Library Notes

Lauren Moore's library portfolio

1 note

Blogging for Everyone

Here’s a link to the outline for my workshop “Blogging for Everyone.” A patron, who is also an experienced blogger, helped out with the class and contributed some valuable insights.

The challenge of presenting technology classes at a public library is that I never know who to expect. This class worked well because all the attendees, technology newbies and enthusiasts alike, were curious and engaged. 

4 notes

Kindle Picks on Libraries, This Librarian Picks Back

vclib:

Early today, Amazon announced an “exclusive license with Pottermore” to make it possible for Kindle users to read all seven Harry Potter Books through “The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”  The press release, which you can read by clicking the link above, frustratingly misrepresents its “Lending Library” while negatively portraying the eBook lending model used by actual lending libraries.

Amazon, if you’re going to pick on libraries, you should as least play fair. Here’s my answer to Amazon’s press release.

Amazon: “We’ve purchased an exclusive license from Pottermore to make this possible.”

LM: I’m sure it is legally true that Amazon has “an exclusive license” to the Harry Potter books, but the spirit of the statement is misleading.  All seven Harry Potter books are already available for libraries to loan to their patrons through OverDrive, libraries’ digital book catalog.

Amazon: “The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library now features over 145,000 books to borrow for free… “

This Amazon service is not free.  It requires an Amazon Prime account, which costs $79 per year.

Amazon: “…including over 100 current and former New York Times best sellers.”

LM: 100 current and former NYT best sellers really isn’t that many! Our library’s OverDrive collection includes current and former best sellers, too.

Amazon: “The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library has an unusual feature people love- unlimited supply of even the most popular titles.”

LM: Although users will not have to wait to access the titles included in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, supply is, in fact, limited. Participants in the Amazon program can only borrow one book per month, from a limited offering of books.

Amazon: With traditional library lending, the library buys a certain number of e-book copies of a particular title.  If all those are checked out, you have to get on a waiting list.  For popular titles like Harry Potter, the wait can sometimes be months.”

LM: Yes, waiting for high-demand items is one of the drawbacks of using a public library. But ultimately, this sharing of resources is what makes public libraries work! A community pools its resources to create a collection for everyone to share.  It’s a simple, elegant, beautiful model, really.

And oh, there is currently no wait to borrow a copy of Harry Potter through the Valley Cottage Library’s OverDrive collection. We buy several copies of very popular titles like Fifty Shades of Grey, so the wait is rarely (never, probably) months.

Amazon: “With the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, there are no due dates, you can borrow as frequently as once a month, and there are no limits on how many people can simultaneously borrow the same item…”

LM: “You can borrow as frequently as once a month.” Really?  One book a month wouldn’t even come close to satisfying many of our readers.

Amazon’s “Lending Library” seems like a nice perk for Amazon prime members.  Once a month, folks get the opportunity to pick a book from their collection and read it.  But for “library people,” people who love and count on the library’s shared resources, it’s not an alternative to borrowing books from the library. It’s maybe a supplement to library e-borrowing. It’s definitely not a solution to the eBook lending problem. 

By charging libraries exorbitant prices for eBooks and by simply not making eBooks available for libraries to purchase, publishers are making it very difficult for libraries to make eBooks available to our patrons.  We want to buy more eBooks (we want to buy lots of eBooks, actually), but publishers won’t let us.  It’s crazy and it feels unfair. 

This morning’s press release feels like an attempt by Amazon to kick libraries while they’re down. But the truth, Amazon, is that you’re not really competing with public libraries because your lending model isn’t for “library people.” People who consume lots of books and believe in the value of a library’s shared resources will continue to go to libraries for their books, in print and digital formats.  And btw, library people are smart people, so you won’t be fooling any of them with your silly press release.

-Lauren Moore

B

0 notes

Senior Tech Seminar

I was recruited by Senator Carlucci’s office to teach this Senior Tech Seminar.  I’m curious to see who turns out for the event.  It will be a great opportunity to let Rockland residents know about the resources available at local libraries.

2 notes

I’ve been tasked with advertising Freegal, a service that allows our patrons to download music from the Sony catalog.  When I came up with this simple but effective trick (I’ve integrated a batch of Freegal advertisements into our CD browsers), I couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of it earlier.

I’ve been tasked with advertising Freegal, a service that allows our patrons to download music from the Sony catalog.  When I came up with this simple but effective trick (I’ve integrated a batch of Freegal advertisements into our CD browsers), I couldn’t believe we hadn’t thought of it earlier.

