Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Media Trends for 2011, Part 1

Armano admits he is not always accurate.  Who could be when predicting the future?  Interesting ideas here. 

It's The Integration Economy, Stupid
Companies will go even farther in their use of social media to promote their brands.

Tablet & Mobile Wars Create Ubiquitous Social Computing
24/7, real-time
There could be a real fistfight out there as tablet computing and mobile innovations hit the market

Facebook Interrupts Location-Based Networking.
Facebook has the data, they have the consumers, they could force geolocation services like Foursquare into the background

Average Participants Experience Social Media Schizophrenia.
Keeping track of all of one's social media personas may drive average users to distraction.  Addiction may break out

Google Doesn't Beat Them, They Join Them
Google's attempts to become a social place haven't served them well.  What they do very well is indexing.  Apply that to social data and you've got real power for research

Social Functionality Makes Websites Fashionable Again
Existing websites add social capabilities to their sites

Six Social Media Trends for 2011 from Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog

Top Tens 2010, Part 2: The Most Contagious

Forgive me, Contagious.  I have cited you below but I have also sometimes cut and pasted.  I do encourage my reader to follow the link at the bottom of the post.  Consumer trends create innovation.  And there are some great innovations out there.  How can you innovate using these trends?

Remember, innovation is not only technology.  Sometimes simple training is enough.

Movements: Twisting the news, organizing the web
  • Newsjacking
  • Members of the Twitter community take on assumed identities in order to pass comment on current affairs.
  • The Web of Intent - apps that allow the user to customize their experience
  • It Gets Better - people working in all social media to create messages that offer hope
  • Soft paternalism - replacing the stick with the carrot in order to skew the decisions of the populace towards a favourable outcome.

Real-time Less 360, More 365
  • If you like something and it's not available, twitter the company and they'll send out more asap
  • Talk to the Old Spice Man real-time on twitter

Viral:  Sites Worth Sharing

  • TV No longer just the box in the corner
  • Connected TV - "Imagine this – you're on the couch at midnight catching up with True Blood through an HBO app, simultaneously checking baseball scores through an onscreen MLB widget. You dive into two-screen mode to tweet a comment on the show's cliffhanger ending, then download the series for a friend via Amazon. You turn the TV off with your smartphone and go to bed. Pretty smart, right?"
  • Interactive TV

('scuse the formatting problem)

"If connected TV is content you want, when you want it, interactive TV describes the ways in which broadcasters, software developers and content providers are seeking to retain viewers beyond the half-hour broadcast slot, sharing content and buzz with peers through apps and check-ins to shows"

Experience: Connecting the online with the offline
  • Yes, people really do leave their computers and meet up with others

Stories: Narrative, transmedia and a thumping great yarn
  • In other words, brands that best tell their stories using multiple formats get a great ROI

Demos: Just tell us what it does
  • Video, please!

Devices: More than just mobile
  • "Think of it this way – how many times did you hear friends or colleagues declare allegiance to specific devices, with their own proprietary formats, this year? "

Projects not Campaigns: Do something useful for a change
  • Brands partner with non-profit organizations to improve their image - and benefit the non-profit. 

Facebook:  World domination, one Like at a time
  • 2009 was the year twitter took over the world
  • 2010:  Facebook

Top Tens 2010, Part 1: Social and Searching

Some of these are counted by number of views, some by keyword, and some by "fastest rising" (aka:  trending) and you can be pretty sure each source has its own unique algorhythm

Youtube Top 10
#1: Bed Intruder Song

#2: Tik Tok Kesha Parody
#3: Greyson Chance ‘Paparazzi’
#4: Annoying Orange Wazzup
#5: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like (Old Spice)
6: Giant Double Rainbow
#7: This Too Shall Pass OK Go
#8: The Twilight Saga Eclipse Trailer
#9: Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
#10: Gymkhana Three, Part 2

1. Gulf Oil Spill

2. FIFA World Cup
3. Inception
4. Haiti Earthquake
5. Vuvuzela
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul


justin bieber
nicki minaj
katy perry

BP Oil Spill

World Cup
Miley Cyrus
Kim Kardashian
Lady Gaga
Megan Fox
Justin Bieber
American Idol
Britney Spears

YouTube 2010  from Stephen's Lighthouse

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

E-Readers and the People Who Use Them

Lots of end-of-the-year buying advice and a little bit about the e-book market

BSIG has discovered that heavy readers tend to be dedicated e-readers also.  This is even affecting paperback sales. 

The The New York Times finally caught on to the fact that e-books and romance readers are a match made in heaven.  Romance sales are the fastest growing segment of the e-book market.  When  “Maybe This Time,” by Jennifer Crusie hit the market, Amazon sold as many e-books of the title as they did hardback

Even with the bad press about iPad as an e-reader, surveys are showing that it may outsell Kindle this year.  It will be interesting to check after the holidays and see if this is true. On the other hand, I suspect that iPad buyers are wanting a dual-use device.  Ereading is only one of the things the iPad does

Oh snap!  The New York Times estimates 1.3 million e-readers will be sold over the holidays.  I tend to agree with those who say the dedicated e-reader may only be an interim device but WOW what an impact!

And get this:  eBooks Ready To Climb Past $1 Billion sold.  Is this moving faster than MacDonald's hamburgers in the early years?

The Association of American Publishers reports that e-books amount to 9% of  trade book sales.  This is a 112% increase over last year

Tim Carmody at's Gadget lab says:  "Nook Color is the only “reader’s tablet,” straddling dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and multipurpose tablets like the iPad. I was expecting tradeoffs. I wasn’t expecting its advantages." 

Sarah, at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, has noted that the iPad (10") was difficult to use as a daily commute reader because of its size and heft.  Carmody has found the 7" NookColor to be much easier to handle than an iPad.  He also noted that the keyboard is the easiest to use of any software keyboard he has used. 

Books are easy to buy from Barnes & Noble.  Even better for libraries, the device is compatible with Overdrive.  If you want to read a magazine, you can get full color, including ads or read only in article mode.

Lots of evaluations and suggestions for e-reader purchases out there.  It is expected that Kindle will remain the most popular for quite some time to come.  I can't help but wonder if we are promoting our e-collections enough.  If we did, and somehow noted tactfully that Kindle can't be used with Overdrive, if the Kindle would remain on top? 

Recommended ereaders: 
The Digital Reader:
For the book-buying public: Kindle
If the reader wants to be able to use library e-books as well as purchase books:  Nook or Sony Reader Daily Edition PRS-950 are recommended.

