Send Susanna Kearsley to St. Charles, MO

Send Susanna Kearsley to St. Charles, MO
Nominate St. Charles City-County Library District in St. Charles, MO by January 31, 2015!! Winner to be announced February 18th!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

RA Tip: LibraryReads January 2015 Top Ten Announced!!

The first Top Ten list for 2015 has come to pass and the winner is ... As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: a Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley.

Lizzi Gall of Grand Rapids Public Library (Grand Rapids, MI) describes the book ...

"After the unexpected recover of her mother's body brings the de Luce's family secrets to light, Flavia's life is turned upside down. Now on her way to a Canadian boarding school, she must survive her first term-and more importantly, uncover the mystery of a corpse found in her dorm room chimney the night she arrives. A delightful installment in the series!"

Check out the complete January 2015 list at LibraryReads.

Note: the due date for LibraryReads has changed to six weeks ahead of the publication month. For example, the nomination deadline for February 2015 titles is December 20, 2014 with March 2015 titles due by January 20, 2015.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

#libfaves14 Winners Announced on EarlyWord!

Yesterday's post was about the  annual event of library staff tweeting their Top 10 favorite reads for the year. The 2014 'event' ran from December 1 through December 10 and during that time, the tweets using hasttag #libfaves14 were being compiled on EarlyWord to create a full list of titles.
EarlyWord: The Publisher/Librarian Connection

'Votes' were also being counted to determine which favorite title (or titles) were tweeted about the most! The #libfaves14 winners were posted on EarlyWord this morning!

Were the winners one of your favorite reads for 2014?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


For the last 10 days, library staff from all over have be tweeting TOP 10 titles for 2014. If you didn't know, tweeting about your Top 10 reads of the year has become an annual event with the titles posted once a day in reverse order from December 1 through December 10. [NOTE: you can play catch up if you miss the starting date or happen to skip a day ... ]

See last year's post RA Tip: FAVORITE READS OF 2013!

Using #libfaves14, participants list title, author and a brief description using fewer than 130 characters. I participated again this year so here are my Top 10 reads for 2014, posted on Twitter over the last few days: 

10. Gaiman’s THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE: part childhood reminiscence, mythology, & innocence lost, with lyrical language #libfaves14
9. DRACULA VERSUS SANTA - DeJesus & Power: hilarious Graphic Novel with Christmas symbols facing off famous monsters #libfaves14
8. THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY – G. Zevin: made me feel like I was wandering the aisles of a small cozy bookstore #libfaves14
7. THE BOOK OF LIFE: search for Ashmole 782 concludes with life & family becoming more complicated for Diana & Matthew #libfaves14
6. Cain’s ONE KICK: dynamic between Kick & Bishop is intense, 2 determined, flawed individuals working toward a common goal #libfaves14
5. DANGEROUS WOMEN: great anthology of new short stories by 21 different authors who write is multiple genres #libfaves14
4. STORM FRONT: listened to with family during long drive, believe have turned my children into lifelong Dresden fans!  #libfaves14
3. FIRST LORD’S FURY - on a Jim Butcher kick in 2014: finished listening to last title in his Codex Alera fantasy series #libfaves14
2. IN THE KINGDOM OF ICE: fascinating nonfiction about lost ship & crew searching Arctic passage to the North Pole in 1880s #libfaves14
1. THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen: an epic fantasy debut with magic, mystery, adventure; 1st in series #libfaves14

What were your top 10 reads for 2014? Let's use the COMMENTS: link below and you'll only need to list the title and author. :-)


Do you anticipate a particular "Best of..." book list every year? Or do you enjoy looking at any and all such lists?

The "Best of ..." lists usually come out near the end of the year and it has become common practice for them to be posted online. They are posted on the website of whichever the newspaper, journal, organization, company, publisher, or [insert name here] that produces the list.

Some lists are re-tweeted, re-posted on related news sites, or blogged about by interested parties. It can be a problem keeping track of the "Best of ... " book lists those who find such lists of interest. Well there is a site which can help with that!

A music blog called  largehearted boy has posted an alphabetical list of every online "best of [year]" which they can find very year for the last seven years! What a great way to look for a link to your favorite "Best of 2014" book list.

Check out their most recent update to the Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

RA Tip: BOUCHERCON - 2014 Anthony Awards

Did you miss the announcement of the 2014 Anthony Awards at BOUCHERCON, the annual World Mystery Convention, which was held Nov 13-16 in Long Beach CA.? 

