Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wandering the Archive

Deep within the archives of a home library, there lurks title upon title of books accrued over half (or more) a lifetime. Nobody knows just why a bookshelf grows out of proportion or why it needs to be expanded except... the bibliophile. And even then, she might have forgotten the reason somewhere along the way. But now, thanks to the intrepid explorer (my beau), these titles will slowly be unearthed and examined here for any who dare to wander into... DJL's personal archive. 

What is it?

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

The Wisdom of Pooh.

Is there such a thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl.

Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.

Where did it come from?

Ironically, this book came from a guy I dated while in library school. Since he couldn't find any new copies (so he claimed), he gave me his (slightly beaten-up) copy. 

Why did it get picked up?

I had told said guy about my grad school profession and that while I was interested in Eastern philosophy (such as Taoism), I'd never read one of the most widely-known books on relating Eastern philosophy to Western culture. It was nice of him to give me his copy.

When was it read?

While I haven't read The Tao of Pooh in its entirety, I have read various passages that I felt related to what challenges were going on in my life at the time. I did obtain it in 2007.

To whom should it be recommended?

Anyone interested in philosophy or who appreciated A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh series. 

Will it be kept?

Yes, because I want to read it completely, and it will be nice to have such a book on hand.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (14)

We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking the Shelves, created and hosted at Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!


The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (Signed)
Rock On ARC by Denise Vega
Monument 14 ARC by Emmy Laybourne
Beneath a Meth Moon ARC by Jacqueline Woodson
Whispers at Moonrise ARC by C.C. Hunter 

All of these and an awesome wolf bookmark came from 
Marla at Starting the Next Chapter. Thanks, Marla!


Seraphina ARC by Rachel Hartman (From Marla)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (From Courtney at Fuzzy. Coffee. Books. and signed!)


Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Signed!)
The Arcived by Victoria Schwab

Big stack but I received all of these over quite a few weeks. ^_^

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reader's Advisory: The Big Question

Earlier this week, I had a library patron ask for a particular title, but then she asked me what my favorite book was.  I said that was a hard question, and she then rephrased it to who my favorite author was.  Also a hard question, but I told her a few of my favorites and Maggie Stiefvater caught her attention.  She asked if there was a book by Maggie that I would recommend to her, and I immediately suggested The Scorpio Races since it is a standalone and a great book (in my humble opinion).  The patron was amazed by the brief description I gave of the story, and she took one of our copies, thanking me for making her day. 

While this is a good example of reader's advisory, I wanted to discuss the idea of reader's advisory in an unfamiliar area.  One of the main reasons I am a blogger is to stay in the know about various titles, but what happens if a patron is looking for a book suggestion in a genre I'm not familiar?  I do try to read in different genres so I can offer advice when patrons ask, but there are times I'm just at a loss on what to tell the patron.  Case in point, a patron came in and asked for a book suggestion.  I immediately pointed out the new bookshelves which had a copy of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo front and center.  However, the patron said, "Oh, I don't like fantasy" at which point, I asked what genres she did enjoy.  Needless to say, the patron was not very forthcoming in what type of book(s) she wanted.  This might have been a specialized case, but they do happen on occasion.

Sometimes, I also find myself recommending books that I have heard good reviews but haven't had the chance to read it myself.  I usually prefer to recommend titles I've read, but there's only so much I can offer that others have yet to read as well.  When that happens, I will inform the patron that while I haven't read it, I have heard friends speak well of the title in question.  My main question is would you (a librarian) recommend only books that you have read or would you suggest unread titles that are within the same genre as what the patron is asking for?  And would you (a patron) prefer recommendations read by the librarian you're asking for book suggestions? 

How do you handle reader's advisory?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wandering the Archive

Deep within the archives of my home library, there lurks title upon title of books accrued over half (or more) a lifetime. Nobody knows just why a bookshelf grows out of proportion or why it needs to be expanded except... the bibliophile. And even then, she might have forgotten the reason somewhere along the way. But now, these titles will slowly be unearthed and displayed here for any who dare to wander into... DJL's personal archive.

Okay, now that the dramatics are finished, I wanted to start something new in which I basically look through my home library, select a title at random (hopefully older titles I've had for awhile), and then ultimately answer why I currently have it in my library. I've wanted to find something different to post about regarding books, and while I'm sure there are other bloggers who likely have such a post already in place, I will simply call mine "Wandering the Archive." On to today's selection!

What is it?

The Nymph King by Gena Showalter (2007)
Females young and old, beautiful and plain crave Valerian's touch. None can resist his blatant sensuality and potent allure... until he steals Shaye Holling from a Florida beach and holds her prisoner in his underwater kingdom.

The cynical Shaye wants nothing to do with the mighty warlord, but she's inexplicably drawn to him. For underneath the warrior's arrogant beauty lies a complex and powerful man. A man whose caress is like fire...

Now Valerian must fight for the privilege of claiming her as his own. Because there's one thing Shaye doesn't know... That when a nymph discovers his true mate, she's his for life.

Where did I obtain it?

