RA for your Friday

It’s been almost three months since the last time we added new titles to Book Club in a Bag, which means it’s time for some more! Each new batch of titles usually includes one fiction, one nonfiction, and one member library request of either type. We’re always looking for recommendations, so please feel free to send them my way. Titles must be available in paperback; under-the-radar selections a plus. I’ll send promotional stuff once the next three titles have been finalized, but in the meantime, we’ve got ready-to-print bookmarks here.

New month, new lists! We’ve got picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Time, Town & Country, Shondaland, and The Millions. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB, fantasy from Paste, sci-fi and fantasy from Lit Hub, and of course, crime reads from CrimeReads.

For those who weren’t able to make it to Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them, I’ve got the video for you right here. And just a reminder, you can find all kinds of resources on our Collection Development and RA Guide.

One thing I mentioned in passing during the class was that we should all aim to have all of our books out in the world being used. Thanks to Becky Spratford for bringing this up in a recent blog post:

“We need to stop thinking of ourselves as the guardians of the books, the gatekeepers, and instead remember that our goal is to do everything we can to get the books out of our buildings, or checked out of our digital collections… If a title is too popular, buy more copies, or, if money is tight, work to create while you wait lists or displays to help people find titles they would like in the meantime.”

In awards news, we’ve got the Agatha Awards, the Edgar Awards, and the LA Times Book Prizes.

Save the date for our next Friday Reads RA session on June 3 at 3pm. It’s a no-pressure discussion about what’s flying off the shelves at your library, what you just finished and loved (or what you just finished that you know someone ELSE would love), what author or series you’ve just discovered – sign up here!

Finally, #FridayReads: I don’t know what it is about springtime that makes the books jump into my hands, but I suspect it’s the possibility of the season. I am a terrible gardener, but maybe THIS is the year that I’ll actually take care of my yard. Maybe THIS is the year I’ll buy a bicycle. Maybe THIS is the year, etc. Likewise, I know I don’t have the time to read everything that I find interesting, but why not just grab everything and see what happens? Right now I’m reading the second Cape Cod Foodie mystery, An Eggnog to Die For, and listening to Ann Patchett’s These Precious Days. Happy reading/listening!

RA for your Friday

The Publishers Weekly Summer Reads list is out! I know it’s hard to believe, given the weather event earlier this week, but I promise it’s true – summer is just around the corner.

In other exciting summer news, the SYNC program returns next week! SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for 13 and up that gives participants two thematically paired audiobooks each week. Titles are all available worldwide and change every Thursday at midnight Eastern Time during the season. Be sure to let your teens know!

In other teen news, the Brooklyn Public Library is issuing digital library cards to anyone in the United States aged 13-21 to challenge book bans and censorship.

The May Library Reads and Indie Next lists are out!

Looking for your next pop-culture display? Lit Hub can get you started with 8 Stories About Scammers for When You’re Done Watching Inventing Anna.

And just a quick reminder that next Friday I’ll be offering an updated version of Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them:

“Materials selection is something all libraries do, regardless of size or budget. Join us for a discussion about the best resources for book discovery and reviews, how to keep up with release dates, and what goes into maintaining a balanced, robust collection in a small community library. We’ll also talk about avoiding self-censorship and the importance of your collection development policy.” Sign up today!

Finally, #FridayReads: You know that thing where you’re an English major and you break up your heavy reading not with exercise or social activities but with lighter reading? (Disclaimer: I am fully aware that this is very possibly something that only I have done.) That’s where I am right now. Nothing new on the nightstand, so I’m just on the lookout for some breezy reads that I can start (and finish!) over the weekend. In my earbuds is Girly Drinks, by Mallory O’Meara, which is proving to be a delight. Happy reading/listening!

RA for your Friday

First things first! This not a drill, not is it an April Fools trick – as of yesterday, NCLS is having some renovation work done, and my office no longer exists. So, this is yer chance to book me for a weeding visit next week! (Not your ONLY chance, I’m happy to come weed anytime. But I am SUPER available next week.) You can book me with this link right here. Just select weeding visit, then pick a day and time, and consider it booked!

This will be a very short roundup today, but we do have new lists. We’ve got April picks from Amazon, the AV Club, Barnes & Noble, CNN, the LA Times, Refinery29, Time, and The Millions. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB, sci-fi from Lit Hub, and crime reads from CrimeReads.

