Author Archives: stephanieisyourfriend

An update to our meeting schedule

Lionel Richie Hello

We now meet quarterly from 9:15 – 11 a.m. every 3rd Tuesday of January, April, July and October, in person or by teleconference (when possible).

Our next meeting is January 16th, 2018 at the Burnaby Public Library Bob Prittie Branch (near Metrotown) in the 3rd floor meeting room.

Thank you!

 

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RA Roundup – Food and Booze Edition

Who doesn’t love a booklists that gathers the perfect pairing of a new read and an adult beverage or some bites? Or how about a list of food-centric books that’ll make your mouth water? Check out these fun booklists and share any of your recommendations with us in the comments below.

Vancouver Public Library’s Books and Beers Booklist

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VPL’s Readers’ Advisory team partners with Chester Carey, a cicerone and co-founder of the B.C. Beer Awards, to curate a beer lover’s dream booklist. The list features some amazing craft beers (and the Irish classic Guinness) paired with a range of titles that include fiction and non-fic titles.

Book Riot’s 100 Must-Read Books: Food in Fiction

A list of 100 food-centric novels? Don’t mind if I do! Check out this amazing booklist that gathers a wide range and diverse titles for any reader, including children’s and YA titles. The list is also broken down by different categories: sci fi and fantasy, historical, and contemporary. Also there’s a list of titles where food is used as magic!

Bustle’s 9 Book and Wine Pairings that are Perfect for a Boozy Book Club

Screenshot of a booklist from Bustle.com that pairs 9 book titles with the perfect wine.

A slightly older list from 2015, but it still holds strong with its recommendations! It’s an eclectic list for any reader including some excellent titles such as The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Bookstr’s 10 Perfect Food and Book Pairings

A list of some popular contemporary (soon-to-be classics) titles that include a match made food pairing. Some of the writer’s choices are obvious, whereas others are a little more tongue and cheek such as popcorn for Stephen King’s It.

Stephanie Hong is a library technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Libraries. She often pairs her reading with donuts.

Best Bets 2017

Each year we pick our favourite books that we can’t stop recommending to people. Check out our 2017 list below!

You can also download a BCLA Best Bets 2017 (2).

 

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This book will make you uncomfortable. It certainly made me uncomfortable. It will make you question the world and yourself. The strength of it lies in the author’s refusal to force a view or opinion on the reader. Greenwood simply tells the story in beautiful language and brings the characters to life so vividly they live in your memory long after you close the book. It is up to the reader to pass judgement, to feel and react.

– Submitted by Ariana Galeano, Richmond Public Library 

 

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The eclectic “Amazing Telemachus Family” is made up of three generations of psychics, telekinetics, and con artists who find themselves facing all sorts of problems- from navigating their powers, to mob bosses, to 1990s AOL chat. Weaving together many storylines, the novel is a hilarious and heartwarming look at love and family. I’d recommend it to anyone who liked Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest and also appreciates a healthy dose of weirdness in their books.

-Submitted by Lindsay Russell, Port Moody Public Library

 

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Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett

Reminiscent of Where’d You Go Bernadette, this story is written in the voice of 12 year old Elvis Babbitt as she grieves the loss of her mother.  It is a poignant story that is simultaneously achingly sad and utterly hilarious. Highly recommended.

– Submitted by Pat Cumming, West Vancouver Memorial Library

 

 

 

19161852The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

A fantasy novel leagues ahead of others, The Fifth Season is set on a continent under the constant threat of apocalypse via natural disaster. Some people in this world, including the main character, have the gift or curse—depending on how you look at it—of being able to move and control the forces beneath the earth’s surface; in other words, they can stop or cause natural disasters. The world-building is amazingly inventive and complex, the cast is full of complex, fascinating characters (human and sort-of- human), and the plotting is deftly crafted, with a few brilliant twists.

– Submitted by Casey Stepaniuk, UBC SLAIS Student

 

27245980The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

How much is your happiness worth? In this slim novel, Swedish author Karlsson imagines an initiative that calculates the “Experienced Happiness” (E.H.) of each person in the world. Those who have experienced greater than average happiness must pay into a fund which will be redistributed to those who have experienced less happiness. Our protagonist has been assessed with a massive E.H. bill, which vastly exceeds his earnings as a part-time video store employee. This modern parable is gently satirical and thought-provoking.