For Kids:  NookColor
For Adults:  Kindle 3 or Sony Daily Edition

Both sources clearly do not recommend:
Nook - software still has kinks, Kindle is cheaper
Kobo - if you only want wifi, it's good.  Teleread expects the Kobo to improve, so keep your eyes out
Sony - Anything other than the Sony Reader Daily Edition
iPad - heavy, limited battery life, and hard to use outside.  The bookstore is also limited

 eReader holiday guide
The New York Times estimates that over 1.3 million ereaders will be sold over the holidays. Are you ready? Do your patrons know which ones are compatible with your service
Holiday Gift Guide To eReaders – eBookNewser
NOOKcolor: Hands-On Review and Thoughts for the Future
Dedicated ereaders the choice of heavy readers, says BSIG study
“Which ereader device should I buy?”
Survey shows Apple iPad will soon be bigger than Kindle for ebook reading

eBook Sales at 9% of Trade Book Sales from No Shelf Required

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big Changes Afoot!

My posts will be even more sporadic than usual for a while.  But I wouldn't want to deny anybody of the awesome thrill of perusing items I have shared via Google Reader.

The items will remain on the right side of the blog, but now you can easily subscribe to my shared items and receive them all in your own reader! 

Here's how:

My public feed URL is

Just cut and paste that puppy into your own google reader and you'll soon enjoy the full richness of my comments on various items I share.

Or just bookmark it.  Your call

But don't remove Libraryland Roundup from your readers!  While sporadic, I will be back to summarize and opinionize as I can.

Total WINNAGE my dear reader!  Act now!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Who is Using Social Media and Watching TV?

If you are watching Fox News while reading a newspaper and like procedural dramas, Dancing With the Stars, The Good Wife, and NCIS, you're probably between the ages of 55 and 63. 

If you're watching Fox's animated comedy block, Glee, and NBC's Thursday comedy block, you're probably between the ages of 30 and 40

Apparently, if you are between 41 and 54 or under 30 you're not watching anything?  Or are you watching everything?  No explanation was given.

Oh Those Kids!
Social media apparently has no influence on academic performance.  No information on whether it affects work performance.

Social Media
  • Web users spend 22% of their time engaged with social media
  • Three quarters of Internet users worldwide visit a social network or blog when they go online — that’s a 24% increase over last year.

Who's Using All That Social Media? Women and the Young
Social media is still more popular with the young than other groups
  • Women are bigger users than men (30% more time than men)
  • North American women lead the pack – 90.3% of them visited a social networking site in April 2010, followed by online women in Latin America (83.6%) and Europe (83.4%)
  • Social networking sites now capture the greatest share of all women’s total time and attention online (16.3%)
  • 45+ female segment is driving the greatest proportion of growth for the social networking category in both visits and time spent

What's Up With Senior Citizens?
  • Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010 - and they really, really like it
  • During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%--from 13% to 26%.
  • “Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”
Senior citizens still make up a small number of social network users - but they are mighty


The AARP and Facebook via Stephen's Lighthouse by admin on 6/15/10

Women Dominant on Social Networks

Friday, October 15, 2010

Genre Talk and Reader's Advisory

New RA site for sequels and more
You do have to sign up for this, so I'm not sure how useful it will be on desk

Gene Hackman writes a western

Why Steampunk Is An Important Trend
We've been saying this for a little while now.  My nephew reports that it is very popular among his fellow engineers at Iowa State.  In fact, after finding a nixie tube in the basement of the engineering building, he is considering making a steampunk clock. 

Some quotes:
The idea is essentially a fixation with Victorian technology. A romantic mix of steam, metal, gears and mechanical engineering. But it’s not what it is but what it represents that fascinates me.

The reason that Steampunk is interesting is that it is highly relevant to our times. It is a response to the realities of modern life, especially the fact that parts of our lives are out of control. (scroll down this page and you will see a trend toward finding ways to relax.) It is a counter-trend to the fact that life, especially in developed nations, is atomised, fast-paced, over-loaded with information, choice and needless innovation.

Steampunk is to consumer electronics what Punk music was to Disco music. It makes the hidden visible. You can play with it, fool around with it, subvert it, hack it and touch it. Most of all anyone can do it.

That’s what I think is missing nowadays. We want to understand how things work but most of all we want to touch things and use our hands as well as our brains.

The best analogy I can think of is old cars vs. new cars.  Used to be you could go in and fix problems by yourself - it was mechanical.  Today with the electronics, only the brave dare do it themselves!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Awards and Lists

As we get closer to the end of the year and early next year expect to see more awards and lists.

Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature

Romance Writers of America RITA Awards
Each year the RWA gives out the Golden Heart award to the best books published in a specific category. 
It's a very long list!  Here are some examples of the multitude of diverse sub-genres that are given awards:

Best Young Adult Manuscript
Best Inspirational Romance
Best Contemporary Series Romance Suspense/Adventure
Best Paranormal Romance

2010 Hugo Award Winners
Congratulations to:
Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City, China MiƩville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK); The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)

Here again we see a diverse and abundant list of sub-genres.  Some examples:
Best Graphic Story
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Best Professional Artist

The votes are in for NPR’s Killer Thrillers; the top ten are:

1. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
3. Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson
4. The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum
5. In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
6. The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
7. The Shining, by Stephen King
8. And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
9. The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Literary Fiction
Here is the Daily Beast’s 10 Best list
Readersadvisoronline's 10 Best List for Fall

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Genre Talk

10 Greatest Works of Christian Fiction
10.  Wrinkle in time by Madeleine L'Engle
 9.  Piers Plowman  William Langland
 8.  Canterbury Tales  Geoffrey Chaucer
 7.  Psychomachia  Aurelius Predentius Clemens
 6.  Lion the witch and the wardrobe  C.S. Lewis
 5.  Christmas Carol  Charles Dickens
 4.  Pilgrim's Progress  John bunyan
 3.  Faerie Queene  Edmund Spenser
 2.  Paradise Lost  John Milton
 1.  Divina Commedia  Dante Alighieri

Young Adult and Children's books continue to be popular:
No need to be embarrassed about reading kids’ books…they’re great according to the NY Times

Are Vikings the new vampires?
Despite rampant speculation that Zombies are the new Vampires, this author maintains that Vikings are the new Vampires.  Odd, since the Vikings themselves are not paranormal creatures, but there you are.

Collection Development: Not Ready For Boot Hill
Western literature is not dead yet!  Feeling much better now, thank you!

From Library Journal:  The genre emphasizes  physical setting—the American West (usually anywhere west of the Mississippi River) and in particular the frontier territories of the 19th century. The popular conception of the genre is that of a thriller–cum–romance novel featuring gunslingers with plenty of bullets flying, published chiefly in paperback, and emphasizing reprints from the great pulp writers like Max Brand and Louis L'Amour.

