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Find more Professional Reading Roundup
Crash Course in Dealing with Difficult Library Customers. By Shelley Mosley and others. 2013. 173p. Libraries Unlimited, paper, $45 (9781610692830).
This slim volume provides a very useful introduction to the most potentially troublesome aspect of library service in any environment—the library customer. The introduction and first part ground readers in the basic principles required for providing effective service: interruption by a customer at a service desk is not, in itself, a problem and that the response to a situation is dictated by the library worker, not the other way around.
Digitization and Digital Archiving: A Practical Guide for Librarians. By Elizabeth R. Leggett. 2014. 226p. Rowman & Littlefield, paper, $65 (9780810892071).
Leggett has done a great job distilling the increasingly complex world of the digital archive down to the key points, starting with the basics and moving forward from digital basics to the world of metadata schema and digital preservation. In offering the practical knowledge necessary to confront digital projects, Leggett’s work provides excellent overviews of the various digital formats, equipment, and copyright issues.
I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks. By Gina Sheridan. 2014. 160p. Adams Media, paper, $13.99 (9781440576249).
Sheridan’s book takes a cheeky look at life behind the desk. In 12 chapters (aptly titled “028.9 Reading Interests and Habits,” “598.2 Rare Birds,” “611 Human Anatomy”—you get the gist), she tells tales of woe, funny interactions, and vignettes that may make you question the future of the human race.
Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies. By Mary Evangeliste and Katherine Furlong. 2014. 176p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $57 (9780838912201).
This book presents nine case studies that detail how seven academic and two public libraries were able to cease some activities so that they could concentrate on others. The case studies document dramatic changes in libraries that were inspired by factors as varied as personnel changes, reorganizations, budgetary needs, and natural disasters. It’s a gutsy work—and according to the reviewer, one that the profession sorely needs
Library as Safe Haven: Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery. By Deborah D. Halsted and others. 2014. 160p. Neal-Schuman, paper, $72 (9781555709136).
Although this volume provides traditional information on disaster planning, such as risk assessment and emergency response, it encourages libraries to take a proactive role as an important service provider and safe haven during times of emergency. Chapters include guidelines for creating continuity-of-operations plans, empowering staff with personal-preparedness options, and leveraging libraries to optimize their position as an integral part of the community in times of need.
Library Management for the Digital Age: A New Paradigm. By Julie Todaro. 2014. 386p. Rowman & Littlefield, paper, $60 (9781442230156).
The innovation of this text is that each of the chapters in part 1 is associated with at least one case study in the second half of the book. This book is recommended reading for both new and more seasoned library administrators, and it would make for excellent primary reading in a graduate course on library administration.
Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects. By Caitlin A. Bagley. 2014. 128p. ALA Techsource, paper, $50 (9781555709907).
With no uniform definition of what a makerspace is or should entail, the world is open to libraries to create space that resonates with their community, serves their needs, and offers a unique service that libraries are looking to embrace. Bagley has not put together a checklist of how to set up a makerspace in your library but, rather, a showcase of makerspaces across the country so you can begin to envision how this unique space might evolve in your own community.
Marketing and Social Media: A Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums. By Christie Koontz and Lorri Mon. 2014. 310p. illus. Rowman & Littlefield, paper, $55 (9780810890817).
This handy reference introduces users to the critical concepts associated with applying marketing and social-media campaigns employed in the retail world to nonprofit organizations. The book employs a coherent structure and lucid prose, and no aspect of the process is taken for granted as readers are introduced to critical steps such as performing environmental scans; conducting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis; identifying stakeholders; and conducting a marketing campaign.
Marketing with Social Media: A LITA Guide. Ed. by Beth C. Thomsett-Scott. 2013. 192p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $65 (9781555709723).
This guide introduces librarians to marketing library services through posts, pins, tweets, and other social-media tools. Chapters contributed primarily by university librarians discuss Facebook, wikis, video-sharing sites, Pinterest, Google+, Foursquare, blogs, QR codes, and Twitter. Striking a balance between general marketing advice and service-specific details, each chapter covers creating accounts, managing content, and tracking statistics to evaluate success, concluding with brief case studies and further reading about applying these tools in libraries.
Serving Online Customers: Lessons for Libraries from the Business World. By Donald A. Barclay. 2014. 232p. Rowman & Littlefield, $95 (9780810893177).
As competitors in an online-information ecosystem, libraries have much to learn from business writing on customer satisfaction, e-commerce, and assessment of online services. Longer on historical background and theory than immediate suggestions, this work will be most relevant for academic librarians and policymakers.
