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Regional Reading Places

August 23, 2010

I spend a week in Door County, Wisconsin, every summer and so was interested to open Reading Places: Literacy, Democracy, and the Public Library in Cold War America and find out it is based on events in Door County in the 1950s. A regional library consisting of seven existing libraries and two new bookmobiles was … Continue reading Regional Reading Places


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The First First Library

August 9, 2010

The next time you find yourself in Canton, Ohio, make a stop at the National First Ladies’ Library, home of the Abigail Fillmore Library Room. This room replicates the first permanent White House library, established by Millard and Abigail Fillmore in 1850. Although the library remained mostly intact for more than 50 years, just a … Continue reading The First First Library


New from ALA

July 26, 2010

In the first edition of Developing an Outstanding Core Collection Carol Alabaster outlined her principles of adult core collections, based on her work at Phoenix Public Library. In the second, she revisits those principles to make sure they are still valid (they are) and also addresses the technological changes that have occurred since the first … Continue reading New from ALA


Advising Tweens

July 12, 2010

There are plenty of books on readers’ advisory service for adults, and in 2007 Heather Booth gave us Serving Teens through Readers’ Advisory (ALA Editions). Now comes Readers’ Advisory for Children and ‘Tweens. Service to this group requires special skills, author Penny Peck asserts. She describes some of the issues, including censorship challenges, before exploring … Continue reading Advising Tweens


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A Friend in the White House

July 5, 2010

Laura Bush became a librarian for the same reason many of us did—she loved books. In case you were wondering, and in case you haven’t read her autobiography, Spoken from the Heart, she does have a library science degree (from the University of Texas) and she did work as a librarian, first at a branch … Continue reading A Friend in the White House


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New from ALA

June 17, 2010

Readers’ Advisory mavens Jessica E. Moyer and Kaite Mediatore Stover tapped the expertise of some fellow enthusiasts, and The Reader’s Advisory Handbook is the result. Sarah Statz Cords offers advice on adding nonfiction to the readers’ advisory equation, David Wright covers adult storytime, and Heather Booth discusses expanding readers’ advisory service to young adults. These … Continue reading New from ALA


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Librarian Spies

June 10, 2010

Espionage and library science seem an odd mix, but it’s certain, according to Rosalee McReynolds and Louise S. Robbins, that Philip and Mary Jane Keeney, who were called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1950, were spies. As related in The Librarian Spies: Philip and Mary Jane Keeney and Cold War … Continue reading Librarian Spies


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Historical Thesaurus

June 3, 2010

The Oxford English Dictionary has been called the world’s greatest dictionary, and it has been joined by what might be called the world’s greatest thesaurus, Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary. This is no ordinary synonym-finder. More than 40 years in the making, it covers nearly a million words and expressions from Old English … Continue reading Historical Thesaurus


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Reference Renaissance

April 30, 2010

Although some may question the notion of a reference renaissance (did reference ever really die?), few would deny that “reference has been transformed from an area that focused on resources and artifacts to one that explores a human process of questioning, contextualizing, and learning.” So notes the introduction to Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends, … Continue reading Reference Renaissance


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Titles for Teens

April 27, 2010

Librarians who work with teens will welcome these useful guides. In Booktalking with Teens, Kristine Mahood explains how to use booktalks to engage teens with the library. She discusses what teens are reading (and how to find out); surveys various genres, including graphic novels and classics; and outlines the steps in making booktalking a success. … Continue reading Titles for Teens


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New from ALA: May 2010

April 19, 2010

In the latest book on a persistent challenge, Michael Sullivan offers readers’ advisory as a strategy to bring boys to the library and get them to read. Serving Boys Through Readers’ Advisory explains “boys’ lit” and outlines how to use readers’ advisory effectively. Librarians will appreciate the many boy-friendly booktalks and book lists. Indexed. 152p.PBK. … Continue reading New from ALA: May 2010


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Tomes’ Tome

April 15, 2010

If books disappear, they’ll have a fitting monument in The Oxford Companion to the Book. The first part of this hefty Companion comprises 48 in-depth essays offering a tour of the book’s evolution from Sumerian clay tokens to e-books. In between are discussions of printing, paper, illustration, bookbinding, children’s books, and other topics, as well … Continue reading Tomes’ Tome