Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Blog Has Moved!

This blog has a new home!


Follow me on there for more library related posts!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Barnes and Noble Nook Color

This post has been a long time coming. I purchased a Nook Color at the end of May and it was one of the best purchases I have ever made. As a librarian, I feel it is my duty to read as many books as I can get my hands on. To me, I think that any librarian should be able to give a patron a :30 second "Book Talk." When a patron asks for a recommendation and they receive a halfhearted response, they will be less likely to check out a potentially life-changing book. By purchasing the Nook Color, I will be able to read books that have a shorter reserve list and also keep the physical book on the shelf for patrons.

Barnes and Noble Nook Color:

Unboxing: The box the Nook Color comes in is exceptional. Sleek and innovative, it makes you feel like you have purchased something truly special. The box is elongated and uses a magnetic closure at the bottom. When I was sliding the Nook out of the box, I felt a tinge of excitement. The Nook was much larger than I anticipated, as I had only seen an Amazon Kindle and I enjoyed the weight of the device in my hands. Once the Nook was out of the box, it had a very informative tutorial for you to go through when you turned it on.

Turning the Nook on: On the upper left corner of the Nook Color, there is a power button which turns the Nook Color off and also puts it into hibernation mode. There is also an "n" on the bottom-center of the device, which wakes the device from hibernation mode.

Weight and Size: The Nook is quite a bit larger than the Amazon Kindle and the Nook 1st Gen. Even though it is larger than the Kindle, it isn't too heavy and can be easily held.

Backlit Screen: Unlike the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook Color uses a backlit screen. Though it is not as easy on the eyes as the Kindle, it allows me to read in bed before I go to sleep without worrying about where the light source is. You can adjust the screen brightness and I have found it makes it easier to use in different light sources (night, outside in bright sun, in the car w/ limited light).

Touch Screen: The touch screen is large and fairly responsive. Every so often, the touch screen is a little sluggish in its response. It appears to respond to turning eBook pages well, but when using the web-browsing feature it can "lock up" for a second. Even with the slower response time, however it does not hinder the web experience to the point of frustration.

Ease of Use: Once I set up my Barnes and Noble account on the website and tied my credit card to it, I was able to make "Wish Lists" and download books right away. Books can be downloaded via the B&N website or directly from the Nook. Barnes and Noble also offers magazine subscriptions, which can be viewed in full-color with the Nook Color.

To Be Completed:
-cont. Ease of Use
-Purchasing: Books, Magazines, Newspapers
-Downloading an eBook from Overdrive
-Transfering Files: Music, Pictures, ePub files, Documents
-Browsing the Internet
-Using Apps
-Overview of Settings
-Special Features: Searching, Bookmarks, Article View, Sharing, Text, Notes, Highlighting, Look Up Feature, Auto-rotate function, Viewing Video, Using Audio
-Wi-fi Connectivity
-Setting Up Shelves
-Using the LendMe Function

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Giddy Up and Read: Wild West Story Time

As the children's progammer I am in-charge of our Pre-school Story Time every wednesday.

This Wednesday we had a Wild West Story Time, which the kids really enjoyed!

Books read:
Widdermaker by Pattie Schnetzler
Desert Rose and her highfalutin hog by Alison Jackson
I want to be a cowgirl by Jeanne Wills

Other books displayed:
The foot-stomping adventures of Clementine Sweet by Kitty Griffin
The cowboy ABC by David Hamilton-Murdoch
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa by Erica Silverman
The brave cowboy by Joan Anglund-Walsh
Tyrannosaurus Tex by Betty Birney

I had all of the kids sit around on the floor and made a "fire" using toilet paper tubes, sticks and made construction paper flames. I read Desert Rose and Her Highfalutin Hog and then we sang a campfire song called "The Campfire Pokey" (see below) which got the kids up and moving. After that I read Widdermaker and we played a ring toss game. I had made a quick cactus out of cardboard and rings out of pipe-cleaners, they had a lot of fun and I gave them sheriff's stars with their names on them that I had cut out using the Cricut. We read the final story I want to be a cowgirl and then colored cowboys/girls that I got from HERE. We finished by gluing the dolls together and I sent them home with "take home paper." I make a take home paper every week and it is normally a two column sheet. In the first column I type a little poem or song, paired with some cute clip art that fits the theme. In the second column I paste a picture they can color or a bookmark they can cut out. On this weeks take home paper they got "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" and a section of "Cowboy Lingo." The coloring side had a cowboy with a lasso.