However, the Western Writers of America (WWA), founded in 1953 to promote the genre, also recognizes nonfiction, poetry, journalism, screenwriting, and modern Westerns as subdivisions of Western writing. Its highest awards are reserved for works that qualify as literature by any standard.
Why should libraries continue to collect what some consider to be a dying genre? Although the popularity of traditional Westerns, primarily stories of strong people (usually men) in a savage land, is declining as their longstanding reader base dwindles, there is still life in the old genre. Many contemporary writers use the trappings of the Western as historical fiction to tackle social issues like the injustices done to the American Indian or the nature of vigilantism. Other authors write cross-genre novels that mix the Western with romance, mystery, sf, or Christian fiction to appeal to a broader range of readers

Tech Trends

As much as we talk about the 2010 takeover by mobile, we must bear in mind that it is in its infancy. Much like the early home computers, users are not yet using the mobile devices to their full potential. A recent survey of mobile users found that the top uses of the device were (most to least)

Social networking

Other than Navigation and Search, this is not much different from how we have been using computers for some years now.

And yet you can use mobile to watch television, watch movies, use many productivity tools, for your personal banking and finance, and shopping, shopping, shopping. All of these tools are out there but not yet in high use. As today's kids, the digital natives, mature enough to be entrusted with their own mobile devices, expect some of the less-popular things come into greater use.

TechCrunch has a nice summary of a presentation by Ron Conway about big tech trends.  What I have noticed is that many of these trends are about collecting, using, and disseminating collective wisdom about the places, people, and things around us.

Examples:  Twitter and Facebook. 
People are worrying less about privacy online while wanting financial and other information secure.  Users are sharing more each quarter.  People want to connect.  It also, for better or worse, one of the trends that allows for the creation of "collective wisdom" about any topic.

Real Time -
Examples:  Twitter, Foursquare
Collective wisdom is spread right away.  You can also find out right away just which Starbucks in a one block radius your friends are actually located. 

Location Based Services - Examples:  Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp.
Using these services a person can use their gps-enabled mobile phone to find out what other businesses are nearby.  You can do a "checkin" to tell your pals where you are and make a mini review. 

This is another trend that spreads "collective wisdom."  If you see a lot of people who have checked in at the closest restaurant and left poor reviews, while you see people who have checked in at another neighborhood restaurant have given it great reviews, you use that collective wisdom and most likely are not going to the closest restaurant.

2010 was predicted and has become the year of mobile.  Mobile devices go with  you to give you the information you want right at that moment.  Mobile lets you get realtime information using location-based services and social networking.  It lets you socially share information, location-based or not, realtime. If other trends are about gathering collective wisdom, mobile is about accessing and disseminating it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Humorous, the Epic, and the Awesome

There may be something to the theory that they will be part of the next genre-bending type of novel!

Jesse Petersen has a quiz up: How Long Would Your Relationship Survive in the Zombie Apocalypse?

Even Libraries are now taking precautions against Zombies

(picture description:  Sign showing an anonymous library's summer hours.  They are closed on saturdays and sundays for the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!)

Forget Overdue Fines!via Oddly Specific - Funny Signs by Cheezburger Network on 7/24/10

The Librarian's Guide to Etiquette is, as always, the definitive resource for ways to handle any awkward situation that you might encounter at the library.

Librarians should routinely participate in team-building games with their library colleagues to increase morale around the workplace. Some suggestions:
  • Play "Pin the Security Tape on the Hateful Patron"
  • Give one another "Date Due"-stamp tattoos
  • Do "trust falls" from the Circulation Desk
  • Host a book truck demolition derby
  • Play Dodge-Book (i.e., throwing books at one another)

Conversation, Making via A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette by J on 8/3/10

Librarians should limit themselves to one "cat story" per day to avoid the risk of becoming a bore around the library workplace. Also, once you are home, limit yourself to one "library story" per day to avoid becoming a bore to your cat.

The Epic:

Kansas City Library's Epic Parking Garage (sorry, lost source)
(picture description:  Kansas City Public Library has a new parking garage.  The exterior is made to look like books in what I believe is an oxford-style binding.  While the titles are difficult to read, Charlotte's Web and the Invisible Man are clearly seen.  Sadly, I can not tell if they are in alphabetical order.)
The Awesome:

How Libraries Ensure Ongoing Freedom in America
If there is one moment at the start of our country that probably ensured our ongoing freedom more than any other it was when Ben Franklin talked everyone else into building and opening libraries to the masses. Books were too expensive for most people in those days and therefore a lot of information was being held by a small number of people.

A system of libraries across the newly found America was his solution to making sure the ideal of democracy was kept alive for generations to come. He set the tone by not requiring that libraries leave out other ideas, and in particular political views, therefore making it possible for people to form their own opinions.

There have even been studies in recent years that show a correlation between an active and healthy library and a lower crime rate in a neighborhood.

Libraries are still a place that are completely open to the interpretation of the warm body holding the library card and the books they check out. We can choose to learn more about history or sink into a thriller or just read about a celebrity we admire. There’s no one asking us why we picked that book and so no judgment and we are free to gather a little more information and even be entertained for a little while.

However, libraries still hold two very important things that neither Google nor a Kindle will ever be able to offer us.

The first is that libraries give everyone regardless of income the chance to participate and learn to their heart’s content. No computer or internet service required. The second is they provide the anonymity to do it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Genre Talk

The Onion predicts the next big thing…minotaurs are the new vampires

Amish inspirationals grow in popularity

New genre: the hyphenate, by Joyce Saricks
Recently, a member of  RUSA's reading list group facetiously wondered if hyphenated genres should be included on the list.  Saricks notes that librarians have noticed this all along.  Cross-over genres are the new thing.

While many genres have stayed the same for decades, it is true that genre keeps shifting focus.  One year one type is popular, the next year another.  Michael Chabon, a wonderful storyteller who consistently and elegantly blends elements from several genres in his novels, alludes to this process in “Trickster in a Suit of Lights: Thoughts on the Modern Short Story.  He argues that the best writers play with rules and conventions, and that’s how genres change, grow, and stay fresh.
The vampire guy talks about real life vampires

Are zombies the new vampires?
Sarah Statz Cords writes:  a good number of new horror books feature zombies. Of course, in terms of sheer output, vampire books are still walloping all competition.  She wonders if it was started by the popular spoof Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?  She also noted that one of the first articles that wondered about this was an article by Time magazine in April 2009

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

E-Books: Swimming Into The Mainstream

E-Books, E-Books, E-Books.  Tired of it yet?  Get some sleep and be ready to face the new day, e-book popularity is rising very quickly.  This is not to say that harcover and paperback, audio, and large print are going away.  These will be with us for some time to come.  This is to say the e-book is becoming more common.

Be ready for the devices used to read e-books to change.  We're familiar with Kindle and Sony readers.  Other brands are coming out but these two are neck and neck right now - edging out Barnes and Noble's Nook for the moment.  Mobile phones have apps that allow you to wirelessly purchase and download a book.  Expect device convergence as we go along. 

