Intrigue and Inspiration | African American Fiction (and More!)

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My background evaluating young adult books has me always noting a novel’s first sentence. A teenage audience has to be hooked early and fast. Most readers are familiar with famous first lines such as these three that grab readers’ attention: You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of […]

Heroes for Our Time: 21st-Century Superheroes

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Superheroes come in all shapes and colors and settings, but we perhaps need them more right here and now in our own backyards. These two dozen titles display the best of 21st-century superheroes.

Moms and Other Maydays | Memoir

DrunkMom

This month’s Memoir column features mothers and others of all types.

Child Rearing from the Hardings, Kang, Stein, Military Families, & More | Parenting Reviews

The Dolphin Way

The Brainy Bunch‘s success is inspirational and uplifting, Kang shows parents how to develop skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and communication, a helpful guide to navigating the demands military families face

Mental Health Memoirs | Q&A with Clifton Crais & Linda Mary Wagner

Memoir writers Clifton Crais (History Lessons) and Linda Mary Wagner (Unearthing the Ghosts) discuss their books with LJ memoir columnist Thérèse Purcell Nielsen

Couples on the Rocks | African American Fiction (and More)

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This month’s selections feature couples in crisis. Some will salvage their relationships, and others will meet an unfortunate end

Mecca, Mosques, & Muhammad: Islam & the West | Collection Development

Islam

In many American libraries, a significant portion of the service population may know little about Islam. These 39 resources will help close the gap.

Big Spender

STRATEGIC SELECTORS (L.–r.) Erica Bartik, DVD and music buyer; Wendy Bartlett, adult fiction and ebook buyer; 
Bonnie Easton, adult nonfiction buyer; and Mary Schreiber, children’s book buyer. Not pictured, Melissa Barr, 
alternative formats buyer. Photo by Mike Bullock

Collection development starts with the budget. In Cuyahoga County, OH, that means the library’s executive team, led by Director Sari Feldman, and administrative team, led by Deputy Director Tracy Strobel, sit down and crunch the numbers. Once Wendy Bartlett, collection development manager, gets the resulting figure—some $8.5 million this year—she must divvy it up into all the various subjects, genres, and formats necessary to serve best the library system’s 28 branches and 884,035 cardholders—and maximize circulation of its materials, which reached 20,613,810 in 2012.

Getting Data Right

Among the hottest trends in collection development are tools that help libraries more efficiently crunch their numbers to make data-driven decisions. But while the tools are new, using data to make selections is not. Data-driven decisions have been on the rise in libraries for years. Anna Mickelsen, Springfield City Library, MA, explains why she uses data for collection development: “I use stats to get a look at the bigger picture of the whole library’s collection and how the different parts compare to one another. Collection decisions shouldn’t be made in a vacuum, and statistics are sometimes the only solid information I have to work with.”

Stop Seeking and You Shall Find | Memoir

Shooting Stars

Memoirs about growing up, attending weddings, tending kids, shooting stars, being deaf, eating wildly, and coming out.

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