Library News

A New Look at Peter Pan

For such a big fan of fairy tales, you would think that I’d have a healthy appreciation for one of the 20th Century’s preeminent fairy tale creations, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. But in truth, I’ve never much cared for the little imp, even now that my 4-year-old son is obsessed with him and has me regularly dress up as Captain Hook to fight him. Too much Edwardian stuffiness; too much casual racism; and too little meaty subtext aside from the obvious veneration of childhood.

So it was a bit of a surprise to me how much I enjoyed the book under review today, Lisa Jensen’s Alias Hook. A huge part of the appeal for me was Jensen’s decision to move the main action of Hook’s story from the Edwardian age of Barrie to the true period of the pirates in the early 18h Century. I also quite liked Jensen’s acknowledgement of the essential cruelty of Pan and the Lost Boys toward Hook and his men, even if in the end Jensen reaffirms the importance of Pan in our imaginations.

Most importantly, this is a tremendously character-driven novel, and Jensen gives powerful life to Hook and his love interest, Stella, in a way that would not have ever made sense for Barrie.

JENSEN, Lisa. Alias Hook. 368p. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. July 2014. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250042156; ebk. ISBN 9781466839717.

In her inventive take on J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Jensen takes the inherently iterative nature of such fairy tales and literalizes it: Pan does not merely defeat Capt. Hook again and again in each retelling or rereading of the tale; here he is actually reincarnated after each defeat, fitted with a new crew, and offered up to be defeated by Pan once more. As the novel opens, Hook has been trapped in Neverland for some 200 years and wishes for nothing more than a true death. But something else is afoot. He knows that his crews are made up of old Lost Boys, wandering back to Neverland as adults, but never has a “Wendy” returned, until Stella makes her appearance. After some initial bafflement and bluster, Hook and Stella fall in love, and together they attempt to unravel the mystery of the curse that has kept Hook prey to Pan for so many years. Jensen’s attempts at mythology here, especially the specifics of the curse, are a bit convoluted, but it doesn’t much matter—the heart of this highly affecting novel is the intertwined stories of the redemption of a seemingly irredeemable man, and the powerful love story of Hook and Stella. Ultimately this is less a deconstruction—indeed, Jensen’s take on the importance of childhood and Neverland is surprisingly consonant with Barrie’s—than an extension that  teen fans of Peter Pan—whether the original play and novel, the Disney film, or any other variant since—should highly enjoy.—Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Categories: Library News

My Gentle Barn : creating a sanctuary where animals heal and children learn to h

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-07-24 11:11

    ISBN: 9780385347662
    Author: Laks, Ellie,


Categories: Library News

If it’s on Your website – is it your opinion?

David Lee King - Thu, 2014-07-24 09:30

In my last post, I purposefully title it “Forbes Wants to Close Libraries.” Why?

Well – I was critiquing an article on Forbes website.

The article is written by a “contributor.” Apparently, you can fill out a form (and probably do a lot more stuff) to be able to post as a contributor at Forbes.

And guess what? Forbes wants you to write for them, but doesn’t want to necessarily be associated with the content that contributors write.

Under the contributor’s names and photos is a tiny statement that says: “Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.”

Well yeah. It’s an opinion piece, after all.

Here’s my problem with that idea:

  1. It’s on Forbes website. Look at the image in this post – Even though Forbes wants to make sure you know that it’s not THEIR opinion that’s being expressed … it sure does look like it’s coming from Forbes to me!
  2. When the opinion piece gets cited … it will be cited as coming from Forbes.

Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck …

I know – magazines and newspapers have always had opinion pieces, letters to the editor, and love using that “opinions expressed are not held by the organization” statement.

