Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekly Reader

Let's Banish Busyness
"I work with someone who begins every conversation by telling me how busy she is. I don't mean some conversations, or most conversations; I mean every single conversation. Whenever I am about to talk with her, I ask myself, "I wonder if she will tell me how busy she is?" And every single time, she does. Is she accomplishing a lot? No; less than most. But is she "so busy?" Oh, yeah." -- Allison M. Vaillancourt, Chronicle Vitae, 6/10/14

The Classroom as Arcade
"Telltale fast clicks of laptop arrow keys gave away my distracted student from 30 feet off. So engrossed was he in a 1980s role-playing game that he barely noticed when I leaned in to whisper how entirely inappropriate his behavior was during my digital humanities class at Dartmouth College. As a noted visiting technology and culture speaker held forth on participatory culture and Wikipedia — in which my students had expressed an avid interest — I was shocked as he and many others openly engaged with their Facebook pages." -- Mary Flanagan, Inside Higher Ed, 6/6/14

How Reality Became the Hot New Thing in YA
"In 2010, St. Martin’s editor Sara Goodman grieved when she was outbid for an adult manuscript she adored. A year later, when she got the chance to read a new, contemporary YA novel by the same writer, she acted with deliberate speed. 'I pitched it before anybody in-house had read it, so I’m sure there were people who know my reputation for issues-driven YA who probably thought, ‘Okay, she loves it, but this will be another tough sell,’  Goodman says. Then the manuscript made the rounds and Goodman says the reaction from colleagues was, 'Run, don’t walk, to get this manuscript under contract.'"-- Sue Corbett, Publishers Weekly, 5/2/14

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Weekly Reader: Reading YA

The Adult Lessons of YA Fiction
"'When critics decide its time to pull up the gates and seal us all inside our castle of grown-up things, they cease to be people who deserve being listened to.' So writes author John Warner, in his commentary during website The Morning News’s annual Tournament of Books literary bracket, after judge Natasha Vargas-Cooper classified John Green’s breakaway young-adult novel The Fault in Our Stars and Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories (which is not young adult) as 'juvenilia.'"-- Julie Beck, The Atlantic, 6/9/14

YA and the Shame Game
"Ruth Graham recently sparked a "I'll read what I want!" furor when she wrote a takedown of YA on Slate and titled it "Against YA." Many articles chicken-littleing the inexplicable popularity of vulgar populist genre fiction have come before it and many more will come after it. The world is full of these strange, brittle people who think things are only valuable if they're uncomfortable." -- Elizabeth Vail, HuffPost Books - The Blog, 6/8/14

Should Adults Be Embarrassed to Read Young Adult Books?
"Journalist Ruth Graham thinks adults shouldn't be reading young adult books. She speaks with NPR's Rachel Martin about the criticism she's received for writing that for Slate." -- Rachel Martin (host), NPR Books - Author Interviews, 6/8/14

Grown-Ups Don't Be Ashamed of Your YA Habit
"It's all John Green's fault. I'm not just talking about the strong likelihood that I'll be ugly-crying in public alongside fellow fans of "The Fault In Our Stars" in a theater near me this weekend -- I mean the fact that I'm reading much fiction at all these days. But apparently I'm supposed to be embarrassed about my love of Green's books. Says who?" --Kat Kinsman, CNN Living, 6/8/14

I Write Young Adult Novels, And I Refuse to Apologize for It
"One of my most traumatic experiences involved a high school classroom and a romance novel. I was fifteen and devouring pretty much any book I could get my hands on, especially adult romances—the more torrid, the better. I had one of these books in my backpack when a male friend pulled it out and started to read a particularly lurid passage aloud. The whole class laughed; I was suitably mortified. It was the first time I ever felt that I should be ashamed of what I loved, and the moment has stuck with me my entire life."-- Rachel Carter, New Republic, 6/6/14

