Sunday, March 26, 2017

Audiobooks and Ebooks

Week 11 Prompt 
Ebooks and audiobooks are changing how readers are experiencing books. Instant access and easiness are a couple of the reasons why people switch to these formats. But does this access and easiness replace the feel and look of actual printed books? For me they do not.
I personally enjoy the feel, smell and emotions of holding a book. When I hold a book and turn the pages it helps my mind focus and switch on my imagination. Of course I don’t enjoy a book as much if it smells like cigarettes, new is the best. Being able to borrow from the library save me from having to find space to keep all of the books I have read or want to read. Have I tried an audiobook or Ebook, yes?

Audiobooks have allowed me enjoy a story while I am driving and at times acted as a supplement to help understand a story or learn a language. I have found that the narration and unabridged format are important to listening. If the voice of the narrator is unpleasant I cannot enjoy the story. When the story is abridged I feel like I am missing pieces of a puzzle. Ebooks have other benefits that audiobooks do not.

Ebooks allow instant access to books and books that are not in print. They also offer the ability to have several books at a time without worrying about space or ways to carry them. I have enjoyed an Ebook while fling on a plan because it did allow me to have several choices without taking up space needed in my carry on. However, sitting near the pool while trying to read an Ebook is tough when the sun is too bright. Another reason I choose to read books in print is the ability to share a good book with a friend or taking it to a used book store for someone else to enjoy.

Besides the ease and instant access, there are other features of audiobooks or Ebooks that draws readers to them. For those who have vision problems an audiobooks enables them to still enjoy a book without the stress of trying to read the print. Ebooks allow these same people the ability to increase the size of print or use text- to- speech. Having these features between these formats opens doors for those who may be limited on what they can read due to vision loss.

With all of the benefits of Ebooks and audiobooks I still prefer an actual printed book. The one memory that reinforces this is from elementary school. My teacher would read to us each day from “The Boxcar Children”. I remember the sound of the pages as she turned them, her reading the part of the cold water in the creek, the cover of the book and the excitement I felt when I found out what happened next. Do I think I could have experienced this in another format? An audiobook would allow me to enjoy the spoken words but it would leave me without the sound of turning pages and feel and texture of the book. Will I continue to use these formats, yes? Why? Because there will be times where holding a book will not be possible or I am unable to find the book in regular print.

Appaloosa by Robert B. Parker

By Robert B. Parker
Genre: Western
Publication Date: 2005
Number of Pages: 276
Series: Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, 1

Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch travel from town to towns that are in need of help. Appaloosa is one of those towns. A man named Bragg and his men have taken over the town. When the marshal goes to arrested some of Bragg’s men he and a deputy are killed. Cole and Hitch have now been hired to save the town from Bragg. With new laws in town can Cole and Hitch bring Bragg and his men down?

Subject Headings:
Frontier and pioneer life -- Fiction.
Ranchers -- Fiction.
Peace officers -- Fiction.
Outlaws -- Fiction.

Three terms that describe this book:

Death is certain in this western. It is during a time when trials were simple and people delivered justice on their own.

Robert B. Parker writes in short chapters. Events and characters keep moving so that readers want to keep turning the pages to find out what happens.

Details are simple and matter of fact.

The Last Kind Words Saloon by Larry McMurtry
The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale
Go and Bury Your Dead by Bill Brooks

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book club experience

The Elkhart Public Library holds a book club meeting at the Main Library once a month. The book for the month of February was “The Life of Galileo” by Bertolt Brecht. I listened to the book in audiobook format so that when I attended the book club meeting I knew what they were discussing. It appeared that the members that attended the meeting had been regular members. I got this impression from the conversations before the meeting started. They discussed previous books and experiences.
Previous books were chosen from a list that was provided through Indiana’s Humanities. The group had changed to choosing their own books based on recommendations by members. By choosing this route it has led to a shortage of available books in one location. Fortunately, the library is able to borrow books through Interlibrary Loan. Members were asked to start thinking about titles for the end of the year. They would discuss them at the next meeting and vote on which ones to read. From the conversation about previous books it appeared that not all of the books were fiction. The book about Galileo was actually a play.  
There is a leader of the group (former employee) Maryann. Maryann started the book club meetings as an employee but continued to run the group when she retired. The group did not start with a list of questions they started talking about what they thought of the book. Maryann did ask questions ask questions when the conversation began to sway away from the book. The questions were open ended so that a discussion could take place. Maryann took an active part in the conversation sharing her thoughts about the book also.
Not all of the participants spoke during the conversations. There were 3 members who took most of the spotlight talking about what they thought. One participant took the lead the most. She at times cut off others as they were talking. Maryann would try to bring the conversation back to where others could speak but it appeared to be an ongoing process that would happen at each meeting. I did enjoy another member’s initiative to bring other books that had further information on Galileo. She brought a juvenile book that had photos and simple text plus another adult book that had information and a timeline of events. This information provided a better understanding of Galileo.
A current staff member brought cake and coffee about a half hour into the meeting. I do not know if the library provides these items or just gathers them. It did not look like food was the main reason why members were there. Only 2 people opted to eat the cake. Depending on the library’s budget, providing drinks and a snack should be served at the meetings. From experience people enjoy talking over food.
According to the recommendations from ALA “sending out monthly reminders” will help keep members in touch. The members at this meeting were updating the list of emails so that reminders could go continue to go out. The ALA page also discussed what amount of members to have at the book club meetings. This group has about 9 members which is between the recommended numbers of 8-16.
After attending this book group, which was my first one, I decided that I would like to attend ones in the future. However, I am unable to do find the time to do so now. For those who have a love of reading and would like to share what their thoughts are or just the emotions they get from books, a book club is one way for them to do this.

American Library Association. (n.d.). Starting a Book Club. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Marketing Readers' Advisory

Readers' Advisory is a service that some current users and nonusers of the library do not know about. If your library wanted to get the word out about the service it would need to create a marketing plan to promote the service.

The marketing plan includes implementation, a timeline, and a goal. Word of Mouth Marketing is one the the cheapest forms of marketing. Staff in the front-lines (circulation) can be the best promoters of the service. They can share information with users while they are interacting with the staff. A timeline for the marketing plan is necessary for the plan to keep on track. It will be important to find a way to see if your goal was accomplished. This can be done with results of surveys and increase in use of the service.

After the promotion of the readers’ advisory service it could become a situation where you may want to be careful what you wish for. With this promotion the usage of this service could increase. The promotion may be short term but the service is long term. The commitment from the library staff and administration must be long term.