or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk



Archives for Books:


Kickstarter Project for “Saving Our Public Libraries”

   January 5th, 2012 Brian Herzog

Book: Saving Our Public Libraries: Why We Should. How We Can, by Janet JaiLast week I received an email from Janet Jai, author of Saving Our Public Libraries: Why We Should. How We Can. According to the website, this is "a new book of library-funding success stories and best practices, which has been called an important book by reviewers."

She started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to give free copies of this book to as many U.S. libraries as possible. Her email was asked me to help spread the word, and it sounds like a worth-while campaign, so here you go.

From her message:

If 1,000 people donate only $10 each, I'll have the money I need to print enough books so I can give them free to all the public libraries in two, three, or more states. Donors vote to decide which states receive the free copies of my book. Donors also receive rewards (some fun and some serious that might be of great interest to one or more libraries).

Saving Our Public Libraries: Why We Should. How We Can is full of proven ways that libraries can obtain more operational funding. Its library-funding success stories (many of which use innovative funding strategies) came from more than 50 library experts across the U.S. The information in my book has never been brought together before. Most of it has never even been published before.

I thought you might want to mention this opportunity in your blog so that librarians can participate and vote so that their state's public libraries receive these free books. So far most of the donors to this campaign simply want to help and have chosen not to receive donor rewards so they will not be voting. That means that a very few votes could determine which states' libraries receive these helpful books. However, kickstarter is an all-or-nothing site. Donations are not charged to donor credit cards and I receive no funding unless I reach my full funding goal, which makes every donation very important. The campaign is starting slowly because of the busyness of the holidays, but many people have told me they will be contributing soon.

To learn more about the value of my book, please go to my website, www.vision-and-values.com/saving.htm. There's a review there from ALA's ALTAFF group and a quote from Marilyn Johnson. Please note that the Ohio and West Virginia state library associations also invited me to speak at their state library conventions this past year.

I've never pledged to a Kickstarter campaign before, so I was curious how it worked. You create a Kickstarter account to pledge your amount, then that links to your Amazon account - but you don't actually get charged until the goal is reached by the campaign deadline. If you're interested, check out the Kickstarter page to get started. The deadline is 9:49pm EST on Sunday Jan 15, 2012.



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Reference Question of the Week – 12/11/11

   December 17th, 2011 Brian Herzog

There's a Party in My Pantry coverThere isn't actually too much to this week's question, but it kept making me laugh.

The phone rings Friday morning, and an an elderly woman's voice asks,

Patron: Hello, can you help me find a book?
Me: Sure, what's the title?
Patron: There's a party in my pant...

At this point she paused for a second. And now remember, this is coming from an elderly woman - which is conflicting with the usual Anchorman association to that phrase. But then she continues.

Patron: It's a cookbook - oh yes, the title is There's a Party in my Pantry. Do you have it?
Me: [checking the catalog] No, it doesn't look like we do. But let me search online to verify the title.

I search Amazon and find that it's only available as a Kindle book. Just to be extra sure it's not actually a print book too, I search WorldCat, which has no matches.

Me: I'm sorry, it looks like that hasn't been published as a printed book, only as an ebook.
Patron: How can you tell?
Me: Well, I searched for it on Amazon, and it only shows a Kindle version, not a print version.
Patron: [pause] Oh. Can I use that on the Nook too?

That line surprised me a little bit - it shouldn't have, but I was still thrown off by the pants party thing. But anyway, I quickly searched Barnes and Noble's website and found that yes, there is a Nook version. I searched our Overdrive catalog, but unfortunately we didn't have it there.

So I told the patron there was a Nook version available for purchase. We talked a little more about why it was only available as an ebook and not a print book, why it cost only $2.99, and what she would need to do to read it. She seemed satisfied, but did mention she was going to ask her son to buy it for her (which again made me laugh, because I'm immature and the image of this mother-son exchange makes me giggle).

I'm sure it's just the time of year, but this was the first of about ten ebook questions that day - mostly "here's my Kindle, now how do I download to it?"



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How to Frighten Young Books

   December 13th, 2011 Brian Herzog

This comic made me laugh:

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic

Thanks Chris.



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“Awful Library Books” Author on Weeding

   December 6th, 2011 Brian Herzog

Weeding List at the Manchester (NH) LibraryRuth from Artifact Collectors emailed me a link to her interview with the author of Awful Library Books, Holly Hibner.

The interview is about the weeding process, the weeded books and what happens to them after they have been weeded. If you like it, please feel free to share it with your readers!

I did like it, so here you go. Most librarians will know the details, but I always like hearing ideas for what to do with weeded books - and of course, the books that show up on Awful Library Books are always entertaining.



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Repairing Books with The Book Doctor

   December 1st, 2011 Brian Herzog

My coworker Sharon sent me this video just before Thanksgiving, and I thought it was pretty neat - Simon Demosthene at Harvard's Gutman Library talks about repairing books:

I'm not sure if this has made the rounds yet or not, so I apologize if it's old news. I tried to check that with the Is It Old?, which said it was still okay to share, so here you go. Incidentally, I learned of Is It Old? via Lifehacker's recent single-purpose website roundup (I like single-serving websites).



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Caption This Photo

   November 22nd, 2011 Brian Herzog

My cousin Karin forwarded me an email of the photo below, with the subject, "Now out in Paperback!!!"

Now out in paperback image

I have no idea what it actually is, but I thought it was a funny picture - except, the message's subject didn't have quite the jokey punch it could have. So of course, I tried to think up funny captions for it. The only one I came up with that I liked was, "Wikipedia: now out in paperback."

Does anyone else have better captions for this photo? I'm going to be away for week for Thanksgiving, so in the meantime, if you have a caption idea, please leave it in the comments below. Thanks, and Happy Thanksgiving (Americans; everyone else, Happy End of November).



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