– Submitted by Tara Matsuzaki, West Vancouver Memorial Library 

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The Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King

While these do each stand on their own, the three of them pack a powerful punch.  King puts his hand to hardboiled detective fiction style with some nice twists that look back at his previous work in horror.  Strong, unique characters and chilling climaxes in all three novels make for a ‘don’t put it down’ kind of read.  Great to have a title that has multiple hooks for our varied library users!

 – Submitted by Thomas Quigley, Retired Librarian in Vancouver

 

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The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing approaches the topic of loneliness in one part memoir and one part art history lesson in these beautifully poignant essays that explore the subject through artists and the city of New York. A thoughtful and relevant work that allows one to examine what it really means to be lonely in an urban landscape and how it’s changed through society and technology in an ever increasing connected world.

-Submitted by Stephanie Hong, Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library

 

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The Heaviness of Things That Float by Jennifer Manuel

Bernadette has spent 40 years as a nurse living on the West Coast of Vancouver Island on the periphery of a remote First Nations reserve. As she faces her retirement and imminent move from the community, she is forced to explore her relationships with the people and place she has grown to deeply love.

 – Submitted by Kristy Hennings, Okanagan Regional Library 

 

25694617His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet

With an unreliable narrator, an intricate structure, and a remote and bleak Scottish highland setting, it’s not surprising that this book was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker. Set in 1869 this novel tells the story of Roderick Macrae who provides the reader with a memoir written while in jail, and plenty of insight into the brutal living conditions that Scottish crofters faced. Was he guilty or insane?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

 Submitted by Shelley Wilson-Roberts, New Westminster Public Library 

 

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On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor

Moor takes a question with what seems like an obvious answer “Where do trails come from?” in the middle of walking the Appalachian trail and brings the reader along with him for a fascinating exploration of history and humanity. A delightful, immersive reading experience and not to be missed.

 – Submitted by Meghan Whyte, Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library 

 

 

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Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran

Politics, feminism, family, and pop culture are examined by Gen X’s columnists Caitlin Moran in Mornanifesto. This book will make you laugh out loud, ponder important issues, and maybe even shock you once or twice. If fiction and non-fiction worlds could merge, Caitlin Moran would be Bridget Jones’ funniest and smartest friend.

-Submitted by Cathy Mount, West Vancouver Memorial Library

 

 

29780253Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Comedian Trevor Noah was born to a black mother and white father in South Africa in 1984, when it was against the law for a mixed-racial couple to have a child together. In his biography, Noah describes growing up in apartheid South Africa, being raised by his strong-willed and resilient mother. His tales are often humorous and the reader gets a glimpse of a child growing up in a very different cultural environment. What is truly unforgettable are the harrowing stories Noah tells about living with the restrictions of apartheid.

– Submitted by Lori Nick, Fraser Valley Regional Library

 

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The Unbroken Machine: Canada`s Democracy in Action by Dale Smith
Dale Smith, a freelance journalist in the the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery, has done us all a tremendous favour with this 100-page primer on Canadian parliamentary democracy. His mastery of the material makes the book engagingly limpid, while the punchy argumentative style will help novices immediately appreciate the principles behind the various parts of our political system (even if they ultimately come to view some issues differently than Smith.) To achieve true accountability, democracy–which encompasses much more than elections–requires a broadly distributed command of the basics of civic literacy.  “The Unbroken Machine” brilliantly deploys the book format to support citizens in performing this function.

-Submitted by Joseph Haigh, New Westminster Public Library

 

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Bad Ideas by Michael Smith

Poetry can seem intimidating, especially if you were scarred by it in english class in high school. But Michael V. Smith’s latest collection of poems, “Bad Ideas” (2017) is very accessible and richly rewarding: reading his poems feels like watching a beautiful rainbow, his words wash over you in waves of colourful emotions – joy, sadness, grief, and humour. His poetry is not weighed down by oblique references or excess verbiage: he speaks plainly and from his personal experience dealing with family trauma, lost loved ones and long-distance friends. Bad Ideas is a great introduction to poetry in the 21st century.

-Submitted by Andrea Davidson, Surrey Libraries

 

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Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First NationsMétis, & Inuit Issues in Canada by Chelsea Vowel

 

A clear, precise, and unflinching series of essays on the diversity of indigenous issues in Canada, from blood quantum to two-spirit to the Sixties Scoop. Chelsea Vowel, a blogger, lawyer, and educator, writes with a sharp, informative, and entertaining voice. Challenge yourself to pick up this accessible and absorbing book.