This year's list of nominees can be found at BOUCHERCON: World Mystery Convention. The winners are indicated by a ' ' before the title.

 BOUCHERCON 2015 - Raleigh, NC
According to the Bouchercon standing rules. published work candidates eligible for nomination are defined as "Crime Fiction/Mystery genre published between January 1 and December 31 in the year immediately prior the the Bouchercon at which the Anthony Award will be given." 

What 2014 mystery do you think will be nominated for next year? The next BOUCHERCON will be held Oct 8-10, 2015 in Raleigh, NC. 

Will your favorite be one of the nominees (or the winner!) of a 2015 Anthony Award?

Use the COMMENTS: link below to tell about your favorite Crime Fiction/Mystery title published in 2014.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Links from the Staff - Week of November 30 - December 6, 2014

 Posted for all staff this week were: 
  • Maggie M (SP) says: "Gosh I love best of lists..." (12/03/2014)
  •  From Melanie F (KL) - Greetings! (12/05/2014)
  • A continuation from Maggie M's (SP) 'National Book Award Winners Announced' post to Stafftalk on Nov 21 ... (12/05/2014)
    • A thoughtful and poignant response from winner Jacqueline Woodson to a offensive statement made by Daniel Handler as he was MC'ing the National Book Awards on November 19, 2014. The Pain of the Watermelon Joke by Jacqueline Woodson (The Opinion Pages - New York Times, November 28, 2014) 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Love My Librarian Award - 2014 Winners Announced

 The 10 Winners of This Year's 'I Love My Librarian Award' - American Libraries Direct, December 2, 2014. 

The 'I Love My Librarian Award' is an annual initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times.

Think we can nominate someone from SCCCLD for the award in 2015? Wouldn't it be great if one of our own were to win it!?!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 7

Let's talk about similar reads ...

  • What read-alike titles might you suggest for someone wishing a book like In the Kingdom of Ice?

    • Would you only suggest other Nonfiction titles or could you expand into fiction? If so, what title(s) could you suggest?

Enter your responses using the COMMENTS: link below.

Monday, December 1, 2014

NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 6

Now lets discuss how to 'sell' the book to potential readers ...

  • Using no more than 4 sentences, how would you give a book talk for In the Kingdom of Ice? Try applying the PRES technique listed under the RA Resources tab.

    • What about using social media ... how would you describe the book on Twitter or Hootsuite, using less than 140 characters?

Use the COMMENTS: link below to provide your answers.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 5

Let's discuss the book from a readers' advisory point of view ...

  • To which of your customers, family, friends, or co-workers might you suggest In the Kingdom of Ice? Why do you think they would enjoy it?

Please enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 4

How about comparing the story to events of similar import ...

  • According to the newspapers in 1879, if successful, the Jeannette Expedition would "be one of the most brilliant geographical adventures ever won by man." Another paper stated "man is on the verge of a discovery before which the discovery of America by Columbus would pale." (Page 128)  Are there any recent or current endeavors which have been proclaimed in similar terms? If Yes, name one. If No, why not?
      • Taking into account the fate of De Long's expedition, would you consider it a success? Was is 'doomed' from the start?

    Use the COMMENTS: link below to discuss this issue.

    Friday, November 28, 2014

    NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 3

    Now let's discuss Hampton Sides' presentation ...

    • What did you think of the author's writing style? Was the use of source documents helpful or a hindrance in following and understanding the narrative? Please explain your point of view.

    Use the COMMENTS: link below to discuss this point.

    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 2

    Let's continue with the history of the time period ...

    • What did you learn from In the Kingdom of Ice? How familiar were you with any of the events, personalities, theories, or science which lead to De Long's arctic exploration expedition in 1879? 

    Use the COMMENTS: link below to continue the discussion.

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    NONFICTION Book Discussion - Question # 1

    The Nonfiction benchmark title is In the Kingdom of Ice: the Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides, "a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age."

    Let's start with a bit about the time period ...

    • How did news reporting in the 1800's differ from the the way the news is reported today?  If a newspaper were written in such a manner today, do you think people would subscribe to such a paper?  Explain why or why not?

    Enter your response by using the COMMENTS: link below.

    Thursday, November 20, 2014

    Tuesday, November 18, 2014

    Read a Great Nonfiction Title Recently?

    Well, have you read an interesting nonfiction title in the last few months? If so, the SCCCLD staff would love to hear about it!

