Posts Tagged ‘Books’

In times of economic hardship people have less disposable income and thus tend to cut down on their luxury goods expenditure.  The purchasing of books, DVDs, music, new technologies and branded groceries, alongside outings to the theatre, cinemas and football matches become less frequent as we all try to tighten our belts a little.  

We’ve been speculating for a few months now that the latest credit crunch might have a positive impact on public library usage and we’re starting to see some real evidence of that.  Recent news stories from America reveal that public library authorities in Santa Fe  and Frederick County have enjoyed an increase in visitor numbers over the last 6-9 months.  There’s also been a shift in how people have been interacting with their local libraries and the types of services that they’re accessing.  Once again, the public library is emerging as a lifeline and invaluable resource for people trying to find new jobs, learn new skills or simply escape from the harsh realities of the recession by rediscovering the joy of reading…

Even a few of my friends who’ve always bought their books from Amazon and who had previously admitted to me that they’d rather browse the shelves of Borders than visit their local library have signed up for library memberships!  Telling times indeed!  


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This is one of the funniest videos I’ve seen in a while. Dennis Cass pretty much sums up our society with this ingenious book promotion and satirical look at what it means to be an author in the 21st century. Check it out below and laugh along knowingly – this man feels your virtual pain!

I’m still laughing at this quote…

“You Tube…of course, cos you know that’s the dream…twenty years ago when I wanted to become a writer, a big part of the dream was being able to put little videos on the Internet…that’s why we do this…and maybe I’ll just stop writing and just do downloads and apps and widgets…this is the world we live in”

Congratulations on a brilliant viral marketing campaign Dennis!

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Bored with borrowing books, DVD’s and CD’s? Why not try borrowing a person for half an hour? That’s exactly what happened at Camden’s Swiss Cottage Library recently when they showcased the UK’s first ever Living Library.

You’ll benefit from the wisdom and experiences of other human beings and you won’t have to read a single word…I know a few people who’ll find this approach to learning utterly irresistible!

Thanks to Alan for the heads up on this one 🙂

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Quiet Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas is a memoir about life as a public librarian in Anaheim, California.

Haven’t read it yet but the reviews make for interesting reading; check out this one on One Minute Book Review compared to the one printed in the Scotland on Sunday yesterday.

I’m looking forward to reading it as I’ve heard some of the content is a bit controversial and I do like a bit of controversy! One reviewer described the lead character as a “Douglas Coupland slacker hero relocated from the world of e-commerce…”. Hmmm…do we really need our own Microserfs inspired book in celebration of ‘Gen X’ librarians – isn’t that a bit 90s? I’ll let you know when I finish it!

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The shortlist for the 2008 Carnegie Medal for outstanding children’s writing and the Kate Greenaway Medal for exceptionally illustrated children’s books has just been announced.  

The Carnegie Medal is one of the few awards that I actually look forward to.  Each year the shortlist and eventual winners are always of such a high quality that their work rivals the recipients of many of the more high profile book awards.  Well, for me anyway!  Especially those books that have successfully ‘crossed over’ into the adult market; Just in Case (Meg Rosoff), Millions (Frank Cottrell Boyce), Junk (Melvyn Burgess) and A Gathering Light (Jennifer Donnelly).

I look forward to ‘discovering’ fresh new voices from this year’s shortlist!  The judging panel, as always, will have a very tough job in declaring an overall winner!

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Awards season…

Exciting news for book lovers!

The Pulitzer Prize list has just been announced and Dominican-American author Junot Diaz has been awarded the ‘Pulitzer Prize for Fiction’ for his first novel; Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.   I haven’t read it yet but I’m adding it to my wish list on Amazon as soon as I finish up here!

Interestingly, there was no Pulitzer awarded for ‘Editorial Writing’.  Speaks volumes about the quality of today’s editorial journalism…

Also announced today is the Orange Shortlist:

Lauren Groff – The Monsters of Templeton
Joanna Kavenna – Inglorious
Lauren Liebenberg – The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam

Does that last title make anyone else feel hungry?

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The Public Library Training Handbook 

I’m co-authoring a book, and it’s not even as part of a ‘vanity publishing’ exercise; it’s been commissioned by a genuine publishing house.  “The Public Library Training Handbook: a frontline service delivery manual” will hit bookstores and libraries in December 2008, but why not visit Facet Publishing today to pre-order a copy for yourself or your library service?

 “This handbook is essential reading for all public library paraprofessional staff and their managers. In the UK it will be of great assistance to any individuals wishing to undertake the ACLIP route through CILIP’s Framework of Qualifications, but it also addresses global issues”.



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