I’m just not sure it works all that well in an online setting. Either own the content on your site (like Techcrunch, Mashable, etc do) or don’t post it.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

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Categories: Library News

John C. Fremont Library District goes live on CLiC AspenCat LibLime Union Catalog

Library Technology Reports - Wed, 2014-07-23 16:54
(July 23, 2014). The John C. Fremont Library District, located in Florence, CO, is now live on the AspenCat LibLime Koha union catalog for all collection and patron management services. The CLiC AspenCat union catalog now has over 869,000 items with over 50 libraries participating. JCFLD Library staff worked with LibLime Project Management to successfully transfer bibliographic, item, and patron data to the LibLime Koha application.
Categories: Library News

Drew Bordas named Vice President of Management and Customer Operations at OCLC

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2014-07-22 19:22
(July 22, 2014). Drew Bordas has been named Vice President of Management and Customer Operations at OCLC. He will be responsible for OCLC's Customer Support, Project Management, Implementation Programs and Corporate Quality Assurance functions.
Categories: Library News

Upper Hudson Library System (NY) selects the Sierra Library Services Platform

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2014-07-22 19:22
(July 22, 2014). Innovative announced that Upper Hudson Library System has selected the Sierra Library Services Platform. UHLS is a cooperative consortium of the 29 public libraries serving the 450,000 residents of Albany and Rensselaer Counties. The combined collections accessible through the UHLS shared catalog feature over 1.5 million items and include more than 30,000 digital items.
Categories: Library News

Full-Service law firm Bishop and McKenzie LLP selects Soutron for Library Management

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2014-07-22 09:53
(July 22, 2014). Soutron Global announced that Bishop and McKenzie LLP, a client-focused, full-service law firm has selected Soutron as their global library management solution. Bishop and McKenzie is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and houses a diverse collection spanning over 100 years worth of legal resources.
Categories: Library News

Ex Libris Rosetta reaches a landmark with the release of Version 4

Library Technology Reports - Tue, 2014-07-22 09:53
(July 21, 2014). Ex Libris announced the release of version 4.0 of the Rosetta digital asset management and preservation solution. This major new release streamlines the management of preservation roles and enhances the communication between Rosetta and discovery systems, enabling users to easily discover collections that are preserved in Rosetta.
Categories: Library News

New Books from Alex Award Winners — The Reviews

Last week Mark put together a terrific list of current books by past Alex Award winners. Today, we offer two reviews from that group.

We begin with the second book by Lisa O’Donnell, Closed Doors. O’Donnell’s debut, The Death of Bees, won an Alex Award just last year. Our reviewer called The Death of Bees a “quick but often uncomfortable read” and noted its “engrossing exploration of relationships.” Closed Doors is equally hard-hitting, but less black humor and more straight coming-of-age. In both novels, the voice of the characters is particularly strong.

Mary Lawson won a 2003 Alex Award for her debut, Crow Lake. The Alex annotation reads, “Now a successful zoology professor, Kate recalls her parents’ death and being brought up and sustained by her older brothers, especially Matt with whom she shares a love of the wonders of nature. An affecting novel about hardship, tragedy, choices, and family relationships.”

Lawson’s new novel, Road Ends, can also be categorized as tragic literary fiction. Give this one to readers who enjoy books about dysfunctional families. It is interesting that in both of these novels siblings sacrifice personal happiness for the well-being of their brothers and sisters.

O’DONNELL, Lisa. Closed Doors. 246p. HarperCollins. May 2014. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9780062271891.  

Eleven-year-old Michael tries to make sense of the world around him by piecing together what he overhears behind closed doors and asking his friends questions. After his mother is raped, she is worried about what people in her small Scottish town will say so she invents a story to cover up the attack. When more women in the community are assaulted, Ma starts to regret her decision to keep quiet, but she fears it is too late to say anything. Michael works his way through the secrecy and overprotection of his parents and Grandma. Michael’s narration here is a cross between Jack from Emma Donoghue’s Room (Little Brown, 2010) and Ajay from Akhil Sharma’s Family Life (W. W. Norton, 2014). Teens will recognize and appreciate his authentic voice, particularly during scenes when he flip-flops between wanting to kiss girls and calling them names or when hunched over a dictionary looking up “intercourse” in order to put context to words thrown around in his house or between his peers. A strong coming-of-age tale from the Alex Award-winning author of The Death of Bees (HarperCollins, 2013).—Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ

LAWSON, Mary. Road Ends. 352p. Dial Pr. Jul. 2014. Tr $26. ISBN 9780812995732. LC  2014005691.  

