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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


Tell Us a Story


April 20, 2010

There’s nothing quite so satisfying as a good story well told. We all tell stories, and libraries are the best places in the world to share them. With a growing national trend toward taking advantage of the cultural and literary programs, personalized professional learning assistance, and community social hub that good libraries offer their constituents, … Continue reading Tell Us a Story


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The Biggest Front Porch


April 20, 2010

There are few pleasures in life as rewarding as being in the presence of a great storyteller—an opportunity I get every year when the University of Washington SLIS hosts the Spencer Shaw Lecture, in honor of our beloved emeritus faculty member. This year’s treat was Patricia McKissack, whose talk was titled “On the Front Porch … Continue reading The Biggest Front Porch


Chalkboard Heroine


April 20, 2010

One might reasonably think I’m beyond having a favorite teacher. Having turned in all my assignments and completed my formal education years ago, such a declaration might seem a tad unnecessary. A note on author Nikki Grimes’s Facebook page, though, called my attention to Teacher Appreciation Day, recognized early each May. Her words, to say … Continue reading Chalkboard Heroine


Let’s Review Everything


April 20, 2010

For many years, readers’ advisory has been a fundamental and valuable library service that has helped library patrons and others decide what books to borrow from a library or to buy from a book dealer. Librarians have also been prolific writers of book reviews, which have helped other librarians make purchasing decisions and helped readers … Continue reading Let’s Review Everything


Quirkiness “R” Us


April 19, 2010

A couple of months ago I started a daily blog entitled "Will Unwound." At first, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that as a retired librarian I wanted to stay connected to librarians on a daily basis. Call me crazy, but I think librarians are the most interesting tribe … Continue reading Quirkiness “R” Us


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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


Weeding Grows the Garden


April 16, 2010

Michael Sawyer takes pride in weeding books. In fact, he estimates that over the past 30 years he has overseen the removal of more than 500,000 items across eight library systems. As you can imagine, this has not been without controversy. “Many librarians have an emotional attachment to their collections,” Sawyer observes. "They think of … Continue reading Weeding Grows the Garden


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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


Gadgets and Gizmos


April 15, 2010

If we think back, we can imagine a time before the book and, once books became inexpensive and widespread, how revolutionary and democratizing the book was as a tool for sharing information. It must have been incredible to think that you could have so much text in such a compact form, and so many of … Continue reading Gadgets and Gizmos


Alan Furst


April 15, 2010

“On the tenth of March 1938, the night train from Budapest pulled into the Gare du Nord a little after four in the morning.” To readers of historical espionage fiction, that sentence can only mean one thing: Alan Furst. Furst writes about the years from 1938 to 1941 as if they were recurring characters, and … Continue reading Alan Furst