This is Why Young Adult Books Are Not Only Acceptable, But Beneficial for Adults
"You might've seen a recent piece published by Slate outlining exactly why readers should be a little more ashamed about their young adult book consumption. If not, here's the gist: novels written for a teenage audience that are intended to represent realistic relationships (think The Fault in Our Stars, not Divergent) do so in a limited and immature way. According to the author, books like Eleanor & Park tend to have neat, happy endings, thereby making them unchallenging and uncomplicated -- they're for pleasure, whereas adult literature is for ... something else, left unspecified." -- Maddie CrumHuff Post Books, 6/6/14

Ashamed of Reading YA? The Fault Lies Not in Our Stars, But in Our Stores
"Ah, the arbitrary divisions of the bookstore.Now it’s “Young Adult” and “Serious Fiction for Older Adults” and “Romance” and “Science Fiction.” In Dickens’s day, “Books About Winsome Orphans” and “Books About Prostitutes With Hearts of Gold” stood where “Teen Paranormal Romance” and “YA But Specifically YA About Finding Yourself” (a category I actually saw at a Barnes & Noble recently) stand today. I’m sure they evoked about equal measures of sneering. (Dickens was especially gifted and managed to get his book stocked on both shelves, guaranteeing that “Oliver Twist” would be a platinum-level bestseller.)" -- Alexandra PetriComPost The Washington Post (Blogs), 6/6/14

No, You Do Not Have to Be Ashamed of Reading Young Adult Fiction
"Last month, it was William Giraldi, trashing romance novels in the pages of the New Republic, who did the critic’s equivalent of dumping a bucket of piranhas into a crowded pool on the first great swimming day of summer. June brings another provocation, this time from Ruth Graham in Slate, who argues that adults ought to be ashamed of reading young adult literature." -- Alyssa Rosenberg, Act Four - The Washington Post, 6/6/14

Slate’s Condescending “Against YA” Couldn’t Be More Wrong —
Young Adult Fiction Is for Everyone

"With today’s release of the John Green film adaptation The Fault in Our Stars, Slate, a publication that has been ignoring the swell of good, interesting, arguably literary young adult fiction for years has decided to run a piece, “Against YA,” that makes the claim, “Today’s YA, we are constantly reminded, is worldly and adult-worthy. That has kept me bashful about expressing my own fuddy-duddy opinion: Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.” It is possibly the most Slate-y piece that ever Slate-d, maintaining a contrarian and snooty tone throughout, telling you the many ways that you are doing it wrong." --Elisabeth Donnelly, Flavorwire Books, 6/6/14

Let's Just All Read More Great Books - YA Or Not
"Today The Fault in Our Stars, based on a bestselling book by John Green, will debut in theatres across America. No cultural phenomenon can go unpunished by the good folks at Slate. So we get a piece with the thesis, "Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children. Sigh." -- Michelle Dean, Gawker, 6/6/14

Against YA
"As The Fault in Our Stars barrels into theaters this weekend virtually guaranteed to become a blockbuster, it can be hard to remember that once upon a time, an adult might have felt embarrassed to be caught reading the novel that inspired it. Not because it is bad—it isn’t—but because it was written for teenagers."-- Ruth Graham, Slate, 6/5/14

*Information in this Weekly Reader post first published on the IRC News & Information Blog. 6/11/14

Weekly Reader: Pinterest

Two Frequently Asked Pinterest Questions
"It’s easy to see why businesses love Pinterest. In addition to being one of the fastest growing social networks, Pinterest allows you to use rich visual content to drive traffic to your website, blog, or other social media properties. This is great news if you’re looking for a new way to reach your audience and promote your business, but also comes with certain challenges." -- Azure Collie, Business2Community, 6/9/14

Pinterest Beta Tests Do-It-Yourself Promoted Pins for Business
"Following the lead of other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is ramping up its marketing features. Back in September 2013, Pinterest announced it was beginning to experiment with sponsored pins. Now the company says it is rolling out a do-it-yourself promoted pin feature in beta too." -- Shawn Hessinger, Small Business Trends, 6/10/14

Pinterest Snags Longtime Apple Alums To Head Up Engineering And Design
"Social pinboarding site Pinterest today announced that it has picked up two notable new hires, both longtime Apple alums, to head up its Engineering and Design departments. All that funding is not going to waste, it seems. Michael Lopp, who was previously a director of engineering at Palantir, will head Engineering; Bob Baxley, the former Director of Design for the Apple Online Store, will become the Head of Product Design and Research." -- Sarah Perez, TechCrunch, 6/10/14

