Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week 11 Prompt

Ebooks and audiobooks are a part of our landscape. What does the change in medium mean for appeal factors? If you can't hold a book and feel the physical weight of it in your hands, how does that affect your knowledge of the genre? How about readers being able to change the font, line spacing, and color of text - how does that affect pacing and tone? How about audiobooks? Track length, narrator choice, is there music?

Ebooks and audiobooks have indeed become part of our landscape as librarians and readers' advisory experts. I think these three mediums give more flexibility to the way we can enjoy reading. I have an iPad, and I have used it (the iBooks app) for years when it comes to reading books. For this class, it's easier to use ebooks and just buy them online because I usually don't have time to run to the library and check the book out. Plus, I am able to find more books that relate to the book I just purchased with the help of suggestions. My iPad is easy to carry around and just like a regular book mark, whenever I open the iBook app back up after putting it down, it opens back up to the page you were on.

I will say that I am still a sucker for holding a book in my own hands, and feeling the pages. I grew up with only books and had become accustomed to checking out books and searching for them in libraries. I don't think that the shift from print books to ebooks has affected my knowledge of the genre; in fact, I think it helps me explore the genre even more, with the way the internet helps play a part in the suggestions for my next read. As far as changes in font, line spacing, or color of text; I like the ability to customize the way I read. My iPad settings have the background of the text a khaki color, and the font is black, and the font size is probably 12-14 (in similarity with the font on a computer). In the evening, I set it to night mode which dims the screen. My settings are actually pretty similar to a regular book, with black print and khaki colored paper (not quite white but not quite brown). I will say that the font size effects how many pages are actually there in the ebook, which can become misleading. The smaller the font the less pages, but for those who need enlarged font, the pages could get into the 400s or more.

Audiobooks are uncharted territory for me, as an adult. When I was younger, my mom would play audiobooks for herself as she drove, and I wouldn't really pay attention. And now that I am older, I have not turned to them.... yet. I'm not in my car enough to use them, and whenever I do read, ebook or print, I play music. Listening to my book hasn't become something I want to do... YET! But I do see the appeal, when a reader is on a long drive and they need something to keep their mind working. Or when a reader puts an audiobook on their iPod as they're on the train or subway. Audiobooks are also very light (hehe!) and can be taken anywhere, as long as you have headphones, a cassette player, a cd player, or an aux cord for the car. This is one medium that I hope to have more experience with in the future, so I can help refer my patrons to good audiobooks that will be to their liking!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book Club Experience

I attended an Adult Book Club meeting at my local library. This month, the book being discussed was Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I have never read this book but had heard good things about the book and the author in the past. I was a bit nervous observing since I had not read the book on my own and I felt like I was unable to participate in any of the discussion, but I stayed to observe anyway!

The book club held an hour long meeting, from 1:30pm to 2:30pm, in one of the Collaborative Spaces in the public library. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the "Big Read" of 2017. The "Big Read" is usually promoted by about 40 different community organizations, and it is used to spark discussion, promote reading, and build up the community. This particular Adult Book Club meeting was one of 27 events that are centered around Hurston's novel.

The book club meeting was facilitated by a library employee named Hillary, and she seemed to be the one who was asking the questions to bring about discussion. Hillary would ask a question and then let the attendees respond, and then she added in her own thoughts once everyone had said their piece. I heard some questions like "What did you think about...?" or "How did this passage on page X make you feel?". From what I could gather, Hurston wrote this novel with a lot of slang; the main character, Janie Crawford, used a lot of broken English, and had heavy use of the N-word. This actually led to a small sub-conversation about censorship, which I was able to chip in a little and talk about the way this language gave the reader more of a feel for the time period of the novel. 

Not all of the attendees participated with the conversation but there were a few who spoke on multiple occasions. None of the attendees stole the spotlight when discussing the novel.

The atmosphere of the book club was very welcoming, and in the Collaborative Space there were chairs and tables for attendees to sit and converse. No food or drinks were provided in the meeting but a few people had brought their own drinks with caps or lids. This book club discusses various genres of books and they meet once a month. For example, next month the Adult Book Club will discuss The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George. Although I did not have a chance to read the book, I liked the observation. This ended up being a cool experience. I have never attended a book club before this one, and it was interesting to see the attendees (that participated) discuss their thoughts and different views of the novel.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Women's Lives & Relationships Annotation

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes


Louisa Clark is a very ordinary girl and she leads a very ordinary life. Lou has a long-time boyfriend, Patrick, and she is part of a very close knit family. After losing her job at a small cafe, she takes a job as daytime caregiver to Will Traynor, ex-Master of the Universe, who becomes wheelchair bound after a tragic accident. Will was always used to a wealthy lifestyle of business, pleasure, and traveling the world.

Since his accident, Will has acquired a dark outlook on the world, unleashing his feelings through rudeness and sarcastic conversation. Despite this, Lou learns more about Will and before she knows it, Will's happiness is everything to her. Louisa finds out that Will has a shocking scheme planned after six months of her working there and she sets out to show Will that there is still so much life that is worth living.

Elements of Women's Lives & Relationships/Women's Fiction:

1. Main character - Our protagonist, Louisa (Lou) Clark, is female, like the author. In women's lit, the protagonist has support from mostly female characters, and sometimes male characters. Louisa lives with her mother, father, granddad, sister, and nephew. She receives influence from all but mostly from her sister, Katrina (sometimes called Treena). Louisa also has support from her long-time boyfriend, Patrick.

2. Mood - Women's literature usually "offers up a generally optimistic outlook", even when the mood of the story is humorous, lighthearted, tragic, or romantic (Saricks, pg. 156). The reader is given a peak into the lives of the main character, thus pulling at the heartstrings of the reader.