-Submitted by Chloe Riley, Simon Fraser University and Vancouver Public Library

RA Roundup

Library Journal: Growing Readership Through Diversity ALA Panel

An insightful summary from the “Growing Readership Through Diversity” ALA panel from this year’s conference. The article discusses the important role that library staff have in terms of increasing visibility in books and authors by introducing their patrons to diverse readers.

Vancouver Public Library: Newly Added Literary Landmarks

VPL recently added new plaques for the Literary Landmarks Initiative for the following authors and creators:  Ivan Coyote, David Suzuki, bill bissett, and Madeleine Thien. If you’re not familiar with the initiative check out the website for the interactive map, information on the authors and their contributions to their neighbourhoods, as well as a list of their works.

Toronto Public Library: Toronto in Literature – Neighbourhood Booklists

Here’s another example of how public libraries are incorporating local fiction maps into their RA. Check out Toronto Public Library’s Neighbhourhood Booklists that feature a breakdown of the various neighbourhoods and how they’ve been captured in literature. The list includes a variety of formats from novels, graphic novels, short stories, and memoirs.

Book Riot: Indulgent Fiction and Food Pairings

Celine Low over at Book Riot has compiled fantastic list of fiction and food pairings (some even include a “pairs poorly with” offerings). The titles range from George R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones to Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians.

 

RA Roundup

Here are some cool RA-related things happening in libraries and other book-ish related topics. If you’d like to contribute anything your library is doing or something you stumble upon, send an email to raig.active[at]gmail.com or leave a comment.  Happy reading!

Adult Summer Reading Challenges in the Lower Mainland

Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Walk on the Wide Side Summer Adult Reading Club

FVRL’s Summer Adult Reading Club kicked off earlier this week by encouraging a reading challenge similar to the annual children’s one. Patrons can pick up their reading record at their local branch and start their summer reading with a chance to win fantastic prizes!

North Vancouver District Public Library’s Adult and Teen Summer Reading Club

NVDPL wants its patrons to Read Across Canada this summer in honour of celebrating Canada’s 150. Patrons can pick up a BINGO card at any of the branches and start reading across Canada. Once a BINGO line is complete, patrons can enter their cards to win prizes.

Teens have a chance to read across North Vancouver by completing various challenges and a chance to win amazing prizes. Check out the beautiful hand drawn map here.

Port Moody Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Club

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Taking a note from the kids’ Summer Reading Club, Port Moody is also getting its adult readers to take a walk on the wild side through a “wild” themed BINGO card challenge. Readers have summer to fill up their cards and be able to win fantastic prizes. Patrons are also encouraged to share their reads throughout the summer with #wildreads on the library’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Lastly, the library is also trying to boost its sign ups for both the children’s and adult SRCs by holding an epic water balloon fight on Saturday, July 8th, 2017.

Richmond Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Challenge

Richmond PL is holding its Adult Summer Reading Challenge (from June 7-August 31) by encouraging its users to complete a BINGO card with a variety of reading prompts/recommendations. Once a BINGO card is completed, patrons have a chance to enter win an eReader and other great prizes.

Vancouver Public Library’s National Aboriginal Day Reading Circle Booklist

In honour of its National Aboriginal Day Reading Circle event on June 17, 2018, VPL curated a specialized booklist along with Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence Jules Koostachin. The list features a wealth of compelling titles by a variety of Aboriginal writers including Maria Campbell, Tracey Lindberg, Lee Maracle, Eden Robinson, and more.

Toronto Public Library’s Monthly Readalikes Booklists

Every month the Toronto Public Library creates a readalikes booklist for books/movies with buzz or genres. For instance, in the month of June, the library created a booklist for Shara Lapena’s The Couple Next Door

San Francisco Public Library’s Pride 2017 Book Recommendations

Need books and ideas to help building Pride displays for your library? Check out SFPL’s Pride 2017 booklist for LGBTQ fiction titles published in the last year.

BookRiot’s List of Upcoming Inclusive Mystery Titles

While the mystery genre tends to be dominated by white, male authors, Jamie Canaves at BookRiot compiled a phenomenal list of some upcoming mystery titles by a diverse set of authors who write inclusive characters and themes. As always, we need diverse books.

 


Stephanie Hong is an auxiliary Library Technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library

RA Roundup

Here are some cool RA-related things happening in libraries and other book-ish related topics. If you’d like to contribute anything your library is doing or something you stumble upon, send an email to raig.active[at]gmail.com or leave a comment.  Happy reading!

