RA for your Holiday

Has Christmas come early? No? Then why has NPR released Books We Love already? We can’t know, and it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that now you have a diverse, robust (sortable!) list of book recommendations to share with patrons, just in time for summer reading! Huzzah!

In other summer reading news, we’ve got picks from Parade and Shondaland, and we’ve also got the #BookTokChallenge! Here’s more on that:

“Starting today through August 31, we’re encouraging people to discover and read new books and authors and then share their reactions with the TikTok community using #BookTokChallenge… With nearly 11M videos and reaching over 60B views globally to date, #BookTok is the go-to hashtag for books, reading, writing and everything in between and it’s just one delightful corner of TikTok that has led to a widespread cultural impact off platform.” A great way to engage teens this summer!

We’ve gotten an update from OverDrive about transitioning patrons over to the Libby app:

Starting the week of July 25, users of the legacy OverDrive app will receive an in-app message that the legacy OverDrive app will be discontinued in early 2023 and encouraging them to switch to the Libby app.

You can find an archived webinar about helping patrons transition to Libby here, and I’ll be sending an email with more details to all member library staff early next week.

Just a reminder that the ESLN webinar about collection development and materials challenges is coming up on July 19 at 10am. Sign up here!

Finally, #FridayReads: I have been gathering up holds like I’m about to be snowed in. I don’t understand it, but I’m going with it. I’m currently in the middle of This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub, and have got a tiny mountain of fiction on the nightstand to follow it up. In my earbuds is Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks, by Patrick Redden Keefe. I’ve spent the entire spring watching all ten seasons of Call the Midwife on Netflix, and now I’m feeling a) like I need more dresses, and b) like I need more stories about feminism, community, and accessible, compassionate healthcare. Happy reading/listening/viewing!

RA for your Friday

First things first! Based on requests from public libraries across the state, the Empire State Library Network and PULISDO partnered on the creation of an annotated 2022 Public Library Collection Management Policy Template & Guide. Ask the Lawyer‘s Stephanie Cole Adams will be presenting a one-hour webinar on July 19 at 10am about using this resource to update or adopt policies to be ready for materials challenges…and more. Sign up today! (Be sure to choose NNYLN as your ESLN Council.)

Speaking of webinars! Don’t forget that Booklist regularly offers free webinars – and you can view them live or on-demand. Hat tip to Becky Spratford of the RA for All blog, who reminds us:

“I know there are so many virtual options these days, but I will say from experience, these Booklist webinars are geared toward you, the busy library worker. Access is always free and with the on demand archive feature, super easy.

We’ve got (printable!) July lists from Library Reads and Indie Next.

Remember your nonfiction readers this summer with this list of 29 Works of Nonfiction You Need to Read This Summer. Too much for your budget? You can always request adult nonfiction purchases here, thanks to Central Book Aid.

Looking for a display idea? Look no further than our newest federal holiday with these Juneteenth reading lists from Goodreads and Book Riot.

Finally #FridayReads: Do I need to finish a quilt this weekend? Yes. Should I get out and remove the weeds that are not only taking over my yard but also providing way, WAY too much cover for the local groundhog population? Absolutely. And yet, I think we all know how this ends. Especially if the new Emma Straub comes to me in today’s delivery… Happy reading!

RA for your Friday

First things first! New Book Club in a Bag titles are now available!

The Guncle, by Steven Rowley

Somebody’s Daughter, by Ashley C. Ford

Slow Horses, by Mick Herron

Just a quick note for those who are new to the system that NCLS loans books exclusively for local book clubs to use for their discussions. Books are checked out in a sturdy canvas bag containing 12 paperback copies of each title and a printed list of discussion questions. Bags are checked out for six weeks, and they can be picked up and returned at any NCLS member library. Please remember to scan the bags in when they are received – and check them out to patrons promptly – so that the hold doesn’t linger in holds limbo for all eternity.

You can find all our book club titles right here, and you can find printable bookmarks here. NCLS has social media posts on the new titles today, so please like and share!

I’ve made my first pie of the season and have already given up on the weeds in my garden. It’s officially summer! We’ve got summer picks from USA Today, People, and NPR, who are sharing their favorite picks from each of the 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico.) Want to chime in? You can do that here.

And now for some June news.

We’ve got picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the LA Times, Bustle, 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 Crime Reads.

In other June news, it’s Audiobook Month! AudioFile is here with their June Earphones Award winners, and Book Riot has rounded up the best audiobooks of 2022 so far. The RA for All blog goes deeper on how to use AudioFile and Book Riot to find great picks for patrons and reminds us:

“Audio books are an excellent option that some readers may not think about. And they are the perfect choice for people who don’t think they have time to read.”

If you’ve got patrons looking for Stranger Things readalikes to tide them over to the July 1 release of the rest of season 4, check out these lists from Book Riot, Epic Reads, Books Are Our Superpower, and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. (And if you’ve got Opinions about season 4, let’s talk.)

There’s still time to sign up for this afternoon’s book sharing session, Friday Reads, at 3pm. Join your fellow North Country library staff for a virtual 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, and more!

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve been tag-teaming fiction and nonfiction this week, bouncing back and forth between Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the latter of which is almost, ALMOST enough for me to attempt another vegetable garden. (Still not over that deer that ate my apple tree. Still. Six years later.) In my earbuds is In Defense of Witches, which comes on the heels of Pandora’s Jar. Happy reading/listening!

RA for your Friday

First things first! We’ve got three brand new Book Club in a Bag titles coming your way next month:

The Guncle, by Steven Rowley

Somebody’s Daughter, by Ashley C. Ford

Slow Horses, by Mick Herron

I’ll let you know as soon as we’ve added those to the catalog, expect them early to mid-June. You can find printable bookmarks here.

Speaking of June, we’ve got lists for Library Reads and Indie Next!

And while we’re on the subject of June, don’t forget to sign up for our next Friday Reads! Join us on June 3 for a virtual 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, and more!

In even more June news, just a quick reminder that June is Audiobook Month!

Looking for ways to give your backlist more love? As always, the RA for All blog has advice for you (and great display reminders, too):

“Displays are to highlight books patrons would not find on their own. And to that end, ignore newer books. The backlist is where you can find great titles that are lurking in the stacks, languishing without readers…”

Finally, #FridayReads: Once again my nightstand is full to toppling, which is just how I like it. This week, I’m bopping back and forth between The Night Hawks and Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe, depending on my mood. Both may have to be preempted for Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead, which I just picked off the new releases shelf at a library near me. Order of operations as follows: new library books, older library books, audiobooks, podcasts, BritBox, quilting, baking, mild exercise, books I own. Happy reading!

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!

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!

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!