Tag Archives: outside perception

Busy days-Fact-checking and the School-Librarian as Goalie

The past month and such has been incredibly busy for me in wonderful and interesting ways. I discovered that my love of research translates into an ability to do fact-checking and I’ve had great conversations at two Carney Sandoe Forums. During one of these Forums, one of the best ways to describe a school-librarian in terms of hiring and schools came up, the librarian as Goalie. In this entry, I’m going to talk about these two points which have been on my mind and with the fact-checking taking up a great deal of my time.

On my grad school list-serv, there was a mention of a publisher of children’s books needing fact-checkers. I emailed them, because I’m always looking for ways to connect to the world of children’s literature. It took a few weeks from when I emailed to when I was sent a PDF of a reference book on a state for Middle Grade kids. Then I had three weeks to work on the book checking everything from the obvious facts such as statistics to the statements in the text. I found it a pleasure to research for a job, to find and explore sites to discover how trustworthy they are and think about what information is out there. It was an intense job as I only had so long and had to cover every piece of data presented on the book’s pages, which meant I wasn’t doing that much else during it.

Along the way I discovered thoughtful historical sources in places I hadn’t immediately thought of such as websites put together for National Historic Sites by the National Park Service. Though as I thought about it, it made perfect sense to find strong scholarship put into easily accessible formats from the National Park Service, which exists to make history and nature closer. One of the challenges was that because I was fact-checking, I was searching for particular nuggets of facts, which meant at times having to pull up three different biographies of one person to cover all that was mentioned. Along the way, it was a pleasure to do my best to eliminate some common historical fallacies that sound nice but aren’t always true as well as learning a great deal about how many Native American tribes choose to be referred to. Whenever I found an error, it was important to have either the correct fact to replace it with or something else. In many places, I found myself disagreeing with some of the author’s choices in terms of the sorts of numerical facts that were put down. Those facts were usually the hardest to find as they tended to be created by combinations of sources and thus I couldn’t always find confirmation. In those cases, I would try to find more information that presented the same idea which was usually about the scale of a historical event, the size of a geographic feature or the size of a part of the economy. The experience brought together many facets of my knowledge and life since my friends know that if they wonder about something, I’ll go and find the answer. Fact-checking also reminded me of how much I enjoyed my internship at the Independence Seaport Museum as I was reading logbooks to put together archival descriptions and had to do research to understand their times and context. The process taught me too of various ways to approach research so that its not just something to do for class, but enjoyable. Now I have more ideas about bringing more of that joy of finding the fact that puts an event into context into the library and classroom. As its so key to make looking for information interesting and remind students that research comes in many flavors and what counts is understanding where a fact comes from.

The Librarian as Goalie came from a conversation I had at a Carney Sandoe Forum where someone I spoke said that librarians were like goalies; schools normally didn’t need more than one or two but it was key to get the right one. This resonated with me as a concise way to show how key a librarian is to a school but how librarians also don’t fit in the normal boxes. A hockey or soccer team might have two goalies, who they have to have to keep the team working as it should but they won’t be replaced as often as other members of the team. A school hopes to not have to hire librarians too often as they want them to be the goalies who are dependable and there to provide a foundation for the rest of the school. With a good librarian, a school can build on research and technology basics allowing teachers to experiment in ways they might not have first thought of. Its a way of talking about school librarians that I plan on using in the future as its simple and effective.

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Why would you read that?-preference vs quality

The area I’m living in at the moment has an older and mainly retired population, younger families are around but they’re not the majority. As my current social life connects to my parents who are retired and active in this small town, I’ve been having conversations that I haven’t expected. Most of the media that I consume is young adult, fantasy or variation or combination of these two, among my friends we might not all like the same works but share a common vocabulary. So its surprising for me to be talking about books I recently read and have someone say, “Why would you read that?” in terms of fantasy, because the characters aren’t human or real enough. My explanation is that I will read anything if I find the characters compelling. This has led to some good discussions in terms of what attracts someone to want to read a book.