3.  Pacing - Women's lit is set at a leisurely pace. The reader gets pulled in and as they find out more details and anecdotes about the protagonist, they continue to read and become involved with the story. In the prologue, the reader gets a glimpse into Will Traynor's busy lifestyle, and we see a preview into the tragic accident that changes his life before the prologue ends and we cut to the beginning of chapter one. Once chapter one is started, we get a glimpse into Louisa's life before her path crosses with Will. This definitely got me to want to read more of the book!

4. Storyline - "...Reflect the issues affecting women's lives and portray women facing difficult situations" (Saricks, pg. 156). The story opens with Louisa coming home from work early, and going through her usual routine of asking if her granddad needs anything before helping herself to tea or water. Then, within the first few pages of chapter one, we find out that Louisa has lost her job, files for unemployment, and seeks help through an employment agency to find a new place of work. Mrs. Clark does not work so she can stay home with her ailing father. Mr. Clark works at a furniture factory and is on the night shift. Katrina works at a floral shop and has a son, Thomas, who attends elementary school and is watched by his grandparents after school. The family depends on the wages of Louisa, Katrina, and their father. Katrina mentions going back to university towards the end of chapter three which means that Louisa's wages will have to help the family even more.

5. Setting - The setting of Me Before You is contemporary. Louisa and her family live in a four bedroom house in a small neighborhood on the countryside that is outside of London. Louisa's new employment location is two miles away from her house, Granta House, a small annex turned living space that is on the property of a bigger mansion that belongs to Will Traynor's parents. Women's lit also takes the background of the protagonist into account. Louisa had a job at a cafe and once she learns of its' closing, she takes a few odd jobs before taking the job as Will Traynor's daytime caregiver.

6. Writing style Me Before You is written with a lot of dialogue between characters, as well as reflection into the protagonist and her thoughts. The author uses some text messaging to show a small, private conversation  between Louisa and her sister Katrina, discussing Louisa's new job. Since the setting of the story is in the U.K., the language is different from that of the U.S. For example, instead of saying "claiming unemployment", Louisa says "I made my first claim for Jobseeker's Allowance" (Moyes, pg. 20). 


My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Me After You by Jojo Moyes

The Marvelous Misadventures of Ingrid Winter by J.S. Drangsholt

Faithful by Alice Hoffman


Moyes, J. (2012). Me before you. United Kingdom: Penguin Books.

Saricks, J.G. (2009). The readers' advisory guide to genre fiction: Second edition. Chicago: ALA.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Topic Paper - A Guide to Young Adult Readers' Advisory

For this assignment, I chose to highlight tips and tools used to better improve the YA readers' advisory experience.

First, I started with a bit of background of the readers' advisory process. The readers' advisory interview is key to helping our patrons find more books to their liking. We ask questions like; "What did you just finish reading?", "What elements of the book did you like the most?", "Do you want to continue reading books by the same author, or would you like to branch out?". These base questions are essential to perform the interview and lead the reader to their next book. I also highlighted that most young adult literature is fiction, for readers ages 12 to 18. However, "New Adult Literature" is aimed at young adults from ages 18 to 30.

Second, I wrote about the characteristics of YA literature:

  • The authors write from the viewpoint of young people
  • YA literature is fast paced
  • YA novels deal with emotions that resonate with the reader
  • Characters from many different ethnic and cultural groups
  • "I want the credit!" - young adult protagonists are often trying to prove themselves by solving their problems on their own, without the help of parents
  • Coming of age narrative
  • Issues of identity, such as class, religion, or race
  • Language in the novels' dialogue reflects the way teens speak, using slang
Third, I began writing about the way we market to YA readers, by way of social media like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. On YouTube, publishers and authors create book trailers to "tease" the reader and spark their interest on an upcoming title. Another marketing idea is the awards given to books. The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) provides various awards for YA books that have appealed (or still appeal) to the readers.

  • Michael L. Printz Award
  • Odyssey Award
  • Morris Award
  • Edwards Award
  • Nonfiction Award
With the knowledge of these award winning books, librarians can better direct their YA readers towards highly accredited and praised books. These books can be displayed in a teen space of a public library where YA readers can see the books and the librarians can offer up suggestions.

Another marketing initiative is the creation of movies or television adaptations based off of popular YA reads. Librarians in a teen space can advertise for a movie night showing films that are based off of books such as:

  • Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
  • Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Fourth, I listed tips and tools that can be useful in the YA readers' advisory interview and process.


  • Keep popular materials stocked and make sure to replace copies if they are worn out
  • Besides YA fiction, have nonfiction, magazines, graphic novels, and audiobooks readily available in your collection
  • Be familiar with the material
  • Create eye catching displays for the YA readers to see when they enter the teen space
  • If a YA reader is nervous about coming up to your desk to ask about a book, be open to getting out from behind the desk and approaching them, asking "Can I help you find a book you're looking for?"
  • Create a rapport and connection with the patron
  • Display staff picks of different YA titles
  • Make sure to listen to a YA patrons' likes and dislikes
  • Don't make any type of judgment when speaking to YA readers about books
  • Don't push your own favorite books onto a teen
  • Don't tune out or stop listening to your patron
  • Don't narrow your knowledge of YA books to fiction only
11. Barbakoff, A. (2014). Readers’ advisory to teens: An adult services librarians’      guide. Retrieved from
22. Bertin, J. (2017). What are the characteristics of young adult literature8?   Retrieved from characteristics-of-young-adult-literature-11042.html
33. Hogan, P. (2011). Tips for young adult readers’ advisory. Retrieved from
44. YALSA Book Awards. (2017). Retrieved from
55. YA LIT. (2005). Retrieved from