Say it with Infographics!

I just paid a visit to piktochart.com and created my first published Infographic. This tool is amazingly easy to use and I think every librarian should know how to create an Infographic. Visuals are everything these days, so if you want to convey a message to patrons, say it with graphics!

Here’s what I just made. It isn’t spectacular, but it’s not bad for a first attempt:
Infographic

The Evolution of Libraries

Many people think libraries are on the way out; that books are becoming a thing of the past. Libraries, however, are changing. They are no longer lending only reading materials. They lend tools. They lend musical instruments. They lend records and kitchen wares. Don’t believe it? Check out the proof in these articles:

Tool Libraries Up and Coming!

Musical Instrument Lending Library

Library Builds Kitchen Collection

Toronto Public Library’s Vinyl Collection

And for those libraries that still lend books, click here for some very unusual libraries!

Books about Bookstores!

As a bibliophile, I enjoy reading books where a bookstore features prominently in the story. I love bookstores; I dream of spending my days in one. So when I find a book with characters whose lives are intimately connected with a bookstore, naturally I enjoy reading it a little more than the others.

Here is a short list of some books that might appeal to those other bibliophiles out there, and I do apologize for some repeats from my earlier posts.

1. The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley (1919)
Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.45.04 PM
By now in the public domain and available through Print On Demand, this book is absolutely delightful. It features an atmospheric bookstore with a lovably eccentric owner; suspense and intrigue with just a touch of terrorism; romance, and a great many books.

2. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (2012)
Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 8.38.27 PM
This novel was immediately absorbing, and I enjoyed every page of it. The protagonist ends up working in a very unusual bookstore quite by chance, and it ends up changing his life. Plus, we get an interesting glimpse into the world of Google. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, but the journey to get there was wonderfully imaginative.

3. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (2014)
Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 11.25.54 PM
Published just last year, and having received many commendations, you’ve no doubt at least heard of this book, if not already read it yourself. It is indeed heart-warming, touching, poignant, as well as funny, uplifting and an endearing tale of love and new life. And of course, it’s set around (and in) a bookstore!

4. Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries by Mark Leslie (2014)
Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 10.17.46 PM
If you are at all intrigued by the supernatural, and also love books, then THIS is a book you will enjoy. And who knows, your local bookstore may be in it! Full of eye-witness account of real hauntings in Canada, the United States and abroad, it is an interesting, educational and spooky read.

Budget woes and Pervy Patrons

Today’s post focuses on those hallowed institutions we learn to love at a very early age: Libraries.

An article released yesterday by the New Glasgow News is distressing for people who know that library budgets are already tight. Libraries wary of tax proposal on books is scary enough,but the opening line of the article is enough to bring a tear to the eye. “[I]f the Liberal government goes ahead with its plan to put the provincial portion of the HST on printed books, it would end up costing the library an additional $10,000 a year.” Click here for the full story. 
IMG_1041

Every so often, you hear of unsavoury behaviour happening in public libraries and it seems impossible until the evidence proves  that people can be weird, incomprehensible creatures. There was the Case of the Mystery Urinator in Leaminton, Ontario in December 2012, and right now, there is more head-shaking behavior coming from Windsor, Ontario. CBC.ca reports, in Live sex shows streamed from Windsor libraries.
Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 9.39.06 AM
*Fontainebleau branch of Windsor Public Library. Image retrieved from http://www.windsorpubliclibrary.com/?page_id=1392

Tragedy for Books Around the World

The Independent reports on a devastating fire in Moscow at the INION (Academic Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences). The fire is contained, but caused severe damage to the building housing the 14.2-million volume collection.

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 1.49.17 PM                                                                                   *image retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/huge-library-containing-historic-texts-and-14-million-books-goes-up-in-flames-moscow-10015455.html

Fire also destroyed books in Mosul. Books from the city’s Central Library have been carted away in trucks to a fiery death; and a University of Mosul library book bonfire at the hands of the Islamic State does not bode well for recorded history in Iraq these days. Ctvnews.ca reports.

Graphic Novels?

In my December 18, 2014 posting, Intriguing!, I got to thinking about graphic novels a bit. I realized that I don’t own any, and if I want to build a well-rounded collection, I should have some in it. The problem for me is, most graphic novels are dark, both literally and figuratively. The subject matter is often less than uplifting, and the images are frequently very graphic. Go figure. So I decided that I would make it my mission to find at least one graphic novel that I like: one with pleasing illustrations, and an uplifting or at least interesting story line. And guess what? I found some.

Shaun Tan’s book, The Arrival (2007) is stunning. The illustrations reminded me right away of Chris Van Allsburg’s style, and the creativity displayed as Tan marries the age-old tale of a newcomer in a foreign land with futuristic cityscapes and animals provided a new delight on every page. At 128 pages, it’s really more of an illustrated story (there are no words), than a graphic novel, but it’s still a worthy addition to anyone’s collection and will be enjoyed by adults and children alike. For more information, check it out on Amazon.com.
Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 3.19.00 PM

Here, by Richard McGuire (2014), is also a really neat book. As I mentioned in December, it is the story of one little piece of land  told over many centuries, with glimpses into different years together on the same page. This is definitely a novel, at 304 pages, and also worth adding to your collection. For more information, check it out on Amazon.com.
Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 3.33.49 PM

High School Books

In high school English class, we all had various books assigned to us. In grade 9 I read The Chrysalids and Lord of the Flies, both of which I thoroughly unenjoyed.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.08.12 PM     Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.10.16 PM     Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.12.57 PM

In grade 10 it was To Kill a Mockingbird, and I honestly don’t remember any books from grades 11 or 12. My last year went out with a bang, featuring a spectacularly depressing book by a Canadian author, The Stone Angel. (Yes, that was back when there were 5 years of high school here. But that’s for another post. Or even another blog.)

So now I ask you, dear readers, what did you read in high school English (aside from Shakespeare)? Please share! A synopsis and your opinions would be lovely, but I don’t ask you to invest a lot of time. Just some titles and comments. I’m looking forward to comparing our experiences!

 

A Feast for Your Eyes

I just came across my new favorite website: http://bookshelfporn.com  The name is a tiny bit on the provocative side, but the pictures are safe for all ages. Fair warning, you may spend several minutes staring, followed by several hours daydreaming. If you love books, and if you have always wanted walls lined with books in your home, click here. You will not be disappointed!

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.15.23 PM

That was just a tease. Now, go. See for yourself!

Toronto International Book Fair!

If you are near Toronto next weekend, don’t miss INSPIRE! at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. (255 Front St., West) from November 13-16, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 4.08.15 PM

Thursday, November 13: 7pm-11pm

Friday, November 14: 10am-8pm

Saturday, November 15: 10am-8pm

Sunday, November 16: 10am-6pm

Click here for hours and ticket prices. Click here for the list of exhibitors!

See you there! Follow the book fair on Twitter @InspireTIBF