Megan is 21 and lives in a small town in northern Canada. Since she was a child she has kept her large and ever-growing family going. Now she is finally escaping to London to make a life for herself, and she does just that by becoming a successful hotel manager. Her family, however, is falling apart without her. Her father is distant and stays in his study while at home, and has a background and issues that only gradually become revealed. Her mother is going slowly insane, and is compelled to have baby after baby whom she abandons for all intents and purposes once the next one comes along. The other children are just running wild, and Tom, the oldest brother, is struggling with his own demons. While readers will love Megan from the start, it is only through the slow unveiling of the other family members’ tales that they will come to appreciate each person’s place in this troubled home. The novel is told through alternating narratives: Edward, the father, tells his story in first person; Megan and Tom’s tales are told in third person. Compelling and heartbreaking, the work’s conclusion is nothing less than infuriating. Upon reflection, readers will come to accept that this eventuality is very realistic for 1960s small-town women, and for the understanding of mental illness at that time. A great book club choice for older teens, be prepared for impassioned discussion.—Jake Pettit, Enka Schools, Istanbul, Turkey

Categories: Library News

Open University of Cyprus switches to EBSCO Discovery Service

Library Technology Reports - Mon, 2014-07-21 12:18
(July 21, 2014). After trying two other discovery solutions, Open University of Cyprus has made the switch to EBSCO Discovery Service, the discovery solution from EBSCO Information Services. EBSCO was able to deliver the service and support the university was looking for as well as provide unique customization options and a fully integrated solution.
Categories: Library News

Forbes Wants to Close Libraries

David Lee King - Mon, 2014-07-21 10:57

I just read Close the Libraries and Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription, a Forbes article written by Tim Worstall. It’s a poorly-researched opinion piece about … well … what the title says. Getting rid of libraries and giving everyone a Kindle Unlimited subscription instead.

Yes, Forbes posted this. Thanks, Forbes!

Who is Tim Worstall? He’s a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based think tank. Working at a think tank, you’d “think” that Tim would get his facts straight, or at least do a bit of research first… apparently  not the case, which makes me wonder about the quality of research done at the Adam Smith Institute. Tim also has a blog, where he apparently likes to cuss. Alot.

I left a comment on the Forbes article – here’s what I said:

Tim – you say that it’s “well known that only a small fraction of the population actually reads books at all.” Then you claim (but don’t cite) that only 8% of people buy more than one book a year.

Three things:

1. If you think no one reads, why would you want to shift tax payer dollars from a known, traditional institution (the local library) to a global corporation? That seems silly – you’re still paying tax dollars for something you don’t think anyone does.

2. I challenge your statistics. I’m not sure about UK stats, but I know American stats. According to Pew Research, in January 2014, 76% of American adults ages 18 and up read at least one book in the past year. So that trumps your “well known that only a small fraction of the population actually reads books at all” statement.

And the average number of books people read over the past year is 5. I do believe an average is larger than 8%, no?

3. The larger problem isn’t lending books though – you actually want to get RID of local libraries altogether. You say this – “Let’s just close down the lending libraries and buy every citizen an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription.”

That argument, for starters, could also be said this way: let’s buy everyone garden hoses. Then we could get rid of the local fire department! Brilliant, right? Wrong. Because the local fire department also has quite a lot of knowledge about what they do – they are professionals.

The same goes for your local library. Yes, they still lend books – both print AND ebooks. They also work really hard to buy the BEST books for your community (having access to 600,000 ebooks from Amazon doesn’t mean they’re all readable books).

And the library does a lot more than that.

So – you mentioned that you have a local library. Instead of someone providing a plane ticket for you [he suggested in the comments that someone buy him a plane ticket so he could visit their library], why don’t you simply get in your car and visit your own local library for starters, and see what they do?

At least when you write your next opinion article, you’d actually know something about libraries

A couple of other things to point out from this very obviously uninformed article:

Tim says this – “The first being that paid subscriptions is exactly how lending libraries started out.” He mentions WH Smith as an example of a fee-based lending library.

WH Smith is a UK bookseller. They operated a circulating library service from 1860 to 1961, and even created ISBN numbers (who knew?) – got this from Wikipedia.

But Tim is missing a HUGE fact – libraries have been around for centuries, and … I know it’s hard to believe – weren’t actually created by good ole WH Smith. Again from Wikipedia – “The earliest reference to or use of the term “lending library” yet located in English correspondence dates from ca. 1586…” Most of those have NOT been subscription-based libraries.