Filed under library freegal downloading music promotion

0 notes

Discussion Depot

I’ve launched the Valley Cottage Library Discussion Depot! The Discussion Depot is a collection of book sets and discussion guides for local book groups.  I have a feeling this collection will become very popular once word gets out.

5 notes

Some Like It Hot

vclib:

A guide to erotica and steamy romance at the Valley Cottage Library. 

When does a book cross the line from romance to erotica? Add that the list: “Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School.”

-Lauren Moore

1 note

vclib:

Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D’Agostino.
No Surprise. I loved it!
I recently came across a book reviewer listing surprise as a determining factor in her enjoyment of a book. (I’m acting casual, like I can’t remember that I encountered that idea less than 24 hours ago, in the comments section, here.) I agree with that reviewer that it’s the unexpected that makes a book engaging, memorable, and enjoyable. That might be why I enjoyed The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac so much; it was constantly suprising, on mulitple levels.
I know Kris. He’s in a band with my husband.  He was at my wedding reception. He’s friendly and funny. He’s really smart. He knows a ton about books, movies, and music.  He always has super cute, nice girlfriends, which says something else favorable about him.   That being said, I understand that my entire knowledge of Kris D’Agostino is the the equivalent of like one tiny side of a polyhedral Dungeons & Dragons die and who knows if my impression is even accurate? To me, he’s one of Steve’s guys from Brooklyn who get to stay out late, go to shows, see every movie, and remember every record they’ve ever heard.
It was surprising and compelling to me how far removed Sleep Hollow Family Almanac is from that world.  Sure, Cal, the narrator, is a smart, music-obsessed, film school dropout, but he’s solidly in a place where those interests are worthless cultural capital.His struggles to grow, to find himself, to identify as an adult, are all occurring in a domestic space, amongst his family, which he loves more than anything else. To me, that priority on family seems authentic and a move into adulthood seems impossible without a reconciliation within the context of your family. So why can’t I think of another coming-of-age book that goes there, or rather stays there?  Thanks, Kris, for doing it! It was refreshing, unexpected, and really resonated with me.
Kris does a great job, too, of intertwining the ordinary and the extraordinary and juggling tragic and comic story arcs, so that they bump into each, interrupt one another, become indistinguishable, and diverge suddenly.  All this happens effortlessly and naturally, making the effect on the reader even more powerful and poignant. The ominous line, “We have no idea”, casually slipped in on page 218 is more devasting for its offhandedness. 
-Lauren Moore

vclib:

Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D’Agostino.

No Surprise. I loved it!

I recently came across a book reviewer listing surprise as a determining factor in her enjoyment of a book. (I’m acting casual, like I can’t remember that I encountered that idea less than 24 hours ago, in the comments section, here.) I agree with that reviewer that it’s the unexpected that makes a book engaging, memorable, and enjoyable. That might be why I enjoyed The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac so much; it was constantly suprising, on mulitple levels.

I know Kris. He’s in a band with my husband.  He was at my wedding reception. He’s friendly and funny. He’s really smart. He knows a ton about books, movies, and music.  He always has super cute, nice girlfriends, which says something else favorable about him.   That being said, I understand that my entire knowledge of Kris D’Agostino is the the equivalent of like one tiny side of a polyhedral Dungeons & Dragons die and who knows if my impression is even accurate? To me, he’s one of Steve’s guys from Brooklyn who get to stay out late, go to shows, see every movie, and remember every record they’ve ever heard.

It was surprising and compelling to me how far removed Sleep Hollow Family Almanac is from that world.  Sure, Cal, the narrator, is a smart, music-obsessed, film school dropout, but he’s solidly in a place where those interests are worthless cultural capital.His struggles to grow, to find himself, to identify as an adult, are all occurring in a domestic space, amongst his family, which he loves more than anything else. To me, that priority on family seems authentic and a move into adulthood seems impossible without a reconciliation within the context of your family. So why can’t I think of another coming-of-age book that goes there, or rather stays there?  Thanks, Kris, for doing it! It was refreshing, unexpected, and really resonated with me.

Kris does a great job, too, of intertwining the ordinary and the extraordinary and juggling tragic and comic story arcs, so that they bump into each, interrupt one another, become indistinguishable, and diverge suddenly.  All this happens effortlessly and naturally, making the effect on the reader even more powerful and poignant. The ominous line, “We have no idea”, casually slipped in on page 218 is more devasting for its offhandedness. 

-Lauren Moore