It seems like every few months, an article will appear about why adults read YA or how guilty pleasure books can be okay, which starts the conversation up again. A lot of it seems stuck on the idea of what has value and who gets to decide the value for various works. I think this lies at the heart of it and is an important aspect of consuming books to discuss. There are books that jump out from others in terms of their quality across the genres but due to there being all these genres, what matters most is personal preference. In another conversation I have, we talked about the idea of genres and its key to remember that the genres as divined by a literature professor won’t be the same as those picked by a publishing executive and that genres shift over time. As a librarian, part of my job is to find how best to get these books to those who will like them and people who might not think of trying them. In this way genres can be unhelpful when someone says, “Oh, I don’t read fantasy or science fiction or young adult.” The next step is to talk to them for me is to find out what makes them not want to read those books. I find the idea isn’t to convince them to try something, that comes later. Its best to begin by understanding was there a book they didn’t like, why didn’t they like it and was there another they did like. Our personal preferences are built from our experiences and when looking into unfamiliar genre, a difficult but enlightening step is to try. If you’re thinking about wanting something new to read outside your comfort zone, ask someone who prefers a genre you normally don’t read for advice to where to begin. That’s how I got started reading Romance, I read two great book blogs, and and one day I won a book and discovered I actually quite enjoyed Historical Romance.

All these thoughts have been going through my head as I move back and forth from a world where book clubs tend to read the bestsellers, a children’s section of the library and my online world that focuses on fantasy and young adult literature. As a librarian, I feel part of what I do is to help patrons find books they’ll enjoy and a few that will surprise them.

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Real World, Real Tools: Don’t try to be Wonder Woman

My first day at ALA was spent attending a program put together by AASL (American Association of School Librarians) called Real World, Real Tools that was run by Deb Logan, Laura Pearle and Wendy Stephens. This was an intense workshop that ran from 12:30 to after 4 and left me with many thoughts that I’m still processing. Here I want to write about some of the main things I learned in it as well as the experience of spending that amount of time with other school librarians.

The session was divided into five smaller parts that covered; Budgets, Staffing, Administration, Technology and Self Care. Each part began with a presentation and then we talked into smaller groups before coming back together. I’m not certain of the exact number of people who attended but I don’t believe it was more than 30 people, which was a good size. The way the program was put together reminded me of classes I’ve had in graduate school where a lot of information was covered but there was time in groups to process and discuss. I think any of the presentations could have stood on its own as a panel or poster but putting them all together was a great way to understand all the aspects of what a school librarian does.

My main impression looking back on this program was a mixture of I wish I’d attended something like this before I began my job last year and feeling grateful for going to it this year. A great deal of information was shared about ways to manage with a small or no budget, how to deal with staffing issues or the problems when you’re a lone wolf librarian, speaking the language of administration, making the best technology choices for your community and taking care of yourself.

At this point in my experience, the part that I found the most relevant was the administration section as a major issue I had this past year was knowing that I had to communicate to administration but not managing it as well as I needed to. That part of the presentation was a good reminder that good communication takes work and that as librarians, we can fall into the trap of forgetting that not everyone thinks like a librarian. Also that even if you’re in a fairly secure position, as a school librarian, you need to be constantly showing and proving to your school community what you do so they can observe you with more understanding. As a young librarian, I had hoped that perhaps this was something that was more tied to budget issues but now I understand that its part of being a school librarian. This was something I think I was aware of considering the rhetoric that surrounds libraries of what do you do and the huge lack of understanding from many sides. I’ve had many conversations with friends of my family, people I meet when I explain what I do where they look confused at the existence of librarians. The program shared a lot of good strategies for sharing your work to a community though it seemed like many of the ideas would require a good deal of thought into what works. All of these ideas are based around the idea of keeping the community aware of what you do and their basic gist was share your calendar of these are the classes you work with, these are activities happening in the library. The manners of sharing varied from posting a calendar, keeping a weekly record on a blog, using an erasable poster to share what kids have learned and directly emailing stakeholders. My main concern about these ideas is how to walk that fine line between informing people of your work and not having it feel like you’re going see, see all I’m doing. That aspect I think depends a huge amount on the community and how people communicate. Its something I plan on taking to my next job as well as the other part of it which is the importance of making your goals and ideas explicit and connected to the school’s goals. Build programs around tasks and goals that are key to the administration and district, be in constant communication with teachers about how you can tie in with them. A good school librarian connects to all aspects of a school and a great one needs to be able to show all the ways they work with and for everyone in the school.

