Library Column – February 21, 2008

Changing media are a big problem for libraries. We don’t get double the shelf space because cars start coming equipped with CD players instead of cassette players, nor an extra few hundred a year to transform our huge video collection into a DVD collection. There are still some patrons who listen to books on cassette and I’m still trying to serve their needs. My less than ideal solution is to buy books on cassette when they are on sale, and to ask the patrons which books they would really like to hear. Do you still want books on cassette? Drop into the library and look at the new acquisitions. Tell me what you like to listen to, and I’ll try to get some of your choices the next time a sale flyer comes into the library.On the bright side, downloadable audio books are coming soon. I’m doing a training session next week and I should be able to show people how to use the service by the end of the month. This will add hundreds of new titles to our audio collection without requiring additional shelf space. I’m planning to get some MP3 players to loan out…but I’m not sure what to ask for as a security deposit…drop in and make a suggestion!

The Pursuit of Happyness (DVD). We also have the book in our collection. The true story of a father who stayed with his son when things got really, really tough. Homelessness in San Francisco and the first steps on the upward path that led to riches for the struggling salesman. I enjoyed the extras on the DVD, including an interview with Chris Gardner.

Bobbie Faye’s Very (very, very, very) Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey. Bobbie Faye is the female equivalent of the Southern Good Ol’ Boy. She lives in a trailer, has relatives who get into trouble, is the Queen of the Lake Charles Contraband Days Festival, and is always broke. But Bobbie Faye is also the queen of the unexpected disaster. The day starts with her trailer flooding from a malfunctioning washing machine, then her brother gets kidnapped by criminals, next she gets sucked into a bank robbery…excellent entertainment.

Sense and Sensibility (DVD). A lovely patron donated the Ang Lee, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant version of the movie adapted from the novel by Jane Austen. Yummy!

Julie & Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell. Everyone has already read this, but if you haven’t, it is about Julie’s attempt to cook all of the recipes in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. During the year she also masters blogging, suffers through some major disasters, and doesn’t entertain Judith Jones to dinner (weather intervened).

The Silk Train Murder by Sharon Rowse. First novel set in Vancouver in 1899 has a colorful cast of characters and a fairly well-plotted mystery. I enjoyed the novel, but it is clearly the set-up for a series, which is sort of irritating. The marketing plan shouldn’t be visible in the plot, in my opinion. See you at the library!

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