Surrey Libraries Celebrates Canada 150 

Surrey Libraries is hosting its first ever adult summer book club in the form of a BINGO challenge for all things Canadian. Patrons can pick up their BINGO cards at their local branch or print one off directly through the website. Lucky winners have the chance to win an iPad for their participation.

In addition to this, staff helped create a book list with 150 Canadian reads and patrons can also submit their favourite reads for prizes as well.

New York Public Library’s Subway Library

NYPL launched its Subway Library to NYC commuters by offering free wifi to connect to an eBook library. A 10-car train was designed to resemble the Rose Main Reading Room and will travel along the E and L lines in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The Subway Library also provides commuting patrons an opportunity to interact with NYPL’s Twitter and Instagram feeds through photo contests and sharing the hashtag #subwaylibrary.

NPR’s Beach Reads You Need: Four Sandy Summer Romances (submitted by Andrea Davidson)

Need help recommending some romance novels? Look no further than these four recommended titles by romance author Maya Rodale for NPR.

Goodreads: 24 Upcoming Books Librarians, Editors, and Booksellers Think You’ll Love (submitted by Veronica Griffin @ Surrey Libraries)

A list of 24 upcoming titles for this year that garnered buzz at Book Expo America.

 

Stephanie Hong, auxiliary Library Technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library 

How to RA on Instagram

I will be the first person to admit that I am a sucker for a well photographed “readers’ scene” on Instagram. You know that perfectly orchestrated cozy shot of a book next to a succulent or a mug of tea. It’s all about the aesthetic, and frankly for me, the more minimalist the better. And more often than not, I’ll give the photo a “like” and maybe save the image for future reference. (Can we take a minute to appreciate the save/bookmark feature on IG?!) To be honest, this is how I get most of my personal readers’ advisory done – Instagram. It certainly helps when someone comes in and asks “I’m looking for a book, it’s cover is green with a girl on it”.

So let’s talk about Instagram and how libraries are using it, but more importantly how it’s being used for readers’ advisory. Based off my extensive research aka. scrolling through my IG feed, most libraries use their accounts to promote their programs and services. And why not? It’s a great promotional tool and it’s a way to show your programs in action. But in terms of RA methods, various reading campaigns, such as Book Face Fridays (read this nice little piece in the New York Times), are popular ways to attract readers. Furthermore, campaigns provide consistency with a library’s IG content through its context, aesthetic, and schedule. A great example for consistent content is NYPL where almost every day basically has a scheduled theme.

In January, Surrey Libraries launched the #ReadersUnite campaign where staff members shared their current reads and encouraged patrons to also share their titles under the same hashtag. Another great example is when readers, libraries, publishers, and bookstores gathered together for Freedom to Read Week. Campaigns not only create participation amongst staff and patrons, but also connections to wider communities for larger causes.

 

But, one thing I’ve noticed that isn’t been as frequently used is the Instagram Stories function. While I will admit that I was initially skeptical of Snapchat’s copycat cousin, it has grown on me and frankly I think it’s better in terms of “business”. For one, your audience is already there, no need for a separate account. Two: it can reach a wider audience. Three: it has a hands free option! Four: it’s 15 seconds instead of 10! Currently, a few libraries including Surrey Libraries has been using IG Stories to provide branch tours or to show off some programs. But, why not use this opportunity to have staff members create quick little book chats/slams on their current favourite titles? Or reach out to your patrons and audience by maybe asking for recommendations. For example, if you’re setting up a display, ask them to send in their favourite titles. Let’s remember that RA can work both ways. If your library has a RA service like a book blog or a readers’ advisory request form, show it off using IG stories. Perhaps you have patrons who may not know of these services, so a quick live demo might attract some new users. 

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A sample of a saved IG story pic on the BCLA RAIG account

When you’re finally ready to post a story, use all the fun options such as filters, doodles, text, geotags (great for promoting branches!), stickers, and emojis. Also remember that stories are quick and take minimal time crafting, so no need to worry about creating that “perfect” IG photo. Make it fun and do you!

This week, we’ve been testing out some BCLA RAIG Book Chats on our IG account and hopefully it’s something we can continue. So check them out!

I hope that this post had some helpful tips on using Instagram for readers’ advisory. Try creating an IG story and chat about your latest reads. Share what’s been working for you and your library. 

Stephanie Hong, Casual Library Technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library