Why Pinterest is Driving Social Engagement (and How You Can Take Advantage
"Pinterest is leading the way for social growth. In a recent Forbes article, tool ShareThis said “Pinners,” or Pinterest users, had more share activity than Facebook or Twitter users in 2013." -- Adam Toren, Entrepreneur, 3/13/14

Friday, June 06, 2014

Weekly Reader

Are You Approachable?
"When I interview the stakeholders on the strengths and gaps of the leaders I work with, it’s not unusual for me to hear that the peers and direct reports may see that leader as “aloof” or unapproachable. The fact that they may be in senior management can compound the issue, as there is always that hierarchical block that may keep employees away." -- Mary Jo Asmus, Smart Blog on Leadership, 6/4/14

The Everything Library
"I’ve had a couple of my buttons pushed recently. (Yes, it is known to happen. I am practically an accordion. Press my buttons and watch me swell with indignation and make noise.) One was a discussion on a library Listserv that I haven’t been participating in regularly, so I missed much of the texture of the conversation but couldn’t resist chiming in."-- Barbara Fister, Library Babel Fish, 6/3/14

Mr. Tiger Love at Last
"Readers of Calling Caldecott — and all my students — will understand my joy at hearing the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards announced Saturday. FINALLY some award love for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild! You can read the press release and reviews of the winning books here. We’ll put up photos from the announcement soon and you can read the tweets here." -- Lolly Robinson, Lolly's Classroom, 6/2/14

Is All this Student Data Changing the Way Teacher's Teach
"With so much access to student data these days, teachers are experimenting with different tactics, and figuring out what’s working and what’s not. As with most scenarios using education technology, it’s a mixed bag. But questions of privacy aside, how it’s used depends on a variety of factors in each school and in each teacher’s classroom. Some teachers are embracing student data to inform their teaching, while others believe there’s a risk of an over-reliance on hard numbers that doesn’t take into account the human factor." -- Francesca Segrè, MindShift, 6/2/14

Open Thread Wednesday: Twitter Tools for Summer
"It’s no secret that many of us at ProfHacker are big fans of Twitter, using it for everything from conferences to classes to bot-making to, yes, posting pictures of our cats. Several ProfHackers have shared their favorite tools and hacks for working with Twitter: Natalie gathered several of them in her recent retrospective post." -- Anastasia Salter, ProfHacker, 5/28/14

What Did You Eat for Breakfast?
"What you eat for breakfast may not merit space on your C.V, but a new website called Academic Breakfast is based on the idea that how professors start their days matters. The website invites academics to post a photograph of their breakfast, and to answer six quick questions: where they live, their institution, their job, their research in five words, their breakfast in five words, and their food philosophy in 10 words." -- Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed News, 6/2/14

Monday, June 02, 2014

ALAO 2014: Call for Proposals Extended

The submission deadline for full-length sessions
has been extended to June 9, 2014.

The Academic Library Association of Ohio (ALAO) Conference Planning Committee invites you to submit proposals for the 40th Annual Conference, which will take place on November 13-14, 2014 at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center in Sandusky, OH.

Presentations may take the form of contributed papers, demonstrations, workshops, research results, panel discussions, etc. Applicants are encouraged to develop sessions that show thoughtful consideration of this year’s conference theme, “Engagement, advocacy and outreach: Empowering our communities,” which seeks to explore how academic libraries and librarians empower our communities in all the ways that we do. We would love to learn about your ideas, experiences, solutions, and best practices – even those that yielded results that were different than expected!

Submit your proposal online @

Presenter grants ALAO encourages library support staff and library student growth, career development, and participation in conference activities, and awards two presenter grants, one for support staff and the other for students. These grants (up to $150 each) are intended to assist with the costs incurred in preparing the presentation and modest travel costs associated with the presentation. Visit the conference web site for additional information.

Please note that only presenters of full-length sessions and posters selected for inclusion in the conference will be eligible for final consideration for the grant.

*posted to ALAO List 5/30/14