My Experience
I have played around with e-books.  I have read them on my pc.  I was also surprised to find the kindle app already installed on my Droid!  Being of curious nature, I immediately paid for and wirelessly downloaded a book from Amazon. 

Reading on a Droid is different from reading on a dedicated e-reader or from an actually book itself.   From a readability standpoint, the difference between reading a book on an e-reader and a Droid is something like the difference between reading regular print or large type.  On the Droid, I have tried reading in regular light, in the dark, and on an airplane.  I didn't find any place to be problematic. 

I did switch the book from black type on white background to the reverse. This is much easier on the eyes. I also enlarged the print a bit.  I had feared that enlarging the print would cut off the print so I would be shuffling back and forth.  This was not the case.  If you have astigmatism, the print is no easier to read without correction than a print book.  Bummer

A lot of news and research is coming out about who is reading e-books, how reading habits are changing, and even where they read.  This is a phenomenon to pay attention to!

How Big Is The Phenomenon?
Random House executives project ebook sales to be more than 10% of its U. S. sales revenue next year
The average number of public libraries providing ebooks is currently 65.9%.

How Reading Habits Are Changing
Preliminary research showed that people who buy e-readers tend to spend more reading. The novelty of using an e-reader will remain a reason for some time.   

Another reason is portability. One slim e-reader takes up less space and is lighter than a paperback. A reader on a mobile phone takes up even less space. In the case of mobile, it is also more likely that the reader will always have a book with them.  Most avid readers fear not having enough books to tide them over. These devices enable the reader to carry many more books in one small device.

This portability even changes the places people read.  One woman reported e-reading in a kayak while her husband fished.  She was careful to put a waterproof cover on the book beforehand.

Another study notes that “Screen reading encourages rapid pattern-making, associating this idea with another, equipping us to deal with the thousands of new thoughts expressed every day. In the future, “reading will be more athletic.”  Finally, a reading olympics!

Who Reads E-Books
Currently, the e-book customer tends to be older and college-educated.  More women than men read e-books.  More men than women read e-newspapers and e-magazines. As prices for mobile and e-reading devices lower, it is very likely that the younger readers will join the trend.

Citations I didn't lose:

WSJ – “New Devices Are Changing Habits. People Are Reading More, Even While in a Kayak”
(The ABCs of E-Reading)

Reading in a whole new way:

Random House executive projects ebook sales as more than 10% of its U. S. sales revenue next year

E-reader Customers Are Older, College-Educated Users

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ALA Notable Books and Outstanding Reference Works

Notable Books: The 2010 Selection of Titles
via RUSQ by angie on 6/23/10

Outstanding Reference Sources: The 2010 Selection of Titles
via RUSQ by angie on 6/23/10

Refresher: The Reference Interview

Although we know there are a lot more steps to it, the basic ideas presented in this post are good to keep in mind. It's a kind of "decision tree."

Are you sure you understand the question?
Is the patron looking for a specific item?
Is the patron looking for a subject?
Is the question about something local?
Is your answer still “no” or “I don’t know” - what else can you do?

Tips and tricks as you move along this decision tree are in the article. I suggest the whole thing!

Checklist Manifesto for the Reference Desk via Swiss Army Librarian by Brian Herzog on 6/29/10

Monday, June 21, 2010

How Do Your Customers Define Status?

Been a little late on my summaries. This is from May/June 2010

Look at the types of status that are important to consumers. Which ones would work with your library? What would your library do to promote yourselves as a "vendor" of these kinds of status?

"Like it or not, the need for recognition and status is at the heart of every consumer trend*. Status is the ultimate (hidden) motive, a subconscious but ever-present force."

Trendwatching has found that luxury is no longer the only status symbol. In fact, there is an entire STATUSPHERE to be explored.

As consumers are starting to recognize and respect fellow consumers who stray off the beaten consuming-more-than-thou-path, 'new' status can be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity... All of this makes for a far more diversified 'STATUSPHERE' than most brands and organizations have traditionally catered to. Time to really figure out how and where your customers are now finding their status fix.

Traditional consumption is about buying (and enjoying and showing off) more and/or better stuff than fellow consumers. We’ve dubbed this the BIGGER, BETTER, HARDER realm. Which is by no means dead.

And even if (a big if) conspicuous consumption were ever to subside significantly in mature consumer societies, then count on the emerging middle classes in China, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Nigeria, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil to pick up the slack.

Status Stories
...when it comes to experiences, status can only be derived from being seen by others—while experiencing the experience, which may be a relatively brief moment—or by telling others about the experiences afterwards (which can go on for years ;-). experiences and non-consumption-related expenditures take over from physical (and more visible) status symbols, consumers will increasingly have to tell each other stories to achieve a status dividend from their purchases. Expect a shift from brands telling a story, to brands helping consumers tell their own status-yielding stories to other consumers.

Generosity - Generation G is still going strong as a status symbol
Now, one of the most important drivers behind GENEROSITY is the collaborative/free /creation/crowdsourced/gift/ sharing movement that—especially online—has unlocked in entirely new ways the perennial need of individuals to feel part of the greater good, to contribute, to help. But the online world of course also makes it easy to showcase and share one's acts of altruism.

The status-implications for non-profit organizations, and B2C brands big on giving initiatives? Work harder on helping your consumer-donors show and tell others about their donations and contributions!

Green Credentials and Consumption
Consumers' interest in green credentials will lead to even more eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic markers and design, that help their eco-conscious owners show off their eco-credentials to their peers.

Also count on a massive increase in green stories (as told by consumers) (see Status Stories above:) detailed information on (eco-friendly) sourcing, production, ingredients and distribution all represents a potential benefit to consumers who are keen on sharing their green status stories. And the concept is extra attractive for service providers, who often don't have physical products with which to convey their eco credentials.

By the way, what will make green stories even more powerful is the fact that while each individual can ‘do their bit’ on the environmental issues, their actions are going to be wasted unless everybody else does the same. (See Generation G above) This gives individuals a great excuse to share their stories and to enjoy a status boost from occupying the moral high ground.

In The Know Skills
To be on the inside, to be in the know, to have access, to be knowledgeable, but also, to be able to lead the way to the unique, the avant-garde, the cool, the latest, the cutting-edge... This is now an established source of status, from consumers-turned-experts, to younger audiences obsessed with coolhunting.

Anything you as a brand can do to assist the pursuit of deep or trivial knowledge will be appreciated. As long as the content is of superior quality, of course

We're talking friends on Facebook, Twitter followers and Retweets, the number of views for a photo on Flickr or a video on YouTube. These are all symbols and numbers that are associated with one’s social status and that can be shared instantly and on a potentially large scale in the CONNECTIVITY realm.

This will then lead to an even-bigger need for consumers to 'feed', maintain, and improve their online presence with a steady stream of content: thoughts, photos, videos, songs, opinions, stories and so on.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Twilight Zone - It Just Keeps Happening

Sales of Wuthering Heights quadruple in the past year due to the Twilight effect (how do your copies look?)

