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:


    • 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!  :-)

Links from the Staff - Week of September 28 to October 4, 2014

Well, your co-workers have been at it again, posting fun and informative links for all to see and checkout!

  • Melanie F (KL Reference) posted "Greetings! FYI - PBS programming for this October... Enjoy!" (9/30/2014)
  • Laura W (ILL Dept) forwarded a link from ALA news saying "Here is a little quiz to determine which banned book best fits your personality. Mine is The Grapes of Wrath (not sure what that says about me?), which is amusing since I really did not like that book. I did enjoy the movie though :-) (10/01/2014)

Friday, October 3, 2014

RA Tip: One Blog to Bind Them - The Booklist Reader

The lovely and clever folks at Booklist and Booklist Online have launched a new one-stop access point for all their great blogs: The Booklist Reader

"Launched in September 2014, The Booklist Reader provides a single home for the respected and well-established Booklist Online blogs: Likely StoriesBook Group BuzzBookendsAudiobooker, and Shelf Renewal, all brought to you by Booklist Publications, a part of the American Library Association."

IREaDAlert - Newsletter # 137 - October 2, 2014, Keir Graff, editor for Booklist Online, describes the new site as "One Blog to Bind Them
Check out The Booklist Reader and follow all your favorite Booklist blogs at once!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lit in the Lou - 1st Annual St. Louis Book Festival

Did you know St. Louis will be having it's first book festival in October? There will be author readings, book signings, writing workshops, exhibits, family activities, food, music, and more! Sounds like fun! 

Lit in the Lou
Friday, October 10-Sunday, October 12
Ackert Park & Walkway
Delmar @ Melville, UCity Loop

The full schedule of events for Lit in the Lou - the First Annual St. Louis Book Festival can be found at: 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

RA Tip: Book Recommendation Sites

I recently read (or re-read) two readers' advisory articles from Public Libraries Online. Each mentions online book recommendation sites which may be of interest to staff and our customers:

Need More Romance? There's an App for That by Christyna Hunter on Publc Libraries Online - September 24, 2014

Your Role in Readers' Advisory by Brian R. Smith on Public Libraries Online May 29, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Links from the Staff - Week of September 21 - 27, 2014

The following links were posted for all staff this week:

  • Jim B (Director-SCCCLD) mentioned a Pew Research Center study on Millennials and Public Libraries at Adult Services meeting on Wednesday, Sept 24th. He said :"If you have not read the report I would encourage you to do so. It offers some very interesting perspectives on how those under 30 engage with libraries and think about the role of the library in their lives." (9/25/2014)
  • In a reply to Jim B's post, Laura W (ILL Dept) provided a link to "A similar study (which) was done by Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles last November that, while not focusing on libraries, is specific to St. Charles County Millennials." (9/25/2014)
  • Melanie F (KL Reference) posted (9/26/2014) "It's drama time again on PBS!  Check out what's coming on this Sunday..."

    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    Science Fiction Book Talks

    One Wednesday morning, Sept 24th, there was a RATraining book talks session for the Science Fiction genre. The titles talked about were:

     Redshirts by John Scalzi 
    Sheri K (DE) really liked the book even though she is not a science fiction reader. When she learned it was read by Wil Wheaton (who also read Ready Player One, the RAT Round 4 Science Fiction benchmark), she borrowed the audio version from St. Louis County! [ NOTE to self: need to order the audio book for SCCCLD... :-) ] The story revolves around a TV show called "SSS Intrepid" and is a spoof of  the original Star Trek television series. Sheri said you don't have to be a science fiction fan to enjoy the book, would highly recommend it to anyone, and thought YA readers would like Red Shirts as well. Sheri's full review has been posted on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

    Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear  
    Lisa K (KR) read and listened to the book; with the audio version, she occasionally found the dialogue hard to follow. The book starts out with no background build up - a young man wakes up from a frozen state, trying to pull himself free from a pod while being encouraged to hurry by a young girl, and proceeds from there. He is in one of three sections (hulls) of an enormous space ship, each of which wakes up at a different time. But things have gone wrong ... The story is written from the main character's point of view and the  author does a good job of tying everything together. Lisa said the book is very Sci-Fi oriented but believes Young Adults would find it interesting as well. Lisa's full annotation/review is also to be posted on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

     Archetype by M.D. Waters
    Although Sue D (MK & Float) was unable to be at the book talks session she posted about her Science Fiction title on the SCCCLD Book Challenge.