    Do you have customers asking for assistance in finding that next great nonfiction read but you don't know where to begin? Come hear about some titles that you could share the next time the question comes your way ...

    A Nonfiction Staff Book Talks session will be held Wednesday, December 3, 2014. starting at 9:00 AM in Room 112 at GA. All staff are invited to come and talk (or just listen) to co-workers present brief book talks about nonfiction titles which caught their interest. 

    Looking for a nonfiction title for yourself? Consider one of the suggested titles on the Nonfiction Book Talk list under Book Talk Titles. Copies of each title on that list are available in the district collection, including the designated *benchmark* title. 

    If you have read or are listening to the *benchmark*, In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides, join in an online book discussion through the blog. 

    Watch for a question to be posted each day, beginning Wednesday, November 26 running through Tuesday, December 2. Use the Comments link at the bottom of each post to carry on the discussion.

    Looking forward to hearing about the Nonfiction discoveries from among the SCCCLD staff!

    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    RA Tip: LibraryReads 2014 Favorite of Favorites Announced

    And the winner is ... The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by by Gabrielle Zevin. 

    Zevin's title was the Top Ten pick on the LibraryReads April 2014 list. The novel was described by Beth Mills, of New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochell, NY  

    A middle-aged bookseller mourning his lost wife, a feisty publisher’s rep, and a charmingly precocious abandoned child come together on a small island off the New England coast in this utterly delightful novel of love and second chances.
    To see the complete list of 2014 titles with the most votes check EarlyWord.

    The fully annotated list will be posted at on December 1st.

    Friday, November 14, 2014

    Bring the Author to St. Charles, MIssouri!!!

    Posted for all SCCCLD staff - Thanks to Sara N. and Beth P. 

    Susanna Kearsley will go on tour in April to promote her new book A Desperate Fortune. Her publishers are holding a contest to determine which cities she will visit.

    A few people have sent this to us through social media, and a few staff members have emailed it to Adult Programming. It sounds like a fun opportunity for us, and there definitely seems to be interest to have this author visit. Why not give it a shot? But we need your help as a staff to make this happen. 

    The contest will work in two stages. First people have to nominate their hometown. The 15 towns with the most nominations will be released on Dec. 16. From there people can vote on their hometown, and the 8 towns with the most votes will be announce Feb. 18

    To nominate you have to fill out this form: In the store or library name please put: St. Charles City-County Library District. And in the city spot put St. Charles. This way we can keep everything consistent and have more of a chance to make it to the next round. 

    It would be great if you can put in a nomination, or two. (you can submit a nomination multiple times) If you can also forward it on to friends, and/or post it on your social media accounts, that would be awesome! 

    There is also a chance to win a grand prize if our town is chosen. The prize is a one of a kind piece of jewelry related to her latest book. Anyone who submits a nomination will be entered in to win the grand prize if she comes to our town.

    Bad Sex in Fiction Awards for 2014

    Nobody does it quite like the British! 

    The 22nd Annual Bad Sex in Fiction awards have been announced. The award is sponsored by Britain's Literary Review - "a lively, intelligent literary magazine for people who love reading, but hate academic and intellectual jargon."  

    They claim the "prize is to 'draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction' in order to discourage them."

    Take a look at the Bad Sex Shortlist article posted on The Booklist Reader.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

    Mystery ARC Giveaway!

    A lovely box of Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) just arrived via snail mail from the folks at HarperCollins and there was one title with a January 2015 release date!  Unfortunately, it was too late to include the title on the November ARCs Around the Library list posted for staff on Friday, November 7th. 

    Therefore, I am offering the ARC to the first SCCCLD staff member to request it by using the Comments link at the bottom of this post!

    A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd (An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery)

    About the Book
    "New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd takes readers into Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge’s past—to his perplexing final case before the outbreak of World War I.

    On a fine summer’s day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.
    To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander—shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother’s death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world.

    As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth."

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    RA Tip: Book Annotations: Short and Snappy Made Easy

    On Thursday, November 6th, the Reference & User Services Association (a division of the American Library Association) and NoveList hosted a webcast on writing annotations. A summary of the main points discussed in the presentation are:

    REMEMBER ...

      • Market your collection
      • Promote books to their particular audience
      • Are easy to repurpose (use again)
      • Clearly written and easy to identify
      • Focused on appeals
      • Tailored to it's audience
      • Read OR research the book
      • Think about the book's audience
      • Start with a narrative hook
      • Include a brief plot summary (No spoilers!)
      • Include the strongest appeal factors
      • Provide context and readers'/viewers'/listeners' advisory
      • Keep it enticing, attention-grabbing, and BRIEF!