Twilight makes top ten list of most challenged books

Twilight influences baby names
ACK! Jacob is, of course, a common name. Imagine all the Cullens and Bellas that will be in storytime soon!

Genre Talk-Mystery, Jean Auel, Street Lit, Tyra Banks

Big, Big, Big News!
Jean Auel's final book in the Series - Next March!

BEA has its big book: Jean Auel’s final volume
via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 5/27/10

By Cindy Orr
Big news from BEA today. According to Publishers Weekly, Jean Auel’s final volume in her Earth’s Children series will be published by Crown on March 29, 2011. The title is The Land of Painted Caves. No ISBN yet, and it’s not even listed at Amazon, but this will be huge, so word will spread fast. My advice? Put it in your catalog anyway, including the pub date. That’s the cleanest way to make your public service staff look like heroes. More info at the PW website. You might want to check the condition of the other five volumes in the series as well


RA Run Down
via The Reader's Advisor Online Blog by Cindy Orr on 5/16/10
Oh yeah, can’t wait…Tyra Banks to write fantasy novels
She has already finished the first, called "Modelland", which is about a teen girl in a make-believe society at an academy for exceptional models called Intoxibellas. It will be published in the summer of 2011.



First-Rate Genre Reads: The Best of the Short List
via Library Journal - Collection Development on 5/14/10
Each year the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association's Reading List Council selects the best genre fiction...


The Word on Street Lit: Kiki Swinson, Endy & Noire
via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 4/14/10


Cozies: 22 Core Titles
via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 4/7/10


Monday, April 26, 2010

We Really Can Feel Good In Spite Of It All

Times are tough all over. Fortunately, our colleagues across the country have found many things to smile about.

Let's kick it off by embracing our inner-eccentric. No, we're not all eccentric. I'm sure, though, you secretly harbor the opinion that all of your colleagues are eccentric.

From: Quirkiness "R" Us via American Libraries Gigantic Everything Feed by Beverly Goldberg on 4/19/10

The author writes:

"...the characteristic that most differentiates librarians from all the other occupational groups I worked with is a very weird and shockingly offbeat sense of humor. Librarians are very funny in some dark, devious, and totally unexpected ways—not a “gallows” humor so much as Far Side in comfortable shoes. And who wouldn’t wear comfortable shoes after being on your feet all day helping patrons?"

Fortunately, we also have a certain "coolness" factor that has not gone unnoticed by Keith Richards of the Rollings Stones. This quote is from: Keith Richards via American Libraries Gigantic Everything Feed by Leonard Kniffel on 4/6/10

"When you are growing up there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully: the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equaliser."

Librarians are also known for their excruciatingly correct manners. Right? The Librarian's Guide to Etiquette has had a number of good exmaples of manners for librarians lately.

From: Victories, Celebrating via A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette by J on 4/1/10:

"Librarians should celebrate monumental workplace victories with Gatorade showers. A meeting that lasts less than one hour? Give the committee chair a Gatorade shower! Faculty members who return books before their due dates? Give them a Gatorade shower! A class in which students make eye contact and respond to you? Give yourself a Gatorade shower! While costly clean-up can be an issue, the rarity of these events should minimize any damages."

From: Career Counselor, Being a via A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette by J on 3/8/10

As a librarian, you will occasionally be called upon to counsel someone who is interested in joining your noble profession. Always present librarianship in a positive way to these prospective librarians, and resist the urge to show them your "I ♥ Dewey Decimal" tattoo, your Nancy Pearl doll, or your pay check stub.

And it's always time to laugh at our stereotypes

Picture Description: This is the cover of a "young adult" novel from 1967. The title is Jinny Williams: Library Assistant. The background is an utterly depressing green. You might even say it is oppressive. Gloomy at any rate. Young Jinny herself, however, is dressed in a delightfully conservative red shirt-dress. She smiles as she holds up a black book and reaches for another. As always, a date-due stamp is at the ready.

From: Romance in the Stacks via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 4/15/10:

The blogger comments: "Can our young modern girl find love in her local library? Our girl Jinny moves through the stacks looking for love in all the wrong places. Maybe it will be the cute guy downloading inappropriate material from the Internet. Maybe it will be that ultra sexy new librarian who keeps “checking her out”. Maybe she will get a couple of cats and head off to library school and get her MLS. Grab this page turner and find out!"

Indeed, librarianship is full of romance. Jennifer Lohman of the Durham County Public Library recently won what the blog author referred to as a "librarian award." Lohman has been a great proponent of romance novels in libraries. When Sarah, from the blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books heard of this, a photoshop contest was immediately started. The winner is below.

Picture description: Jennifer and her tatooed husband, Lars, are perched on the edge of a table in front of bookshelves. They are gazing into each other's eyes and just about to kiss. I might add that Lars, while hair-challenged on the top, does sport a spiffy set of mutton chop sideburns. The book cover is a parody of old Harlequin romances. The title is Between the Stacks. The teaser on the cover reads: their love was overdue...and the fine was passion!

From: What the Librarian Won: the Winner! via Smart Bitches, Trashy Books by SB Sarah on 4/13/10

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mobile Will Take Over the World - Srsly

It's mobile, mobile, mobile all the time in libraryland. This comes up over and over in the newsfeeds. While at present it looks like all we need to know is how our customers will use moble website, we might as well continue to track this.

Interesting fact: The US is actually behind Europe and Japan in using mobile. Many of the things we are not using now are already considered mundane in those regions.

Growth of Mobile Traffic via Stephen's Lighthouse by admin on 4/7/10

“As smartphones like the iPhone and Android take over the mobile Web, the amount of data traffic going over cellular networks is expected to grow 40-fold over the next five years.”

Some highlights from the blog entry:

US traffic growth will compound at an annual growth rate of 117%

“A lot of that data will come in the form of mobile Web browsing, with the biggest contributor expected to be mobile video.”

Novelist Marches On

Preview the new NoveList via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 4/5/10

The new interface will be up later this summer.

You can preview the new Novelist here

A quick scan reveals:
  • The first screen looks a lot like Endeca
  • The entry for a book includes its appeal factors. If you can identify the customer's reason for liking a book, you can ask which of these appeal factors are why the customer likes the book. This can lead to better suggestions

Friday, April 9, 2010

Phoenix Public Library Launches Mobile Website

Check it out at

iphone and droid compatible

Mobile Apps for Libraries

Some highlights about what other libraries are doing

Cost: Free
This handy iPhone app from Gale uses GPS to find libraries within a 10-mile radius of your location. You can then select a library and access all its Gale electronic resources.

WorldCat Mobile
Cost: Free
Users can search through Worldcat’s collection of 1.5 billion items, find a nearby library, and map a route to a library through the WorldCat Mobile iPhone app.