In case anyone was wondering how NYPL’s fine-free policy has been going, here’s an update. (Spoiler: It’s going really well.)

In related news, I was stopped in my metaphorical tracks by a slide from a fine-free session at PLA. (No, I wasn’t there. But Becky Spratford was.) The slide consisted of one question: What are you willing to give up to have the library you keep pretending you want?

Wow, right? It should go without saying, but if we want things to change, then we have to make changes. If we want to see more library use, then we need to make it easier to use the library. We’ve gotten so accustomed to some of our barriers to access that we forget that they’re preventing the thing we say we want… which is more people using the library!

Even if your library has already gone fine-free (and I know a whole lot of you have), I still recommend reading Becky’s summary of the session. (It’s third in the conference recap, so you’ll need to scroll down a bit to get there). I guarantee it will get you thinking.

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am not a fast reader. Picking up a thick novel is a heavy lift for me, pun intended. But I started Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead and am hooked. Happy reading!

RA for your Friday

It’s spring! Everyone can start weeding now!

Just kidding. Weeding is something you can do all year round. But there is something about the warm weather that inspires a spring clean, and clearing out items that are damaged, worn, outdated, or no longer relevant makes room for new materials – which is essential in a small library with limited shelf space. (Interested in a weeding visit? You know how to find me.)

Speaking of new materials, the April Library Reads and IndieNext Lists are out!

In awards news, we’ve got the Women’s Prize longlist and the ballot for the Nebulas. And for all you audio fans, we’ve got the 2022 Audie winners!

And speaking of audio, if you’re not already aware of the podcast Strong Sense of Place, allow me to put it on your radar.

And speaking of putting stuff on each other’s radars, we had a great chat during our first Friday Reads conversation about books we’re loving right now. (And learned how to pronounce many authors’ names!) If you’re interested in the titles that were discussed, you can find them here. If you’re interested in joining us next time, you can sign up here!

Finally, #FridayReads: I don’t know why I’m so drawn to medieval stories these days, but as they say in baseball (or baseball movies, at least), a player on a streak has to respect the streak. So, I’ve just started Matrix by Lauren Groff, and there may be some Cadfael in my future… Happy reading!

Trustee Education Requirement

Beginning January 1, 2023, all library trustees are required by NYS law to complete a minimum of two hours of trustee education every year on the financial oversight, accountability, fiduciary responsibilities and the general powers and duties of a library trustee. Such trustee education may be delivered online or in person, and may include lectures, workshops, regional or national library association programs, or any other format approved by the Commissioner of Education.

The trustees are responsible for providing proof of completion to their board president. If any expenses are incurred complying with this requirement, they should be charged to the library budget.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your consultant.

Read the complete law here.

RA for your Friday

I’m going to lead right off with the RA for All blog:

“When there is a major world event, readers and library patrons turn to books to understand what is happening… There is a lot of information that you can use to create digital and in person displays and reading lists for your patrons. You do not need to reinvent the wheel. Go to the experts and pass the information on– just like you would do for nonfiction requests.”

There are a ton of reading lists out there right now that you can use to help your patrons get more context and a deeper understanding of what’s going on in Ukraine, from NYPL, LitHub, Book Riot, USA Today, and NPR. There’s also this post from the Library of Congress, which has maps, reports, legal documents, and other digital resources.

Moving right along to a new month, with some corresponding new lists.

We’ve got picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, the LA Times, Shondaland, and the Washington Post. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB and USA Today, fantasy from Tor and Paste, and of course, crime reads from CrimeReads. Hungry for even more? ENews has a roundup of all the celebrity book club picks.

It’s yer last chance to sign up for our first Friday Reads discussion this afternoon – get in while you can! (Okay, not QUITE yer last chance. As with all NCLS classes and meetings, you can still sign up even after the event has begun.) Let’s wrap this week in the best way – by talking books with our fellow librarians! (Can’t come this time? No worries. We’ll see you in June.)

Finally, #FridayReads: At this point in winter (and, let’s be honest, the decade), I’m ready for a little levity, and I’ve got a paperback copy of Beach Read on my nightstand to prove it. Happy reading!

