely for a variety of reasons. I love Kansas, and I love living in Lawrence, but the political climate here is getting even scarier since Brownback was re-elected. School Library Journal discussed a bill in the Senate about making it a crime for Mister BS and I to basically do our jobs, if that included suggesting “offensive” material that might include reference to sex or homosexuality to minors. This bill has made it out of committee. I think it’s mostly conservative posturing that would never stand up in court, but it’s freaking scary that anyone can take it seriously.
Comics + Graphic Novels
Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue Connick are going to be bringing graphic novel concepts to TV. Like Sex Criminals. I am EXCITED.
I was really fascinated by this post at The Millions about writers, social media, and anxiety.
This post from Hilary T. Smith is really about so much more than whether bloggers should be novelists. One one level, it got me thinking about my own writing, which I often put on the back-burner in favor of blogging (like right now, I could be WRITING). But I also thought about my career and the graduating to management thing. My supervisor is retiring soon, which means her position will be open. Some people are like “wow, opportunity to advance!” But I wonder, not just about this situation, but in the long run, whether I want to work in library management even if I do think some day I would be good at it. Because I having the time to do lots of things I love that might get crowded out by meetings and other things managers have to do. Anyway, it made me THINK.
Books + Reading
I loved Kelly Dickinson’s post at The Hub about diverse YA books that should be made into movies! Hollywood, get on that.
Speaking of diversity in YA, Malinda Lo’s really in-depth and thoughtful post on reviews of diverse books is absolutely amazing.
What were you up to this month? What links did I miss? Let me know in the comments!