I bought this copy from a Borders in North Texas. How I miss having Borders!

Why did I pick it up?

The cover, such a shallow answer, but it's true. It's such a gorgeous shade of blue, and Valerian (if that IS him on the cover) isn't that bad on the eyes. But the story also intrigued me, which is why I bought it.

When did I read it?

I think in 2007 while I was in library school. Once I started reading I couldn't stop. 

Who would I recommend reading it?

Anyone who enjoys paranormal romances or ocean-themed stories. Ironically, I really enjoyed the side-story romance more than the main story between Valerian and Shaye. It's not that their story was boring, I just knew it was a matter of getting past their unresolved tension. Joachim, Brenna, and Shivawn's story was much more intriguing, most likely from the triangle, and the outcome was amazing. 

Will I keep it?

Most definitely. It's my first Gena Showalter book and one of the best paranormal romance novels I've read. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Librarian MIA

Dear readers,

My apologies for not having posted anything in the past week. I received some rather shocking family news and my mind has been on my parents, particularly my dad, for almost the past two weeks. I did go see them last weekend, which helped ease my mind, but I haven't been able to get back into the blogging swing just yet. I'm hoping to get back into the swing within the next week or so, but until then, I do appreciate your patience while I get myself together.

Happy reading.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Reference Librarian

Some days are calmer than others (as are some weeks at times), but yesterday seemed to move in a tornado formation while at work leaving me utterly exhausted after getting home. I'm sure the rest of the week will be smooth-sailing from here.

9:00 am - Programming Meeting/Brainstorming session with Adult Services, representative of Youth Services, representative of Circulation, and Branch Manager. Happy to report we're pretty set with ideas for the rest of the year.
10:00 am - Prep computer lab for Library Orientation.
10:30 am - Present Library Orientation to attendees regarding services for our community and to the students of the university campus.
11:30 am - Coffee Break, though I was unable to sit with said coffee as my fellow Supervising Librarian needed to speak with me about our audiovisual materials order.
12:00 pm - Reference Desk in which I observe one of my library assistants in her customer service and offer assistance where needed.
1:00 pm - Lunch with beau.
2:00 pm - Impromptu meeting with Colleague regarding a matter that occurred earlier in the week. The matter was resolved on Monday, and I explained the situation to my Colleague.
3:00 pm - Reference Desk in which we assist several college students with a project to locate full-text, scholarly articles regarding human development and social patterns.
4:00 pm - Revise reference and information desk schedule for following week. (It will be rather gnarly.)
4:30 pm - Snack Break and conversation with Academic Librarian regarding next week's schedule and events.
5:00 pm - Reference Desk in which I did a reader's advisory for a student who had checked out a book I'd recommended to her before though she had been unable to read it due to time constraints. Makes me happy when they return for the same book when they do have time to read. ^_^
5:30 pm - Begin closing procedures in which Desk Partner and I informed two young students of other study areas for after the library closes at 6:00 pm. Some have difficulty paying attention to the closing announcements and choose to pack up their belongs at 5 minutes til closing. And be advised, if a reference question is asked after the final closing announcement, we will give the short answer and recommend coming to the library the following day for a more detailed answer. ^_^
6:05 pm - Close the library after a patron with several children finishes checking out materials.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Bookish Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new Top Ten list will be posted by one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish. Everyone is welcome to join, just make sure to link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so everyone can check out other blogger lists. Have fun!

Top Ten (Seven) Best Bookish Memories

1) Meeting Maggie Stiefvater with my boyfriend
While I was able to meet Maggie 3 times in 2012, the best time was when my beau was with me to meet her, too.  We both loved Shiver, so it meant a lot for both of us to see her (and yes, my gosh, that pic was priceless).

2) Attending my first author event in Houston - Mary Lindsey's signing for Shattered Souls
I have to say, if it wasn't for Christin from Portrait of a Book, I wouldn't have even known about any local bookish events going on just in my backyard (okay, not THAT close but still closer than I thought).  Plus, Mary is such a dear lady, I'm happy to have the chance to see her at other bookish events.

3) Reading Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder in one night
This was my first time reading a book in a single night, and I will still say I'm thrilled Karen recommended it to me (though it was more like she shoved it into my hands and said, "READ IT." lol).

4) Attending TLA 2012
Although it was only for one day, I still had a great time at my first library conference.  I'm looking forward to hopefully attending the full conference this year, so look out, Karen! ;D

5) Visiting Blue Willow Bookshop and Murder by the Books for the first time
I didn't even realize how many indie bookstores we have here, but I'm happy to finally have learned about them. Each one is a special store where the staff are friendly and willing to help you find just what you're looking for in the way of books or bookish memorabilia.

6) Attending the Austin Teen Book Festival for the first time
You never realize just how many lives authors touch until you've been to a book festival. It's intense but so worth it to be around fellow readers and the authors they love and adore. 

7) Working in the library system I used to attend as a child
This one was a blessing and a nice way of coming full circle as I've pretty much returned to the same area I grew up. Only now I'm the one behind the reference desk helping patrons of all ages. 
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