The other major lesson that I took from this program was about not trying to be Wonder Woman, which is a common trap for librarians. That its easy to get pulled into the feeling that you have to do everything for everyone and if you don’t, if things fall by the wayside then you’re failing in your job. This is even more acute when you’re the only librarian in a building, there’s this feeling that you have to be the perfect example of a librarian, this isn’t realistic and can be unhealthy. Instead its incredibly important to make long term plans, look ahead and if there are a lot of big issues to deal with focus on what’s important now. Then share these goals with the community so they understand why you’re making the choices you’re making. This way, even if you’re the only one doing the work, other people are aware of what you’re working on and what takes the most time. Then the next and I think most important part is taking care of yourself. This was something that I didn’t do as good of a job with last year, I got so caught up in being the ever present librarian that my own health suffered for it. The message of don’t try to do everything and that you can’t succeed if you’re not healthy is incredibly important. Powerful change takes time and its hard to make change happen when you’re not at your best.

As I came out of this program somewhere around 4:30, I felt tired but in a good way since I had been immersed with people who were successful school librarians. I had conversations about my first year and the caring and advice I was given was wonderful. We as librarians are a powerful community and one that will always listen when you ask, “Am I doing this right? Do you have any ideas?”

I know as I look into the future, I will refer back to my notes from this program as I go forward as a librarian.

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Finding my feet: the first two months

This blog hasn’t been updated since I began my new job at the Roeper School as I’ve been busy learning about the community and how I as a librarian best fit in. It’s now nearing the end of October, which means that I’ve been a part of Roeper for two months and so it is a good time to look back and forwards. The Roeper School is built around the idea of responsibility and community, a great amount of trust is placed in students to manage their own time and resources. The school was founded in 1941 by George and Annemarie Roeper after they had escaped from Germany and is built around their philosophy in which students are active participants and leaders. There’s a great focus on gifted students as Roeper tries to be a place where every student knows they will get the attention, respect and challenges they need in the school day. On the , there are wonderful write ups of the , and , I recommend reading them, they are linked here. During my orientation, one of the veteran teachers explained that the way this works for connecting with students is that in all interactions, you must be genuine, because the kids will form an opinion of you early on and talk amongst themselves about everyone. This ended up being good advice as one of the first major changes I made was that I chose to sit in the library instead of using an office behind a door that other librarians had used. I made this choice because the office felt too cut off from the library space and I wanted to make it clear from the beginning that I was available and visible to the entire community. A piece of positive feedback that I keep hearing from the community is how nice it is to see me in the library, I’ve heard this from students and faculty. It shows me that my instinct is the right one. One of the complications this presents is that I sit amongst the students, sharing tables with them instead of at a desk in the room but apart. This has been useful for starting conversations students feel comfortable approaching me about a variety of issues and I’ve been given a good window into how the library is used. However I don’t have a specific place and some mornings have to ask someone to move. I’m in the process of getting a desk, which will I hope help to create an anchor place for me in the library.

The library is one of the largest spaces to gather in the building, so students are constantly going in and out of the space. The most common activities in the library are studying, socializing and computer games. Those games present one of my major challenges in creating compromises within the library space. The library has eight computers in the main room and two computers in a quiet room. Due to the trust placed in the students, the Roeper computers have no filters and students have free blocks throughout the day in which to do as they like. This means that at times the library gets loud as students play computer games and discuss these games. One of my first challenges as librarian was how to insure that the gamers didn’t take over the library, that meant restricting playing of Minecraft and being firm with students to get gamers off the computers when they’re needed for work. This is part of a larger question about how to best use these computer resources and other technology resources around the school that I’m going to address in greater depth in another entry.

It’s a complicated issue, because technology education is a key part of modern education and a difficult one. It’s something that works best in a place between all or nothing and needs to be crafted for the needs of the community, because what works in one school won’t work in another. In the contemporary library, I as librarian can do a lot to create a space where students can learn how to be thoughtful online in their work and play. Technology usage and education is a major component of what I’m working on at Roeper and I’m going to dedicate another entry to my thoughts and observations. I’m excited to be a part of the conversation at Roeper about technology use across the school.