    A book talk for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall by Nancy Kress will be posted soon to the SCCCLD Book Challenge blog by Michelle N (CP). 

    Other Science Fiction book talk posts will be linked from Tales from the RAT Queen to their entries on SCCCLD Book Challenge as they show up on the blog.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Science Fiction Book Talks from SCCCLD Book Challenge

    Searching the 'Blog Archive' on our SCCCLD Book Challenge I found a some entries from staff for Science Fiction titles posted in 2011. Click on a title to read what your co-workers had to say about these books:

     Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Matched by Ally Condie 

     Cinder by Marissa Meyer

    Watch for links to other Science Fiction entries from the 'Blog Archive' of our SCCCLD Book Challenge in future posts. :-)

    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Links from the Staff - Week of September 14 - 20, 2014

    Posted this past week by your co-workers in the district:

    • Louise P. Cheli (SP Reference) mentioned she "recently read Joyce Saricks article, "In Praise of Browsing," (Booklist Online) and as usual, (Saricks) had insightful observations, suggestions and ideas." (9/18/2014)
      • Display idea from Joyce: "...pull titles only from those bottom shelves, where good books languish."
      • Quotes from the above link: 
        • "Browsing also gets us into the stacks, where we’re more likely to come upon readers and to start conversations. Librarians behind the desk can seem forbidding, but librarians loose in the stacks are fair game, more open to conversations and sharing titles." 
        • "If we’re open to the power of browsing and the magic of serendipity, we become more open to all possibilities, more able to meet readers, listeners, and viewers wherever they are."
    • Posted by Anna Sylvan (MK) - a TED talk from Mac Barnett ...(9/17/2014)
      • "Childhood is surreal. Why shouldn't children's books be? In this whimsical talk, award-winning author Mac Barnett speaks about writing that escapes the page, art as a doorway to wonder -- and what real kids say to a fictional whale."

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    HAPPY 1ST ANNIVERSARY - Tales from the RAT Queen!

    On Monday, September 16, 2013, Tales from the RAT Queen opened with it's first post welcoming all SCCCLD staff to Round 5 of the district's RA Training program. The Readers' Advisory Training (RAT) Program post introduced the blog and talked about the great staff training workshop in August which kicked off the current round -- a program presented by none other than Duncan Smith of NoveList!

    The Round 5 genre study then began with participants reading 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill in preparation for a Horror book discussion to be held at the end of September. The blog continued on from there with new material being posted for each new genre session, allowing staff to expand their knowledge of books and learn new ways to assist customers with readers' advisory queries.

    To celebrate the first anniversary of the blog, I invite all staff to 'talk' about what title they are currently reading, viewing, or listening to and why they selected it. Use the Comments link below to share your title and join in the fun by expanding our readers' advisory training experience!

    Saturday, September 13, 2014

    Links from the Staff - Week of September 7 - 13, 2014

    Your co-workers out in the district often post links to interesting articles or information about events and programs on our internal listserv. I thought it might be fun to share those through the blog as well ... 
    • For all PBS viewers, Melanie Foster (KL Reference) posted the following (9/12/2014): "Barring any last-minute pledge drives , here's what's coming up on PBS, beginning tonight ..."

    Friday, September 12, 2014

    RA Tip: LibraryReads October 2014 Top Ten Announced!!

    And the winner is ... A Sudden Light: a Novel by Garth Stein (Published by Simon & Schuster)

    From the LibraryReads announcement:

    "Garth Stein has given us a masterpiece. This beautiful story takes readers on a thrilling exploration of a family estate brimming with generations of riveting Riddell family ghosts and secrets. This is a true exploratory novel, taking readers through secret passageways, hidden rooms, and darkened corridors that engage all of the senses."
    Whitney Gayle, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
    The full list of October 2014 Top Ten titles can be found at:  LibraryReads