Archive for August 2008

What books would you go to jail for?

I’m really enjoying the discussion over in the comments on this post regarding what books you would go to jail for. (If you missed the story that precipitated this: Woman checks out two books from her local library, fails to return them, ignores overdue notices and phone calls, ignores a citation, is arrested for failure to appear.) The missing books turn out to be White Oleander and Angels and Demons. Hilarity — mixed with occasional thoughtfulness — ensues.

Face your inner manga

It’s an avatar

Originally uploaded by lib_rachel

I just built myself an avatar at What’s yours look like?

Happy keyboard = happy books

If I had this keyboard, everything I wrote would be happy, happy, happy!

Today’s theme: “A” is for Arrogance

… or for taken Aback. My daily online reading turned up some real gems this morning. First, let’s talk about this interview with Terry Goodkind. (Yes, it’s old, but if you didn’t see it in 2003 either, it’s new to you!) My personal favorite quotes here include these:

Because most fantasy is about world-building and magic, a lot of it is plotless and has no story. My primary interest is in telling stories that are fun to read and make people think. That puts my books in a genre all their own….

Kansas City, KS: What made you choose to leave out other common races(dwarves, elves, etc) from your books?

Terry Goodkind: Please refer to the previous answer, in which I explain that I’m not writing fantasy … My purpose is not weirdo cultural diversity. I repeat: I am writing stories about important human beings….

There’s actually very little to read today because more and more books center around characters who are either unremarkable, pathetic or reprehensible. I don’t like authors who choose to tell stories about these kinds of people. I like stories about individuals who can show the nobility of mankind.

I never did like his work, but perhaps this is because as a fantasy reader I prefer things that are “plotless and have no story.” Although “weirdo cultural diversity” has a certain ring to it as well…

Moving on to Arrogant (or Aback) example number two, today both Tame the Web and Librarian’s Rant pointed to this charming little story about a children’s knitting group getting kicked out of a library. Why?

Pamela Haley, manager of library services for the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, said the ban on crafts was put on place because the municipality is revamping its 18 library branches in an effort to attract more people and needs to be more literacy-focused to achieve that end.

However, riddle me this!

She said the library’s new fall lineup includes teen book clubs and Scrabble nights. The library will also be holding some events not focused on literacy, such as video game nights, to attract a younger crowd.

But under the new plan, there will no longer be a space for Kingston Currie and the other girls, aged six to 10, who used to sit around a table teasing yarn into organized patterns and items with crochet hooks and pairs of needles.

I’m all for video game nights, but kicking out the knitting girls and keeping the gaming seems somewhat — well, the most polite word that comes to mind is shortsighted. Way to market, guys! (Perhaps they’re just concerned about “weirdo programming diversity?”)

Librarians saving $

So if you’re saving up for one of those expensive conferences, here are some thingses for you to do today:

1) Sign up for a speedy rewards card (Speedway) and for a limited time it will come preloaded with enough points for a $10 gift card. I like free gas, don’t  you? Even if $10 doesn’t go very far right now…

2) Now, combine that free gas w/ some free coffee. Here are some printable coupons for $1 off large drinks at Caribou Coffee this week. While you’re at it, register a Caribou gift card of $5 or more, and get $4 more loaded onto it for free.

3) Now that you’re caffeinated, clog your arteries by entering the TGI Friday’s “awesome BBQ” sweepstakes and get a printable coupon for $3 off any TGIF frozen snack. You can print it out as many times as you want, and it doesn’t expire til 12/31. That’s a lot of bad potato skins…


Dave & Buster’s runs on Windows

… apparently!

Of shoes and ships and conferences

(Totally unrelated to this post, but I’m also testing out ScribeFire here. What a handy interface!)

Anyway. Again picking up the theme of barriers to physical conference attendance, I’m wondering what impact our craptacular economy will have on this over the next few years, given the rising price of plane tickets, airline consolidations, food, gas, hotels, what have you. In July, I made my annual visit back to Washington State to see my folks. The price of our flight was up $150 over last year’s trip ($250 over the year before). At over $600/person, only two of the four of us traveled — for about the same as it would have cost all of us to go in 2006. When budgets are strapped anyway, it seems unlikely that libraries will be pleased to pick up ever-higher travel tabs for their staff.

Next year’s ALA Annual is in Chicago — now the city with the dubious distinction of having the highest sales tax in the U.S. (Enjoy this fun travel taxes chart from USA Today to see how your conference city stacks up.) You might want to purchase souvenirs for your kids before you go, just be sure to hide them in your luggage. Or, load them up with booth swag! They’ll never know the difference.

Pop Quiz!

What’s the logical next step for Pop goes the Library, the blog?

A. Pop Goes the Library, the book!

B. Pop Goes the Library, the book blog!

C. Pop Goes the Library, the Flickr pool!

D. Pop Goes the Library, the wiki!

E. Pop Goes the Library, on Twitter!

F. All of the above!

…You’ve probably figured it out, but here’s the deal: Sophie Brookover and Liz Burns have written a most awesome book, and I’m so pleased to have had the privilege of working with them on it! It’s releasing August 11, so reserve your copy now :) .