Libraries and Mobile via Stephen's Lighthouse by admin on 4/6/10

The District of Columbia Public Library was the first library to create an application for the iPhone. Their attractive application offers users a catalog search, library hours information, and the ability to place items on hold. They have made their code open source so that other libraries can build their own iPhone apps.

MLN Library
The Minuteman Library Network in the greater Boston area of Massachusetts has created an iPhone apps which allows patrons to view their accounts, search the network’s catalog as well as individual libraries, and renew items.

Duke University
Duke University Libraries offers the most comprehensive university digital image collection specifically formatted for the iPhone. Through DukeMobile, the University’s suite of iPhone applications, the libraries are sharing digital materials from 20 collections - nearly 32,000 images in all

Monday, April 5, 2010

We're Not Surprised Department

Item One
Facebook surpasses Google via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 3/16/10
Facebook is now the #1 most visited website in the U.S., with Google falling to #2. Wow!

Item Two
One Third of Americans Use Library Computers via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 3/29/10

More tidbits:
1/4 of Americans use library computers while traveling - no surprise here!
Half of the teens surveyed had used the library in the past year - HA! And we thought they would only use the interwebs for their research projects.

Item Three
Internet up for Nobel Peace Prize via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 3/12/10

"The internet has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
No kidding.
I want to see the internet walk up on stage, collect the trophy, then say “I’m King of the World!!!!!!” The weird thing is, the internet would be right"

Haven't We All Felt This Lately?

Library Clones Librarian
via Swiss Army Librarian by Brian Herzog on 4/1/10

Mr. Herzog has been cloned as part of a bold new experiment in librarianship.  He cites these as advantages:

• multiplying the effect of a library degree
• staff training is streamlined
• communication within the department is excellent
• we all share a single social security number so we also share a single salary
• all of us are covered by a single benefits package
• our wardrobe is interchangeable

The Trends Keep Coming

They've said it before and they'll say it again - at least through 12/31/11.  This is the time when mobile will take over the world.  Most areas of the world, even areas we used to think of as "third countries," use mobile much more than we do in the US.  Here is some buzz to be familiar with:

Bluetooth (3 and 4):  Bluetooth devices will be faster and be more energy-efficient.

The Mobile Web:  Smartphone, Blackberry, Droid and all the competitors.  "85 percent of handsets shipped globally will include some form of browser for using the internet. In mature markets, such as Western Europe and Japan, approximately 60 percent of handsets shipped will be smartphones using browsers.  More smartphones will have relatively large and high-resolution screens, encouraging greater numbers of people to access conventional websites on mobile devices."

Mobile Widgets:  Web applications (apps) that run on the smartphone's homescreen.  If you think we have apps now, it looks like a lot more are coming.  And they will be easier to design.

Platform-Independent Mobile AD Tools:  What?  We here at Libraryland Roundup confess that this one is beyond us.  It looks like (AD) is for Application Development (AD). 

App Stores:  App stores will be the primary (and, in some cases, the only) way to distribute applications to smartphones and other mobile devices.  Once again, Libraryland Roundup is a bit behind on this.  App stores already exist.  Perhaps there is a larger "hackers" crowd out there than we know of.

Enhanced Location Awareness:  By the end of 2011, over 75 percent of devices shipped in mature markets will include a GPS.

Cellular Broadband:  Bigger, stronger than ever before

Touchscreens: These will be the dominant user interface for handsets and will be included in over 60 percent of mobile devices shipped in Western Europe and North America in 2011.

M2M: Yes, more and more mobile devices will be talking to each other

Device-Independent Security: Use of mobile will be more secure.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Genre Talk - Paranormal Rocks On!

What Is Paranormal Romance?

Happy Valentine's Day: The Paranormal Edition via RA for All by Becky on 2/14/10

Genre Talk: Horror+Literature Mashups!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?
Paranormal cross-over is part of this, of course

Here's a thinker: What cross-genre books might come out of this?
Steampunk? Horror?

Great lists to skim to become familiar with the genre

USA Today on Classic Mashups

Literary Mashups with Horror via RA for All by Becky on 3/8/10
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and more!

Genre Talk: Steampunk

Could this be the new paranormal? Could this crossover into paranormal?

Classic Steampunk Titles

Steampunk: 20 Core Titles via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 3/3/10

2009 Bestsellers, Notables, and Misc. Awards

Bram Stoker Awards via RA for All by Becky on 3/31/10
Award for best horror

Reading List Council ~ Best Adult Genre Ficiton 2009 via WebJunction - Readers Advisory by Carol Kubala on 1/29/09

RUSA 2009 CODES Notable Books for America's Reader's Council Book Awards via WebJunction - Readers Advisory by Carol Kubala on 1/29/09

Ellery Queen Mystery Awards

Random Reader's Advisory Info - With a genre thinker!

Lambda Literary Foundations Launches Website
GLBT literature-still looks beta

The 100 Best Crime Books Ever Written
People love a Mystery and people love True Crime. Great list to skim!

Has Genre Become Irrelevant?

PLA and Reader's Advisory

Preconference Program—Opening Doors, Opening Books: Providing Effective Readers’ Advisory Service
via The PLA Blog by pdc_itisme on 3/23/10

"Web 2.0 forces Librarians to trust the reader. With effective readers advisory we must seta side our preconcieved ideas of what we like and find what the reader is seeking. The reader is also forced to trust us to provide materials they will like based on previous reading habits, likes and dislikes and genre preference.

No longer are we forced to see only what people in our Libraries like or what other Librarians say people like. We can see what people are saying on both commercial book vendor websites (in terms of product reviews) but also on social networking sites. There seems to be a decline in print review sources, so we need to be aware of what our audience is saying"

Annual Bestsellers Report

Publisher's Weely's Annual Bestseller Report via RA for All by Becky on 3/26/10

The top 5 by category

Hardcover Fiction Sales, 20091.
The Lost Symbol: A Novel. Dan Brown. Doubleday (5,543,643).
2. *The Associate: A Novel. John Grisham. Doubleday.
3. The Help. Kathryn Stockett. Putnam/Amy Einhorn (1,104,617).
4. I, Alex Cross. James Patterson. Little, Brown (1,040,976).
5. The Last Song. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central. (1,032,829).

Hardcover Nonfiction Sales, 2009
1. Going Rogue: An American Life. Sarah Palin. Harper (2,674,684).
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment. Steve Harvey. Harper (1,735,219).
3. *Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government. Glenn Beck. Threshold.
4. *Liberty & Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. Mark R. Levin..
5. True Compass: A Memoir. Edward M. Kennedy. Grand Central (870,402).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Are you "butlering" your brand?

Another great one from Trendwatching. Reading the whole thing is best, but the snippets below will help you gain a basic understanding.