Especially for Youth Services Staff
Biographies to Read Aloud with Kids: From Alvin Ailey to Zishe the Strongman. By Rob Reid. 2014. 152p. illus. Huron Street, paper, $19.95 (9781937589578).
In his newest read-aloud collection, Reid has compiled 200 biographies to appeal to children between the ages of 4 and 14. The selections strike a balance across gender and diverse cultures and backgrounds. While the volume is intended for selection and instruction, it can also serve library professionals as a collection-development tool to create a more vibrant biography collection.
Bugs, Bogs, Bats, and Books: Sharing Nature with Children through Reading. By Kathleen T. Isaacs. 2014. 272p. illus. Huron Street, paper, $19.95 (9781937589585).
The titles included herein span genres and reading levels but are all delightful choices for introducing science, animals, and the great outdoors to today’s kids. Suggested expansion activities, such as “take a stream walk” and “observe the changing sky and seasons,” provide additional value.
Building a Core Print Collection for Preschoolers. By Alan R. Bailey. 2014. 160p. ALA Editions, paper, $57 (9780838912195).
This volume provides more than 300 annotations of core read-aloud books for children from birth to five years old. Though the primary target audience is librarians, this is a resource suitable for educators, child-care providers, and parents. Bailey has subjected each text to a set of rigorous questions to determine its suitability to promote school readiness and lifelong literacy.
Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide: Pathways to Democracy. By Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps and Carole J. McCollough. 2014. 280p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $45 (9780838936047).
Just in time to commemorate the forty-fifth anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Award, in 2015, comes this easy-to-use guide that will serve as an essential programming tool. Busy librarians, parents, and teachers will find this resource invaluable, as it highlights CSK books (mainly from the last two decades) reflecting the core values of democracy: equality, pursuit of happiness, rule of law, the common good, and the right to life,
Exploring Environmental Science with Children and Teens. By Eileen G. Harrington. 2014. 264p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $50 (9780838911983).
This book offers strategies for implementing or expanding environmental programming at libraries and museums. The author leads off with information on and samples of traditional family library storytimes on environmental themes. The storytime outlines include books, activity and craft ideas, and learning outcomes. Offering an assortment of programs for a variety of audiences that will entertain, engage, and educate, this book will well serve librarians and educators looking for a STEM programming resource.
Global Voices: Picture Books from around the World. By Susan Stan. 2014. 240p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $50 (9780838911839).
This is an ambitious book, which sometimes feels as though it should be longer (the first part—with chapters like “Why Read Books from Other Countries?” and “Reading across Cultures”—in particular, seems as though it could be its own book); however, the diversity in picture-book selection in part 2 is appreciated.
Introduction to Reference and Information Services in Today’s School Library. By Lesley S. J. Farmer. 2014. 196p. Rowman & Littlefield, paper, $55 (9780810887183).
This is a valuable resource on how to provide reference and information services in a school library setting. The volume covers the context of the information world today’s students are living in and how the school librarian can best address and assess their information needs.
Popular Picks for Young Readers. Ed. by Diane Foote. 2014. 216p. ALA Editions, paper, $48 (9780838936054).
This volume encompasses more than 500 contemporary (2010–12) titles, all well reviewed and popular with today’s kids, their grown-ups, and the librarians who love them. Appendixes highlighting genres, age levels, and “books for a diverse collection” are a nice bonus.
School Library Day-to-Day Operations: Just the Basics. By Claire Gatrell Stephens and Patricia Franklin. 2013. 107p. illus. Libraries Unlimited, paper, $40 (9781598849417).
This latest addition to the Libraries Unlimited Just the Basics series provides precise, step-by-step directions on how to handle essential school library tasks: unpacking and processing book orders, cataloging AV material, tagging and tracking technology, and so forth, the myriad hands-on, behind-the-scenes chores crucial to implementing an effective library-media program.
STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds. By Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt. 2014. 368p. illus. ALA Editions, paper, $57 (9780838912225).
Authors Ghoting and Klatt skillfully lay out the STEP (StoryTime Effective Practice) approach, which connects knowledge of children’s books and materials with knowledge of children’s emotional, mental, physical, cognitive, and language growth from birth through age five. The majority of children’s librarians have studied childhood development and early literacy best practices; consider this book required reading to keep this knowledge fresh while reminding us of the importance—and delightful fun—of our work.
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