Thursday, November 14, 2013

What I've Been Reading

Here in the library, we are standing on the precipice of automating our collection. That is, moving from a manual card system to a fully digital, barcode-scanning future! While that plan slowly ticks towards being ready to begin (arranging the details with our IT admin at the moment), I've been continuing with weeding our collection. We have removed about 400 books from the shelves yet, as a student pointed out to me this week, the shelves still look full! The obsolete/damaged books will be featuring in a book sale, with the left over books being donated to the local Friends of the Library, who know better than I do who would find the books most useful.

While that continues, I've begun the process of, shall we say, strongly encouraging the students to return all of their library books. When I arrived, we did not have a process of library fines. Perhaps when the system is digital, we can calculate such things better. At the moment though, if there is a late book, all that can really happen is a grumpy librarian (me). If a book is decided as missing, though, we will be sending a letter home with a request that the book is found or the appropriate amount is paid. I finished the template for that letter yesterday, but I'm hoping that most of our students will return any misplaced books. The majority of the kids are quite bashful about any missing books, and serious about the idea of returning them - at least, so far!

While all of this administration has been happening, I've been reading:

Every Day by David Leviathan

I'm always poking my nose into new YA fiction to see what's popular. I liked the premise of this, a sort of Quantum Leap for teenagers. I didn't really dig the protagonist's obsession with his love interest, I saw it more as creepy than romantic. She put it well in the latter half of the book: he didn't have the right to use those lives to basically stalk her. Apparently there's a sequel on the way, perhaps A will grow up a little bit then. I did finish it, but kept hoping it would get better. 3/5 stars.

Good Night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian

I never did this book in school, but it came highly recommended by a friend. I read another of her books, Back Home, earlier in the year, and really enjoyed it- so I decided to pick this one up and have a go. Honestly, I thought it was really great. The lives of the people in the book were so very interesting, and the section where Willie has to go back to visit his mother was truly stomach-churning. I don't often have such an emotional reaction to books! Great read, and am already plotting ways to encourage my students to read it. 5/5 stars.

The Armourer's House by Rosemary Sutcliff

We have a substantial collection of  Sutcliff's novels in the library, perhaps they were very popular at a previous point in the library's timeline? The language of her books seems, sadly, to be a bit out of reach for the majority of our students but I will continue to persevere. I'd attempted to get stuck into The Eagle of the Ninth before, and will probably try again, but this is the first time I've read any of her novels the whole way through. As a massive Tamora Pierce fan, this book struck me as a Tamora Pierce book where the was no magic! I sort of was waiting for the fantastical element to happen, or for Tamsyn to disguise herself as a boy and steal away on a ship. Despite that, though, it was a very detailed look into life during the time period- which was something I found fascinating through reading. 3/5 stars.