Next Story Time Theme: Bang! Boom! Crash! A Fourth of July Story Time

Friday, June 17, 2011

Bookstores: Going Extinct?

The Last Bookstore

Before launching a business, some people invest in market research and feasibility studies. Josh Spencer is not one of those people — otherwise he might never have opened his downtown L.A. used bookstore in December 2009, let alone moved it a few blocks away this month to a 10,000-square-foot space.

I find this fascinating. People are praising Mr. Spencer for opening a bookstore "in these dire times" and yet they seem to forgot about the thousands of independent booksellers who have remained open in spite of the eBook boom. I'm glad that this has seemingly renewed the interest in bookstores, but I don't understand why we haven't been trying to save the bookstores we already have.

I know that I'm partly to blame. I bought a Nook Color recently and I am exceedingly excited to start using it to read my books. I also, however, purchased the entire A Song of Ice and Fire series in paperback because wanted to keep them in my permanent library. Am I a bad person for preferring to read books on an eReader vs a physical copy?

Answer these 10 questions:

1. When was the last time you bought a book from an independent bookseller?
2. How many books do you buy from independent booksellers in a year?
3. What influences you most when it comes to purchasing books?
4. Why do you choose to buy a book vs. checking it out from a public library?
5. Who recommends books to you?
6. Where do you buy most of your books?
7. In what format do you buy most of your books?
8. Do you lend books out that you buy?
9. Would you be more willing to lend an eBook vs a physical copy of a book?
10. If your local independent bookseller had an online catalog, would you be more willing to purchase from them?

Next Post: Nook Color Review

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The First of Many

A book review by yours truly:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Winter is coming. In the first installment of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, summer has lasted for ten years, yet winter is almost upon the many compelling characters of Westeros and Essos. Told from the point of view of eight distinct characters, Martin had me hooked from the first chapter in which Eddard Stark’s young son Bran witnesses his father exact justice on a deserter of the Night’s Watch. One of the most intriguing aspects of A Song of Ice and Fire, is that Martin does not explore the world only through the eyes of what many would consider good characters. Many of the characters who help make up the story are malevolent, morally corrupt, inhumanly awful beings who quickly enrapture you and tangle you in webs full of lies and deceit. By moving back and forth between the lives of so many well-crafted characters, you begin to form alliances against certain characters drawing you even further into the world that Martin has created.

Within just A Game of Thrones, you become a well-traveled citizen of Martin’s stunningly imaginative landscapes. As you move within Westeros, you are introduced to families whose houses go back centuries and who have played the game of thrones for almost as long. Within the continent of Westeros, you are also involved in the political intrigue that makes up the backbone of this first A Song of Ice and Fire book. Crossing the Narrow Sea, you are allowed into the lives of Daenyrs Targaryen and the vast, wild plains that Khal Drogo’s khalasaar roam. Along every step of the way, you begin to find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the world these characters inhabit, rooting adamantly for the survival of certain characters.

This book has finally given me a series to look forward to, much the way Brian Jacque’s did with his Redwall series when I was younger. I can not wait to read on and live, or die, with the characters that George R. R. Martin has created. Winter is coming is definitely coming and I can’t wait.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Library is Many Things

Letters of Note

Early-1971, in an effort to attract as many youngsters to the premises as possible, Marguerite Hart — children's librarian at the newly-opened public library in Troy, Michigan — wrote to a number of notable people with a request: to reply with a congratulatory letter, addressed to the children of Troy, in which the benefits of visiting such a library were explained in some form. It's heartening to know that an impressive 97 people did exactly that, and below are just four of those replies, all from authors: Isaac Asimov; Hardie Gramatky; Theodore Geisel; and E. B. White.

All of the letters have been posted here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I Feel Like a Filthy Traitor

I have been eyeing a Barnes and Noble Nook for some time now. Every time I see a commercial on television or receive a B&N email, it renews my eReader fervor. I have become completely convinced that I must have one. I do, however, feel like this makes me a terrible librarian. I keep fighting to keep my beloved books stocked on library shelves and yet I feel the need to venture over to the dark side, the side of eBooks.

I feel like this begs the question. Does it make someone less of an advocate for "physical literacy" if they own an eReader? Is it ok for me to have an eReader as long as it jives with our libraries current Overdrive system? Am I really a dirty traitor?