    Before publishing/posting - have someone proofread your annotation OR if no one is available, slowly read the annotation out loud to yourself. These can help in checking for mistakes and in fine tuning your annotation.

    NoveList has a great tool for appeal factors, The Secret Language of Books: a Guide to Appeal

    Saturday, November 8, 2014

    Links from the Staff - Week of November 2 - 8, 2014

    The following were posted for all staff this week:

    • Alison G (Government Documents/Consumer Health IRM-MK) mentioned that while she was watching a Gov Docs webinar, she learned about two Deep Web search engines she had never heard of before. She suggested playing around with them. "They return great results!" (11/05/2014)
    • In a reply to Alison's post, Brian B (Cataloger: GA) said "Duck Duck Go's biggest selling point is that it does not store your searches. Some users really like this and believe it protects their privacy from tracking software." (11/05/2014)
    • Julie S (Children's Librarian-DR) saw the following on Facebook from Main Street Books (St. Charles, MO) and thought she would share. She also said "The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fabulous book and well-worth buying for the book lovers on your Christmas list (or for yourself)!" (11/06/2014)
      • It is official, Dear Readers- We have the power to bring NEIL GAIMAN to St. Charles! However, we will need your help! If Main Street Books sells the most paperback copies of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE in the months of November and December, we can bring NEIL here in FEBRUARY! So please: come buy a copy. Buy two. Get one for a friend. Give a copy or three or five for Christmas. Pick it for your next book club (and get a special tote bag- ask us for details!). If we sell more copies that ANY independent bookstore in the country, we will be victorious! You have the power, Dear Readers. Show your love for Neil Gaiman- pick up your copy of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE starting Saturday, November 1st! HELP US BRING NEIL TO ST. CHARLES! WE CAN DO IT!

    Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Book Group Leader Extraordinaire!

    Check out "What Makes a Book Worth Talking About? A Veteran Book-Group Leader Weighs In" on The Booklist Reader! Staff may recognize the author of the post - one of SCCCLD's own staff! 
    Congratulations to Sue D for a job well done! Can hardly wait to read what she blogs about next!  

     Don't forget to check out her bio on the Contributors page.

    Monday, October 27, 2014

    Horror Movie Survival Kit

    Last week, the MonsterLibrarian contributors were given a challenge by the blogmaster, Kirsten. The challenge was to fill a crate with what would be needed to survive if you were suddenly dropped into a horror movie! 

    The full post is up and available under Musings of the Monster Librarian.

    What would you put in a survival crate in similar circumstances? Use the Comment link below to share your ideas.

    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Halloween Reading Traditions

    It's the time of year for ghosts, ghouls, and scares, all to be topped off with Trick or Treat on October 31st! 

    Were you aware that Karen Golab (GA) traditionally re-reads Ray Bradbury's classic novel Something Wicked This Way Comes every October? Karen's tradition got me to wondering ...

    Do any other SCCCLD staff have a similar October reading habit? Do you re-read an old classic horror story? Maybe you just read / listen to / watch something scary to get in the mood for Halloween. [FYI ... there is also a very scary movie based on Bradbury's book which stars Jason Robards and has the marvelous Jonathan Pryce as a devilish Mr. Dark!]

    If you're looking for some Halloween reading, consider one of the seven very scary titles, some old, some new, discussed in the following article: Great Reads: Horror Directors Who Became Authors from Booklist Online.

    The district owns or has On Order all but one of these books! We owned copies of Fountain Society by Wes Craven at one time but unfortunately no longer and it is now Out of Print and sad to report, not available to reorder. You could request it through ILL though!

    So what are YOU reading for Halloween? Use the Comments box and tell the SCCCLD staff all about it! 

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    RA Tip: "RA as a Technical Service" - a Training Opportunity

    On Thursday, October 9th, during the 2014 Missouri Library Association (MLA)  Conference, Kaite Stover (Kansas City Public Library) gave a great program called: Readers' Advisory for a New Age of Readers. The Powerpoint presentation and handout for her program can be accessed online at:  Click on Conference Presentations, then Missouri Library Association for 2014.