Trendwatching advises organizations to get started on this Right Now

via by on 3/24/10

BRAND BUTLERS With pragmatic, convenience-loving consumers enjoying instant access to an ever-growing number of supporting services and tools (both offline and online), brands urgently need to hone their 'butlering skills'*, focusing on assisting consumers to make the most of their daily lives, versus the old model of selling them a lifestyle if not identity.

  • time, convenience, control and independence are the new currencies, a shift from 'broadcasting' to assisting.

  • Relationships with brands are now more down to earth and less reverential. From individualism to eco-concerns to decreased spending power in developed economies: for consumers, the practical and pragmatic rule.

  • there's also a consumer longing for institutions that truly 'care' (please re-read our GENERATION G briefing), which is more about showing empathy and providing customers with a status fix

  • On top of all of the above, the current mobile online revolution (hey, it took more than a decade of breathless predictions, but mobile internet usage is now finally exploding around the globe) is shifting these consumer expectations even further into the always-on, instant gratification online arena. (please re-read our NOWISM briefing). For brands, this means that there are now endless creative and cost-effective ways to deliver on this need for assistance, for 'butlers'

ideal ‘BRAND BUTLER OMNIPRESENCE' would be a mix of (discreetly) being there when customers want you to be there, and pleasantly surprising them with your presence when they least expect it.


It should come as no surprise that apps, whether for iPhones, Blackberries, or Android devices, offer a quick route to deliver BRAND BUTLER services: offering useful, (semi-) branded content, residing on consumers' online devices is a marriage made in heaven.

Oh, and you obviously don't have to develop everything yourself: why not partner (or acquire) one of the many third-party apps already out there. Just one example: L'OREAL recently teamed up with Vanity Fair's Hollywood app to offer consumers tools to organize their Oscar night voting pools, as well as offering live results and exclusive Vanity Fair content.So... time to scan the iPhone App Store, Google’s Android Market, and Blackberry's App World.


One popular offline BRAND BUTLER tactic is to establish permanent or pop-up branded spaces and lounges, often tied to a specific event (music festivals!) or a location (airports!) which offer ample opportunity to assist consumers / customers with relevant, on-brand services. And here too, like with apps, partnering is key: no need (or even possibility) to go it all alone in what is now a cooperation-economy, anyway.


BRAND BUTLER services equal interaction, meaning they can provide brands with valuable feedback, metrics and other learning opportunities about what interests, drives and triggers customers. Furthermore, BRAND BUTLERS is a great match with CO-CREATION: who better to ask what additional services they would like than your own customers!?

  • Simply offering excellent yet tried-and-tested customer service and support functions, or typical online features such as price-lookup or anything facilitating ecommerce activities. While excelling in offering these hygiene factors of course do contribute to an overall 'feel' of assistance for customers, we would qualify them as (after) sales support, not 'butlering'.

  • BRAND BUTLER services typically do not replace top quality products and paid services: they go ‘over and above'. In other words, while it would be fantastic if one of your BRAND BUTLER services is so well liked that you can charge money for it, and turn it into your core-offerings, in most cases BRAND BUTLER services can/should only exist because they support your core (and hopefully outstanding) products and services.

  • Last but not least, as BRAND BUTLERS is all about relevance and service, this is not about gimmicks or entertainment for entertainment's sake.


Mastercard’s ATM Hunter iPhone app allows users to find their nearest ATMs by entering their location or using built-in GPS functionality.

Google labs has developed City Tours, which uses Google Maps to offer a variety of walking tours in cities around the world. The tours also offer practical information such as opening hours.

Mastercard has developed a Priceless Picks app, which allows users to share their favorite places and deals, which are then displayed on an interactive map for other users to browse.

Swedish food brand Santa Maria offers an iPhone app that offers grilling tips and advice. The application features recipes, a BBQ handbook and a grilling timer.


A hands-on start would be to establish the themes your brand is about, and dream up an integrated 'suite' of BRAND BUTLER services, both online and offline. Use the eight categories above (Transparency and 'In the know', Saving money, Finding, Connectivity, Health, Nutrition & Exercise, Skills & Advice, Eco, and Tools & Amenities). Obviously, we hope you will add a few categories of your own as well.

On a related note: when plotting your BRAND BUTLER OMNIPRESENCE, many of your ideas will probably revolve around existing customers. Either because they're linked to a purchased product or service, or because they're a distinctive perk. However, there's a huge win in services that are open to non-customers, too. This is where BRAND BUTLERS truly replaces the old broadcasting / advertising model.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mobile Generosity

The "experts" predict a huge surge in mobile phone use, expectations, and tools. This includes e-commerce, giving, and, of course, sharing opinions. Predictions are that consumers will soon expect to pay by mobile.

Enter Generation G! That's Generosity, not Greed. The number of people who volunteer regularly is on the rise, sharing opinions has become an absolute deluge. And micro-donations have been proven to be an effective fund-raiser (example: President 2.0 - Barack Obama)

The most recent best example has been the fund-raising for relief in Haiti after the earthquake. In 36 hours, donations made via mobile phones for Haiti Earthquake Relief surpassed $7 million. All the mobile user had to do was text a phrase to a shortcode and make a micro-donation of $5 or $10 dollars

This fundraising succeeded because it was painless, convenient, and fast. Websites and snailmail addresses and phone numbers were available, of course. Websites mean a consumer is tied to a computer in a specific place. Snailmail requires the inconvenience of locating a stamp.

Most importantly for this post, non-mobile methods can easily lead to "I meant to do that but didn't" and "The site/phone lines were clogged and I never got through and didn't donate."

Immediacy, impulse, generosity, convenience, speed. It worked for Haiti. Now it can work for your library, too!

Mobile Donations Tool for Libraries from Mosio via Librarian in Black Blog – Sarah Houghton-Jan by Sarah on 3/12/10
Text a Librarian has added Mobile Donations. Remember all of those texted donations to Haiti? Yep, your library can get a piece of that action too.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Testing for a patron

Sometimes a customer has a problem with getting into something - like blogger

Edit after post
So why not test it yourself?
It seems to be an intermittant problem.
So glad I knew about blogger and have used it to check. Builds repoire (sp) with the user dontcha know.
Food for thought

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Awards, Best of, and Notable

It's March and still the 2009 awards and "best of" lists keep coming.

Best of 2009 Megalist
This is an aggregated list put together by the Williamsburg Public Library. Lists from authoritative awards are put together and the one with the most awards wins their category!

