Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First in a nine-part series on what we, librarians, want to do for you

When people think of libraries, the first word that pops into most heads is "books."  One group even spent time proving that with a study.
random books on three shelves
Bookshelf 2- Interiors by Jon Sullivan

Books are a rather large category.  Libraries have many types of books, for several audiences.  And what is a "type" of book?  Is it the shape?  Whether it is digital or physical?  Whether the subject matter is factual, fictitious, current, historic? The rest of this series intends to re-introduce you to some parts of the library you may not have thought of before.  I hope as you read along, you will have questions about these services at the library (and post them in the comments).

Today I start with fiction.  This may sound cut-and-dry, but there is some debate about where books belong.  Most fiction books are complete fabrications, make believe. In reality, fiction is a far wider variety of tales.  Books, such as Heart of the Samurai (in Teen), A Land of Sheltered Promise, and Jean Auel's series, begin with extensive research on historic events, but prefer to expand well beyond the limits of a research paper.  Directions in a library may be confusing when I am looking for Orwell's 1984, obviously fictitious, and find it in the literature section of non-fiction.  Melvil Dewey wasn't calling literature factual; he simple wanted to categorize all the knowledge of a New England college 150 years ago, so English majors became 800s.

Do you know of other examples of based-on-life stories in fiction?  I know I need help learning about all the books on the shelf I have not yet had time to read.

Some random library business:  The director would like your input on ebooks, ereaders (what you use, what you have)--and especially input from non-library users.  The forms are at the library.  If you know an event to canvas for us, ask at the front desk.

Summer Reading is around the corner!  Have you already dropped in to Sponsor-a-Child (donations are tax-deductible)?  Events this week and all summer are on our calendar.

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