    During her program, Kaite mentioned an upcoming training which will be provided by RUSA-CODES (Reference and User Services Association-Collection Development and Evaluation Section of the American Library Association). The training will be email based and will begin Tuesday morning, Oct 14 and run through Wednesday afternoon/evening, Oct 15th. This CODES conversation is free and open to any library staff with an interest in readers' advisory.

    RA as a Technical Service

    A new CODES Conversation begins October 14th  and will run through the 15th. 

    RA does not just happen in the stacks and at the public service desk. It happens in the catalog, in collection development, and in materials processing. Join a community of over 500 librarians interested in all things RA as we discuss how to make sure that the RA service that happens behind the scenes of public service gets the attention and focus necessary to make all of RA as robust and useful as possible.

    Some of the topics we will address include:

    • How best to calculate, and what factors to consider in setting, holds ratios?
    • Genre Headings: How (if at all) do catalogers/patrons/advisors agree to what constitutes a genre? How many headings do we want/need in an age of genre blends?
    • What features of the catalog support and enrich RA?
    • How can the collection development staff help the public services staff keep up with new titles and genres?
    • What use are stickers on books? How do they work with genre blends?
    • Should we interfile or have divided collections?
    • How do we ensure the best access to paperbacks? And speaking of paperbacks has the format flipped to some degree to ebooks?
    CODES Conversations are focused electronic conversations on current issues facing collection development and readers’ advisory librarians—or anyone interested in those areas. The free, moderated discussions are open to all - just subscribe to the discussion at, then follow and contribute (or lurk!) as you wish.


    RA Tip: LibraryReads November 2014 Top Ten Announced!!

    The November 2014 Top Ten winner is ... Us: a Novel by David Nicholls (published by Harper) 

    Kimberly McGee of Lake Travis Community Library (Austin, TX) describes the book ...
    “Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that makes you wish you could meet the characters in real life. This is the case with Us, the poignant story of a middle-of-the-road British family spiraling out of control, and one man’s attempt to win back their love. Quirky, delightful and unpredictable, the novel delves into what makes a marriage, and what tears it apart.”

    The full list of November Top Ten titles can be found at LibraryReads

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    RA Tip: Missouri Library Association 2014 Annual Conference

    The 2014 Missouri Library Association Conference will be held in Columbia, MO starting Wednesday, October 8 through 12:00 Noon on Friday, October 10. I will be posting about the programs I attend so keep checking the blog for updates.

    Yours truly, the RAT Queen will be hosting a Table Talk on Thursday morning from 9:15 AM until 10:00 AM. If you are attending the conference, stop by and join the fun! 

    What's the topic you ask? Here's the full description right from the conference guidebook:

    Table Talk: Creating Displays with Whole Readers' Advisory
    Looking for ways to promote your collections? Always searching for additional material to include in a displays? Have a bright, innovative idea for a display? Whole Readers' Advisory encourages the use of all formats in displays. Come to the table to hear how others create and maintain displays and talk about your own successes (or failures). Display examples will be available for discussion along with an exercise for working with others to develop ideas. Let's sit down and brainstorm about displays--the more the merrier!

    Handout links and (hopefully) a photo or two will be posted to the blog later!

    Saturday, October 4, 2014

    Blogging 101: Learning How to Post

    A number of staff contribute to the SCCCLD Book Challenge. Others may have considered joining in on the fun but are reluctant because they've never posted to a blog before or have never written an annotation or review as a blog post.  

    Laura Pirondi (SP-Reference and book challenge blogmaster) and Lucy Lockley (the RAT Queen) will be hosting two (2) RA training demonstrations on learning how to post to the blog. Staff are invited to the session of their choice - the demonstration will be the same each time so there is no need to register for both sessions. 

    Blogging 101: Learning How to Post
    • A Readers' Advisory Training session on how to use the 'SCCCLD Book Challenge' blog to produce exciting, informative, and entertaining posts about titles you have read, listened to, or viewed. Come and learn how to post to our staff blog and help the district win the Missouri Book Challenge competition in 2015!!
      • Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM in Room 112 at GA
        • -- There will be few mobile devices (laptops & tablets) available for this session or attendees may bring their own device, if they wish to follow along during the demonstration.
      • Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM in Room 221 (Technology Training Room) at SP

    These training sessions are listed in e-vents as 'Staff Only' programs and are OPEN for registration to all SCCCLD staff. Please speak with your manager if you need to arrange time to attend one of the training demonstrations.

    Hope to see you there! If you are reading something scary for Halloween, you should be able to blog about it before the Trick or Treaters come knocking at your door!  :-)