Tim also says this: “ the stock of books available [from the Amazon Kindle thingie] is far larger than any physical library (other than copyright depositaries like the British Museum) has available to readers. 600,000 titles is, at a guess, some 550,000 greater than the library system of my native Bath and North East Somerset purchases with its share of my council tax (that is a guess by the way).”

Again, quite wrong. First of all, my library has 450,000 titles – already coming close to that number that Tim thinks is unreachable by all but the British Museum (I think he really meant the British Library).

The larger issue with the Kindle service is this – just because Amazon’s Kindle service is offering 600,000 ebooks doesn’t mean they’re all actually GOOD books.

Amazon’s service focuses heavily on classics, some popular series, and their self-published ebooks. Read more about it at the Washington Post.

Most libraries are much more choosy than that, and work really hard to buy the best books, and the books our customers actually want to read. Unlike Amazon.

So there you have it! Go read the article and see what you think!

 

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Categories: Library News

Kent County Public Library live on Sequoia

Library Technology Reports - Mon, 2014-07-21 09:16
(July 21, 2014). Kent County Public Library has become the first library system to move to Equinox's new Sequoia service platform. Equinox has hosted Kent for six years, making them the natural choice for Sequoia's maiden voyage. Kent County Public Library is composed of 3 locations serving 14,000 patrons with 50,000 items.
Categories: Library News

Anet and OCLC sign first WorldCat group agreement in Belgium

Library Technology Reports - Fri, 2014-07-18 19:29
(July 18, 2014). Anet, a consortium of 20 Belgian academic and special libraries, including the University of Antwerp and the City of Antwerp Heritage Library, has signed an agreement with OCLC to add some 2 million records to WorldCat.
Categories: Library News

Center Consolidated Schools goes live on CLiC AspenCat LibLime union catalog

Library Technology Reports - Fri, 2014-07-18 19:29
(July 17, 2014). Center Consolidated Schools, located in Center, CO, is now live on the AspenCat LibLime Koha union catalog for all collection and patron management services. With the accumulation of Center Consolidated Schools, the CLiC AspenCat union catalog now has over 464,997 bibliographic records and 869,343 items. Center Consolidated Schools staff has worked with LibLime Project Management to successfully transfer bibliographic, item, and patron data to the LibLime Koha application.
Categories: Library News

YBP Library Services Selected as Primary Book Supplier for the University of Toronto Libraries

Library Technology Reports - Fri, 2014-07-18 19:29
(July 16, 2014). YBP Library Services, the academic division of Baker and Taylor, is proud to announce that the University of Toronto Libraries has selected YBP as its primary supplier of academic titles published in the United States and United Kingdom.
Categories: Library News

A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip

I mentioned in our Best Books of the Year so far post that “If I’d had a week longer, I would have been able to list a tremendous memoir which we’ll be featuring here shortly.” Well, it’s been shortly, and here it is: Keven Brockmeier’s A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip. As a mention below, in a lot of ways, this is a pretty risky memoir–focusing on 7th grade, telling it in the 3rd person, and introducing a strange metafictional interlude at the mid-point. But it’s also possible that readers may miss all of this entirely, especially if they don’t realize that it is a memoir, because it reads equally well as a coming-of-age novel. However one reads it, it is absolutely perfect for teens (indeed, perhaps more perfect for teens than adults), especially teens in that tragic part of life called Middle School.

*BROCKMEIER, Kevin. A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of the Seventh Grade. 208p. Pantheon. Apr. 2014. Tr $24. ISBN 9780307908988. LC 22013031895.

In this masterful memoir, Brockmeier takes three significant narrative risks, any one of which could have opened him up to charges of gimmickry, trivialization, or both, but which together combine to produce a moving portrait of young adolescence. In the realm of gimmickry is Brockmeier’s odd decision to tell his story in the third person—a trick which might have gotten old quickly but for his second strange decision: to limit the scope of his memoir to his year as a seventh-grader. These two narrative tools give the memoir the feel and shape of a novel, but could have resulted in a very trivial book indeed were it not for Brockmeier’s third narrative risk: an incredibly gimmicky break into the realm of metafiction at the book’s midway point, in which contemporary Kevin freezes time to discuss young Kevin’s life, and whether he would have wanted never to have been born. It’s a play straight out of It’s a Wonderful Life, but it works beautifully to give thematic heft to the memoir, showing readers just how crucial this one year in Brockmeier’s life was: his self-consciousness came to a crucial breaking point; almost all of his friends turned on him, bullying him mercilessly; and yet he began to come into his own as a writer. The moment of metafiction represents what truly was a turning point in Brockmeier’s life, and anyone who suffered through middle school in self-doubt or was bullied, will find Brockmeier’s story emotionally resonant and ultimately optimistic.—Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Categories: Library News