General Fiction:
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (25 votes)

Mysteries and Thrillers:
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (14 votes)

Speculative Fiction:
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (19 votes)

Historical Fiction:
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (37 votes, the top vote getter overall)

Young Adult Fiction:
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (21 votes)

Graphic works:
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small (26 votes, the highest count for a nonfiction work)

C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems (6 votes)

The Good Soldiers by David Finkel and The Lost City of Z by David Grann (15 votes each)

Biography and Memoir:
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (20 votes)

Reading List Council ~ Best Adult Genre Ficiton 2009
via WebJunction - Readers Advisory by Carol Kubala on 1/29/09
Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

Lamentation by Ken Scholes

Historical Fiction
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Last Days by Brian Evenson

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

What Happens in London by Julia Quinn,

Science Fiction
The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Women’s Fiction
Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

RUSA 2009 CODES Notable Books for America's Reader's Council Book Awards
via WebJunction - Readers Advisory by Carol Kubala on 1/29/09
Too long to list here, but take a look!

Here are the finalists for the one we always look forward to each year:
Finalists for Oddest Book Title Award
The six finalists are

"Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter;"

"Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich;"

"Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots;"

"The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease";

"Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes";

"What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua?"

Now just a darn minute here! Crochet is one of the few mediums that can visually present the idea of a hyperbolic plane. That is a OMGWANT title, you dorks. (Disclosure: I am an avid crocheter)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Urban Fantasy Ideas

Urban Fantasy: What’s Weird, What’s Next?
by SB Sarah • Monday, February 08, 2010 at 11:05 AM
(warning: click back to the original link and language may be offensive to some)
(Funniest ideas at the bottom of this post)

A discussion taking us beyond vampires and werewolves into predictions for upcoming critters
From the comments section:

Were-fish? No, I’m being serious, there are some Hawaiian legends relating to sharks who can assume human form and wander on land.

Golems? Doeppelgangers?...Sirens?

How about Scandinavian mythology? Odin, Thor, Giants and all sorts of cold-weather fun.
How about some urban fantasy that isn’t all dark and intense. Would it kill the authors to write something lighter? Still sexy, but more comedy and laughs than angst and fury?
Really, anything but vampires and werewolves would be peachy keen with me.

Instead of your standard werewolf etc., how about the Indian equivalent: the Naga - Cobra-wers - very beautiful but cruel and cold-blooded

We could also see more Rusalkas, Pookas, and Kitsunes - and Loki or Anansi would make a nice change from Coyote

Has anyone written about goblins?

Celtic folklore-based stories

I would especially like to see a series that involve the djinn.


animal-shifter stories

more demons and fallen angels

Popol Vuh in the barrio


I’d like to see urban nymphs. They could be associated with fountains, or fire hydrants, or streetlights. I think they could get up to a lot of trouble in a city.

Native-American or Egyptian mythology.

folklore of Africa, South America or Oceania.

Native American mythology

I like the idea of Wereravens. Or how about non-usual weres, like Werelynx, were-coyotes, werebears, Wereowls… or how about a wereswan?

creatures from Voodoo

I want to see a series with Death as a matchmaker. Who else, metaphorically speaking, knows us better?

think I’d like to see more urban symbiosis going on—creatures who evolved with or found a niche in the urban environment and thrive there.


I would totally read the werebunny as long as the author doesn’t go the obvious playboy route

I see ferrets becoming a big deal. FERRETS, people. It’s the perfect were-animal. You would never think a cute little ferret would turn into a big-ass dude who would then proceed to choke you!

The next hot thing is PLANTS

How about an alcoholic PI in a Memphis where Elvis didn’t die in 1977, he just crossed over to the Nightside by becoming a vampire? Where werewolves drive trollies and teach English lit. Where pixie street gangs are frequent targets of Sugar Anonymous propaganda. Where gremlins have abandoned LibertyLand for the riverboat casinos and zombies load trucks on President’s Island. Where a demonic stripclub called Hellzapoppin’ is the highlight of a trip down Beale Street, succubi hunt among the lost souls at City Mission and minotaurs must prove themselves in an all-centaur accounting department.

UNDERWEAR GNOMES! OH PLEASE, PLEASE, UNDERWEAR GNOMES. (note: this is in reference to a particularly silly episode of South Park)

How about a romance serial on the Travelocity traveling garden gnome??

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Tech Trends Predictions

2010 Horizon Report via Stephen's Lighthouse by admin on 1/15/10

  • Mobile Computing (1 year or less) - Our team has our's almost ready!
  • Open Content (1 year or less) - Don't know what this is
  • E-Books (2 to 3 years) - already here, but expect some big changes in: the e-reader wars, using mobile phones as e-readers, new types of e-readers, and, hopefully, being able to purchase a digital copy the day the book is realeased!
  • Simple Augmented Reality (2 to 3 years) - This is like using your mobile phone as a tour guide. It tells you how to get there, about things around you, and interesting opportunities at both your destination and at places around you.
  • Gesture-based computing (4 to 5 years) Not sure what this is
  • Visual Data Analysis (4 to 5 years) - I'm guessing more automatic charts when you do data analysis instead of having to make them on your own?

on trend via by ae-j on 1/22/10
I think we're going to see a lot more of this attitude, learn what mobile is and be prepared to answer questions when your customers arrive:

"Personally, when it comes to mobile browsing, if I visit a site on my phone that does not have a mobile version, I will spend maybe 5 seconds looking for what I want. If I don’t see it on the home page, I won’t go any further. And if I don’t find it at all, I leave (usually cursing)."

"I have a pretty awesome screen on my laptop, with plenty of real estate, where I can (and do) happily appreciate a well designed website. But, more and more I find myself seeking out mobile versions of sites even on my laptop because those sites provide just the essential functionality with none of the clutter. Goodreads mobile and Amazon mobile are two examples."

What the Web of Tomorrow Will Look Like: 4 Big Trends to Watch via iLibrarian by Ellyssa on 1/26/10

The Web Will Be Accessible Anywhere
Web Access Will Not Focus Around the Computer (mostly mobile)
The Web Will Be Media-Centric
Social Media Will Be Its Largest Component.

ReadWriteWeb's 2010 Predictions via Stephen's Lighthouse by stephen on 12/23/09
Most frequently mentioned:
  • A price war will erupt in the e-book market (let's learn to download those e-books on our catalogs!)
  • The iPhone still rules and grabs more mobile market share than ever before.
    Meanwhile, Android becomes the number two mobile platform by year-end.
  • The netbook craze dies down. People start buying new "in-between" devices that are slightly larger and more powerful than today's netbooks, but smaller, more lightweight and cheaper than regular notebooks
  • 2010 will signal the death of the login. Third-party authentications will become the norm, and user data will be entrusted to a discrete handful of online properties. Users will pitch a hissyfit if ever they're asked to create a username and password and upload an avatar. After all, doesn't the Internet know they have a Facebook?

CNN Tech Predictions via Stephen's Lighthouse by stephen on 12/22/09

  • Internet TV and movies
    Convergence conundrum - laptops, netbooks, mobile, mp3 players, cameras become increasingly one device
    Social gaming
    Mobile payments (aka: mobile e-commerce)