Thursday, March 29, 2012

Need some vacation reading?

Some of the new books in the library . . . take one with you over break!


Out by Natsuo Kirino A tautly paced, suspenseful, claustrophobic thriller set in Japan.  Not for the faint of heart.

The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill Political intrigue and intricacies and bodies on the slab in Laos.

In the Woods by Tana French  A richly psychological mystery set in Ireland, I read it a second time - just as good when you know who did it!


How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston  With such chapters as "How to Be The Black Friend" and "Being Black Harvard", Thurston combines humor and the story of his life while challenging stereotypes of blackness.

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowlege No That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger

Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization by Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller

Fiction Around the World

The Truth About Marie by Jean-Phillipe Toussaint  "down to the taste of grappa in their kisses"

Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin Moscow, 2028.

A Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh  An epic voyage to India during the Opium Wars.

Sequels and Prequels

The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure by James Dashner (second and third books in the Maze Runner Trilogy)

The Dead by Charlie Higson the Prequel to The Enemy  Zombies!

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore  Sequel to I am Number Four. Aliens!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New Guideposts as we go Down the Rabbit Hole

One of the joys of the internet is diving in and finding something unexpected, something funny or inspiring, or just the right bit of information.  And when we have found that delightful something, what do we want to do but share it?  We create out of the vast miasma, a collection of things that we are recommending.  But how do we manage this crowd-sourced curating?

Maria Popova has proposed the Curator's Code.  This code says that we must give credit not only to the creator of the content where possible, but to our fellow curator's who have brought it to our attention.  She suggests two symbols to use.  The first(  ) stands for "via" and is used to denote the direct source where you found the information and the second () stand for HT or Hat Tip which allows you to give credit to "a link of indirect discovery, story lead or inspiration".  You can check out the Curator's Code website for how to get these neat symbols to appear in your blog or facebook post.

I am drawn to this way of leaving bread crumbs as we explore the forest of information, and so pleased at the term "Curator", a great word to describe what we are all becoming.

And Librarians are becoming the professional curators of information, here to lead you away from the kitten burritos and latest "S**t (insert demographic group here) say" towards the beautiful and useful.
A fellow librarian puts it well:

As our collections are changing, our role as the curator is – I believe – coming to the fore again. Now we’re being asked to curate collections of apps for the devices we check out, such as iPods and iPads. We’re assembling dioramas of software for our information commons computers... I feel like we’re an art museum trying to put together an exhibit for a whole new art movement that hasn’t really been defined yet.  
  Librarienne,   Catherine Sullivan (for introducing me to the idea of librarian as curator)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Millennial Feminism

"Can you be sure of getting your voice heard in a group where you are the only representative of your gender?"  When this question was asked of a group of students at International during the recent diversity day, every Girl said "no" and every Boy said "yes".  Whether we're calling it the 3rd wave or 4th,  and even if there is a tendency for some women to say, "I'm not a feminist, but...,"the women's movement remains relevant today.  But does it have a spokesperson?
The Sunday New York times (March 18th) asked why no one has replaced Gloria Steinem as the voice of feminism.  Their answer - in short - is that her legacy has dispersed into many different places.  Steinem herself says "Only a diverse group can symbolize a movement."  
One place where young feminists are making their voices heard is the blog the F-bomb started by Julie Zeilinger.  The "F" here stands for feminist, not the other f-word, but the intended double meaning speaks to the forthright uncensored voice of the blog.  Zeilinger made newsweek's list of 150 Fearless Women, but her blog is written by a variety of teenage women who speak elegantly about their experiences, about sex education, about machismo, about the media, about sexual assault, about perfectionism.   The internet has allowed the women from around the world to find community, and to make their voices heard.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

In honor of International women's day I've reached back to a NYT bestseller from 2003 to suggest a book: Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in books by Azar Nafisi I'm sure some of you read this when it came out, but if you never got around to it, consider coming to the library to check it out now.

Reading Lolita tells the story of Azar Nafisi a literature professor in Iran forced to resign her post who continues to teach seven of her students, meeting in her house to read classic western works, including  Lolita, Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.   These novels take a back seat to the lives of Azar and her students, but the transformative power of literature drives the memoir.

 This glimpse into the hearts and minds of women whose rights have been stripped away shows us their courage, their losses and their joys.