IFLA Information Literacy Satellite Meeting: The Hyperlinked Library: Everywhere and Anytime Learning Spaces

Tame the Web - Fri, 2014-07-18 12:02

Note: This is the abstract for my keynote at the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite Meeting in Limerick, Ireland the week before IFLA in Lyon.

http://www.iflasatellitelimerick.com/page/15/keynote-speakers/

The Hyperlinked Library: Everywhere and Anytime Learning Spaces

Emerging mechanisms for global communication and collaboration are changing the world and the way the world learns and interacts. Individuals are constantly engaged in conversation and expect to have their information needs satisfied immediately, on any device, and wherever they happen to be. Learning via mobile devices happens in an entirely new landscape, infinite in every direction. Information is no longer bound to a form, and access to information through mobile devices has unbundled learning from traditional delivery systems restricted by time and space. It has made anytime, anywhere collaboration and feedback possible. It has fostered impromptu conversations without concerns for language and cultural differences. Knowledge networks form and expand that can directly connect all levels of participants, from beginning learners to experts. These virtual exchange spaces can offer endless opportunities for future-thinking librarians, who use self directed learning opportunities to develop skills as online experience curators and engagement developers.

In A New Culture of Learning, authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown write, “Where imaginations play, learning happens.” This should define library services for now and in the future. Intelligence, user-sensitive planning, and insights from research will guide the creation and implementation of physical and virtual library spaces that function as creative and playful environments. Online, multi-scale platforms aimed at social learning and participation will spark new conversations that spread deep within library culture and extend out into disciplines that have historically made few connections with physical library collections or librarians.

Many professionals and members of the public will never have the opportunity to visit particular libraries and will never happen upon most library websites. Libraries housing unique and valuable collections, works and artifacts of local significance, and information sources not yet digitized must find ways to reach out to a world of learners who depend upon the curators and caretakers of inspiring works to initiate contact with the public through outreach, advertising, and social sharing. Libraries that are already providing online services and digital materials must constantly watch for innovative solutions that could be included in their information center processes, designs, and Web presences.

There are disproportions in comfort, experience, and ability with technologies, and all types of libraries should offer online learning programs that aim at enhancing the public’s digital literacies. Self-directed learning activities fashioned on the Learning 2.0 model, teach the concepts and skills necessary to use emerging communications technologies. Citizens who are unable to access opportunities to enhance digital literacy lose the ability to prosper in our hyper-connected world. The authors of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) report entitled Building Digital Communities define digital literacy as the ability to “access and use information and communication technologies.” I might call digital literacy “life literacy.” Without access to these skills, the report states, “full participation in nearly every aspect of American society—from economic success and educational achievement, to positive health outcomes and civic engagement—is compromised.” Lifelong learning goes hand in hand with life literacy.

LIbrarians must experiment with new roles in these virtual, expansive spaces where learning is a continuous conversation. Practices of exploration, participation, and play can turn the gathering and use of information into sequences of discovery that foster innovation and invention. The Hyperlinked Library model offers a design framework for constructing experiences that will combine the tenets and skill sets of librarianship with the explosion of open, participatory knowledge construction made possible because of new technologies and the information professionals who experiment with, master, and teach these technologies.

References

Becker, S., Coward, C. Carandall, M., Sears, R., Carlee, R., Hasbargen, K., & Ball, M. A. (2012). Building digital communities: A framework for action. Washington, DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services. Retrieved from http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/BuildingDigitalCommunities_Framework.pdf

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Categories: Library News

A Gateway to Resources: Chatham Kent Library Video

Tame the Web - Fri, 2014-07-18 11:07

This is the Chatham-Kent Public Library. This is the story of Dipti Patel and the library as a gateway of resources for newcomers.

Categories: Library News

The book of life /

New At the Library - Fri, 2014-07-18 07:20

    ISBN: 9780670025596
    Author: Harkness, Deborah E., 1965-


Categories: Library News
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