At this point when I look over what I’ve accomplished, a lot of it is in terms of what’s to come and there are many first steps that will lead to greater ones. I’ve been focused on learning a new culture and exploring how the library will play the most positive role in it. I’ve been in the process of gathering copies of textbooks to add to the reference collection for student’s use in the library, which is a small change from how the books were arranged before. I’m working on adding many donated books to the collection and expanding the periodical selection. One of my projects that I hope to finish soon, which will connect into how I wish to get more resources available to the school is putting together a library website. The conversations I’ve had with teachers have been about what are good resources for projects and research. I’ve created an outline of the webpage with useful websites grouped by academic disciplines, that when I post them will have explanations of what they will be the most useful for. The great guys in the IT department have been a real help for me in this as I’ve been learning how to get my ideas to fit within the beautiful website that they’ve created for the school. At this point, I’ve been able to help teach in one class, where I realized that there is a need for a lot of resources in one place and easily organized so that students can find what they need, as well as information to help them best use those resources. The class was an 8th grade science class, I came in to get them started on their research for creating a major experiment. Since those classes, I’ve talked with the teacher and we both agree that there needs to be more showing students how things work. Research is a key component of education but can be tricky to create an overall plan for as different teachers highlight various aspects of it. The Lower School librarian and I are hoping to try and create a schoolwide plan to have the libraries be the place that every teacher can look to when it comes time to teach students about research. She and I both attended the University of Michigan School of Information together and its wonderful be working with her since we share the same ideas of what a successful library looks like.

I feel most successful in terms of how I’ve been able to connect with the students as they’re the ones who spend the most time in the library. It’s one of their favorite spots to hang out and to work. When I was starting, I thought at first that I would be connecting more with bookish girls like I was in Middle and High School, and I do talk to them but the students that have reached out me the most are the roleplayers and gamers, who are mostly boys. If you’ve followed this blog, you know that I consider myself a gamer and that roleplaying and fandom is both a hobby of mine as well as how I’ve met friends and learned a great deal about my own creativity. When the students learned that I was a roleplayer, they asked me questions about my experience and I’m now helping to sponsor and run the roleplaying club. Another student has started a video game club, which is also being held in the library, which makes me hopeful. As I’ve observed in the library, a lot of students find great enjoyment in gaming and that’s something I want to try and find more ways to incorporate into other aspects of the school. Since one of the wonderful aspects of Roeper is how much control students have in terms of the courses they spend their time on and how they use their free periods. The chance to find more ways to take what they enjoy and add other educational levels to it, as well as discussing some of the culture of the gaming world feels like a challenge suited to the school and to me.

Something that I find a pleasure and a challenge is figuring out displays to set up in the library and ways to take advantage of the shelf space I have available. Last month, I put up my first display for Banned Books Week and enjoyed having many students and teachers asking questions. Many of the students weren’t aware of Banned Books Week, so I was able to explain the thinking behind it and the principle that libraries provid access to all books. At the moment, I’ve started a Halloween display that’s going slightly slow as I have books, poems and short stories posted but I’ve been having trouble deciding on bigger decorations. I’ve been going into stores full of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations and feeling overwhelmed as I try to think of what will be successful, work over a long time and make the library a fun place to be. Recently I was able to look at desks in a store and that helped me see the kind that works for what I wish the library to be.

The desk and decorations are small examples of my great challenges and joys in being a librarian at Roeper-how do I take what’s within my head about the roles of a librarian and library and shape it to fit and succeed at Roeper. I’m learning every day from what works and doesn’t work and finding incredible support within the Roeper community.

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Go where you want to be

This post is going to be slightly more personal than some of my other posts but I was reading another blog and it gave me a hook I was looking for. Captain Awkward is a fantastic advice site where much of what’s said boils down to trust yourself, be good to yourself and have a strong Team You. The post linked above is a tricky one about a guy who’s not having a lot of luck dating because he has some issues that he’s bringing into it. Warning for misogyny in his comments but the reason I’m linking isn’t for him. I’m making this connection because in the comments, the Awkward Army and the Captain speak of how important it is to go out and do what you want, be around people that you want to like and that you enjoy. Someone even points out how this isn’t too different from finding a way to do what you love whether its volunteering or working.

This is where I come in, for the past year and at the moment, I’m in the midst of a difficult job search. I’m preparing to move back to the East Coast, where I’ll have more family support as I work. Something that I have been doing in this year and while attending my program was doing my best to be a part of activities that reflect what I hope to do as a librarian.

This past weekend I volunteered with Kids Read Comics, which puts together a small con for kids to talk to artists, make their own comics and be a part of the vibrant world of comics. I at first wasn’t certain how much I would be able to participate since that weekend I was working Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In the end I was able to pick up an artist on Friday night and volunteer for a little over three hours on Sunday. Kids Read Comics lifted up a strange weekend for me as I connected with artists, fellow librarians and was simply among people doing what they loved. The strange weekend was due to the fact that I lost power on Thursday and Friday and the poor artist’s bus was an hour late and she got to see rather more of Ann Arbor than anticipated.