RA for your Friday

We need to talk about materials challenges.

I’ve been sending out updates and resources in both RA emails and Youth Services roundups for the last few months, but it bears repeating – the best way to be prepared for a materials challenge is to expect a materials challenge. That means making sure your policies are in good order and that your library has procedures in place for a response. It means staff training and trustee education.

If you’re new to this issue, the Materials Challenges page of the Collection Development and RA Guide is a great place to get started.

You may also want to sit it on ALA’s Freedom to Read roundtable next Thursday:

“Voices from every aspect of this ongoing and constantly evolving issue will weigh in, including a teacher, librarian, parent, legislator, author, and student, using the recent book bannings in Texas and the response from teachers, librarians, and the community at large as an example of a way forward in protecting the first amendment nationwide.” Sign up today!

Finally, check out the RA for All blog, which has been covering this issue in detail, from how to respond to materials challenges to avoiding soft censorship:

“You need to buy the books your community and your collection needs, and that means including these award winning titles that are being challenged. If you are asking the “who’s going to complain,” question, even if it is coming from a well meaning place, you need to know that this is a form of censorship as well.”

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Just wanted you to be the first to know what’s coming next to the NCLS Book Club in a Bag program:
The Liar’s Dictionary, by Eley Williams
Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age, by Annalee Newitz
The Girl with the Louding Voice, by Abi Daré

These should be available by mid-March, and you can expect a half-sheet flyer next week.

The March Library Reads and Indie Next picks are out!

In awards news, the Audie finalists have been announced!

Just a reminder that wildly popular TV series often bring viewers back to the source material, and that you totally have enough time to order a copy of The Viscount Who Loved Me.

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve been on a bit of an audiobook binge, alternating between Taste in my car and The Nineties on my phone at bedtime. So, oddly, kind of on a print hiatus right now. But always open to serendipity. And it’s a long weekend! Perhaps there’s a bookstore trip in my future… Happy reading/listening!

NYS Mask Mandate Lifted

Earlier today (2/9/22) Governor Hochul lifted the mask mandate for indoor public spaces. Starting tomorrow, Thursday 2/10, masks are not required to be worn indoor areas other than public transit, schools, health care facilities and nursing homes.

Your library can still require patrons to wear masks if your safety plan/policy states so. Libraries can justify their mask policy using local data such as active positive case rates. It’s important that your safety plan be updated to include the details or benchmarks that are used. Additionally, since libraries are chartered under the Department of Education, it is not a stretch for libraries to mirror what their local school is doing. The mask mandate for schools (set to expire February 21) has been extended to the beginning of March for now.

NCLS recommends libraries to at least adopt the mask recommendations and guidelines from the CDC, if your library hasn’t already. Updated information can be found here:

RA for your Friday

We did it. We made it past winter’s midpoint and are now careening toward incrementally lighter and less frigid days. At the very least, the chocolate will be on sale very soon. Let’s bring on some lists!

We’ve got February picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bustle, Entertainment Weekly, Time, and The Millions.

For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB and Goodreads, sci-fi and fantasy from Gizmodo and Lit Hub, and crime reads from, of course, CrimeReads.

Resource alert! The RA for All blog has resources for graphic novel readers:

“I have had this post in the queue and with the banning of MAUS and the long-standing [and WRONG] dismissal of Graphic Novels as “lesser” than text only books, I am moving this up to today. This post is here to highlight multiple Graphic Novel resources for your library to use right now for collections development, displays, and suggestions. With MAUS garnering attention, interest in graphic novels in general will be high…”

And if you haven’t already reviewed your collection development policy and book challenge procedures, please let this be the timely reminder that encourages you to do so. NCLS has nine copies of the 9th Edition of ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Manual in our system, and the 10th Edition has just been added, so please take advantage of these resources if you’re looking to take a deeper dive into what intellectual freedom is and how central it is to what libraries do.

And if you haven’t already signed up for our inaugural Friday Reads session on March 4, you only have 28 more days! February is short! Don’t miss yer window!

Finally, #FridayReads: I enjoy a winter storm as much as the next person who enjoys a winter storm, but sometimes I just want to think about going outside without layers. Ah, spring. Ah, rhubarb pie. Is it any wonder I went straight for a farmers market-themed cozy this week? Happy reading!