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2014 Reading In Review

This was the first year I did reading challenges, and I think I picked them well. Other than reading books I owned, I did great (and I got much closer to my failed goal than I expected). Setting a goal for finishing series, really pushed me in that respect and also taught me that it's okay to let a series go, even if I liked the first one. Unless I can't wait to find out what happens next, it's probably not worth my time. Reading books with titles starting with all the letters of the alphabet was a fun way to look at my to-read list in Goodreads and jump around and pick some things that had been sitting there awhile. I was also super psyched to hit my Goodreads goal of reading 100 books for the year.

I've dreamed up some interesting challenges for myself for 2015, so I'll lay those out in another post, but to wrap up 2014, I'll list my favorites as I usually do - Top 5 ranked with a little explanation of why they were so fabulous and 10 honorable mentions liste…

This Year's Reflections on Banned Books Week

... or as I think I'm going to start calling it, Librarian Christmas, the most hyped (by librarians) library holiday of the year. I've been dutifully wearing my "i read banned books" bracelet all week and awaiting patron questions about our banned books displays.

I've written in past years about how I'm sort of over Banned Books Week, but I keep getting pulled back in when I hear about some of the ridiculous books people are trying to ban. This year's is one I just read for the first time this summer, Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. Apparently it was considerate too graphic and inappropriate for a high school audience. Interesting, considering the story's narrator is in elementary school. Basically, it has the usual collection of difficult to discuss ideas: violence, death, questioning faith in God, a child's confusion about how adult sexual relationships work, but since it's all told from the point of view of a 6-year-old, it's not ter…

A Day In the Life of an Electronic Resources Coordinator

Ever since I started my current job I've been trying to write a post to sum up the unique niche in which I find myself, but I think maybe my day last Friday, might be better (and maybe more entertaining) than anything I've tried to write up to this point.  Just consider it a flashback to the old #librarydayinthelife.
The quick outline of my job: I manage (pay for) all the electronic resources that the reference department subscribes to (I have a counterpart in childrens, but when in doubt, our department usually pays for it), but I'm also a regular run-of-the-mill reference librarian with regular desk shifts, print collection development responsibilities (000s), and I manage our department's (mostly) high school student assistants who help patrons with the public internet computers, do a little shelving, and help everyone in the department with odd jobs.

8AM - department meeting During August the library board doesn't meet, so we decided to fill the time we usually…

Collecting the Proper Data

My first week back from maternity leave and I'm already getting philosophical ...

One of the big projects I was working on before my maternity leave was a patron survey on technology. The survey ran while I was on leave and we just got the reports back from the group that created the survey for us.

And my reactions are so mixed ...

On the one hand, it's great we were able to collect so much detailed data on our patrons' use of library technology. There's all sorts of fascinating data (such as 85.8% of our patrons feel public library internet access is either important or very important to the community) that we can now easily share with the Board and other stakeholders.

On the other hand, there's some pretty strong evidence that this was not a representative sample of our community and is likely missing representation from the heaviest users of library technology. While I love the level of detail of the data collected, it made the survey really long. Colleagues who…

2014 Reading Challenges

I mentioned in my last post that I plan to attempt reading 100 books this year, but I also think I'll do some more specific challenges too, because, why not? Here they are, with links back to the original challenge where you can read all the rules, and a list of completed titles for each challenge. If I'm going to try to read 100 books this year, I might as well have fun doing it. The links are to my Goodreads reviews.


And in the name of fun, I might as well start of with the Alphabet Soup Challenge. Basically I just need to read a book starting with each letter of the alphabet and since I plan to read a lot more than 26 books, I think I can make this one happen.

COMPLETED: 8/25/14

A: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
B: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
C: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
D: Dreadfully Ever After: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Steve Hockensmith
E: An Education by Lynn Barber
F: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
G: Graceling by Kristin Cashore
H: How Babies T…