I have a few memories of Friday and Sunday that reminded me why I want to work as a youth librarian and help with organizations like Kids Read Comics. The first was the fact that when I picked up the artist, she was amazed that I was able to figure out who she was, there were no pictures on her website. The simple answer was of all the people getting off the bus and looking for someone, she seemed the most like someone I’d be friends with. She had a fun shirt and her hair was dyed a beautiful color, which to me read as ah creative person and I was right.

On Sunday, the main way I helped out was by manning two artists booths while they went off and ate and enjoyed themselves. While I was sitting there, I had the pleasure of helping all the little kids searching for clues for a game going on and two memorable conversations. The first was with an older woman, she proudly told me she was 72 and that her grandson read manga and comics. We got to talking about what is manga and how comics have changed. It was wonderful to see how enthusiastic she was about what her grandson was reading and later at the con, I saw her sitting and talking with an artist. She even grinned at me then and told me that she went and found an artist to talk to. The second conversation was with a quite shy teenager who was carrying around her sketchpad, but who opened up in time. It was wonderful to see her taking the risk of being there with her work and approaching artists. It felt like those of us there might have been able to show her that she’s not alone or unusual, but instead part of a living community. That at least was how I felt as I talked to artists, hauled stuff and reveled at being in a great library with people who cared. Everyone I talked to was interested and wanted to share what they were doing and learn what everyone else was doing.

It turns out a common thing for artists to do is to make a swap of art, which made me smile. I’m a writer and among my friends, a common birthday gift is I’ll write you a story. There’s a great generosity among creative people and it was a pleasure to help however I could that day.

To return to Captain Awkward and where I began, as I’ve struggled with my job search, the times I’ve put myself out there to be where I want to work have always been wonderful. It’s such a simple truth but one that’s easy to forget. Even if your search for X,Y and Z isn’t working, still go and be with people you like and where you want to be. Then in time, the right job or the right person will find you because you’re in a good place.

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Inspiration and Mirrors: the stories I’m connecting to

The reason I call myself a librarian and a storyteller all turns back on stories; the stories that I create, the stories that help me understand myself and the stories that inspire me. At the moment, my own story is in a place of transition as I look to where my next job will be and get fully into my career as a librarian.

This is a good opportunity to talk about two inspirations that are the background to my job search. One of them is an amazing CD called Wicked Girls by the fantastic author Seanan McGuire. She is currently nominated for a number of Hugo Awards but one of them is for a song that I keep coming back called Wicked Girls, the link is to the lyrics. This song is about what happens after to many of the girls of fantasy and how quite often, their stories move on without them and the choices they make to take control of their lives. Something I am constantly working on is how to put myself out there in as many ways as possible, so there is no doubt of what I wish and what I can do. McGuire’s words remind me that sometimes that means playing within what’s accepted and other times pushing to see what will bend. In the midst of my job search, I feel quite aware of how I can only do so much in terms of how I’m perceived and what happens. This song and the others on the album remind me to hold true to myself and what I know to insure that the story I tell of who I am is honest. It also leads well into the next idea I want to talk about, which is how by looking deeper into works that change us, we can learn.

Last summer, the movie X-Men: First Class came out and I was utterly caught and inspired by it especially by the character of Charles Xavier. One reason is that James MacAvoy is an actor that I love and have since he was Leto II in Children of Dune, but that’s just a single element. The other reasons are rather more complex and reflect a lot of how I love to interact with works that I like and dislike, all the variations that fandom helps me access and that I wish to bring to students. Charles Xavier is a telepath and a mutant; a man who’s constantly searching for others like him to help them know that they’re not alone and find a way for mutants to be safe. He’s someone that I see a lot of myself in as I grew up in a household concerned about making certain that everyone was happy and healthy. My father was a psychiatrist and my mother an anthropologist, which meant that the way I learned to approach a problematic situation was to ask: What’s going on in this person’s life? What have I done to cause this reaction? What can I change and what can’t be changed? I spent my time learning to find the balance between my perceptions of a situation, how others see it and the repercussions of choices that I make. In Charles, I see all of these questions taken to a different place as he can hear thoughts and so will know many of the thoughts going on behind actions, but as he has to hide his ability can’t react fully to him. At the moment, a great many of the stories I write about him are looking into how did that change his experience of growing up and how did he learn to find the balance he needed to be sane and succeed. Writing his journey is another avenue for me to reflect on how I see myself and the world as well as connecting to a greater community of fans of the X-Men. This is the great power of fiction and creation for me is how it provides mirrors of character and numerous opportunities to create and consider what does it mean to like something.

Charles provides as well an inspiration for me as he creates a place to welcome those who feel unwelcome and off in the world. I grew up as a nerd and books and my creativity gave me a place to be feel safe and think beyond what I knew. As a librarian and an educator, it is part of my role to give young people a place that they will be safe to be whoever they are. I hope in time to be able to use my own experiences as a writer and a participator within fandom as well as a student of literature to give students new ways to approach the stories around them.

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Where I fit as a librarian and reader: not either/or but and

My last few weeks have been incredibly busy as I had three in-person interviews at three quite different independent schools. I’m not going to go into detail about these interviews but they did get me thinking about perceptions of libraries, librarians and books. Then last night I was reading an article in The New Yorker about guilty pleasure reading, which is a phrase I dislike and I wanted to write about the views of books and technology.

Two of the schools I spoke to have iPad programs and I ended up dealing with many questions that were variations on: we have it all on the ipad, what can you do? These questions weren’t too surprising considering the language that the media and the educational world use in terms of these new technology tools, that its all right there at your fingertips and your students can do it all. This seems rather short-sighted because another discussion that swirls around technology is how there’s so much information, it’s hard to know how to navigate it. I found that my best answer was by talking about two quite different aspects-the library has a third place and community gathering point and how I as a librarian can help navigate the resources available. This seemed to make sense and it was fascinating to see the different ideas that being in the library brought about in discussions, I could almost guess the people who grew up spending their time in libraries and those who didn’t. Then in terms of technology, when I spoke of how my job as librarian was to gather and curate the resources to get them prepared and easy so that the focus in classes could be on education, that made sense.

I found these conversations amazing as I was able to get a sense of how the sense of what is a library is in such flux, this was something that came up, again and again in the course of my degree. We were constantly debating and discussing what is a library, sometimes in comparison-what is a library in comparison to an archive or online or in a school? I found the chance to bring see how those thoughts played out in the arena of schools a reminder that I have found the right career for myself.

Now the other aspect I was thinking about was who I am as a genre reader. One of the quickest ways to make me lose my temper is to call any book trash since it adds an element of shame to reading, which is awful. Last night at work, I was reading an article in The New Yorker called “In Praise of Guilty Reading Pleasures” by Arthur Krystal. I would link it but its behind the paywall but if you have access I recommend reading it because the author didn’t do a good job arguing for genre books in particular mysteries and thrillers.

What got in the author’s way from the start is the idea that any book is a guilty pleasure, this brings shame and I shouldn’t be reading it into the equation and is insulting. My view has always been if a book brings you pleasure, its worthwhile. If someone wishes to criticize a book there are many other ways to speak of them that don’t make the reader feel as if they’re not good enough such as talking about the quality of the writing, the characters, the plot, the world-building, the cover or even the editing. All of these elements exist in every type of book and create a level playing field. The author was trying to argue that these genre books can be well-written and are good in their terseness and effectiveness and talked about the fascinating history of the novel, which hasn’t always been the darling of the literary establishment. It was at the end of the article that this all fell apart. I’m going to quote the first and last lines of the final paragraph that I tweeted last night to show what I mean about the author destroying his own point.

Apparently we’re still judged by the books we read, and perhaps we should be.

And, if we feel a little guilty for getting so swept up, there’s always “Death in Venice” to read as penance.

I just don’t get this attitude and its so prevalent that people enjoy that on their e-readers, no one knows what they’re reading. If we’re to continue nurturing readers, we need to make it clear that reading is wonderful and we all have different tastes. I think my biggest issue with this article is how it brings in strong and harmful religious ideas about penance and almost a diet analogy in read your veggie books, do your penance instead of enjoy what you like.

To end on a happier note, today on Tor.com I read an article about genre fiction that completely got it about how genre can be fun and deep and complex called Why Genre is Synonymous with Pop. I also highly recommend Tor’s Genre in the Mainstream series as it looks at why some books are literary and some genre and how the lines blur far more often than we expect. Usually what puts a book on one side or the other is the author or the publishing house and how they’re considered. That’s another longer discussion about how publishers decide where a book fits and best left for another time.

In the end, I see myself as a librarian as someone who connects resources and helps makes sense of all that’s out there. We don’t have to do either e-books or print, its a matter of and. The library is a place to meet as a community and talk about what we love. Just as books aren’t a matter of either literary and good for you or a guilty pleasure, a book that you get lost in is a worthwhile book.

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