One of the best parts of working in a library, naturally, are the books. Collection development is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. I become aware of new titles using professional review journals, blogs, publisher and vendor websites, browsing at book stores, speaking with other librarians and by working the reference desk with my avid readers.
Another more exciting and direct way of learning about new books is to attend a publisher's preview, which I did this past Friday at the New York Public Library. Adult non-fiction was the focus with representatives from HarperCollins and Macmillan presenting their upcoming 2010 titles. Marilyn Johnson, the author of This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All was the scheduled guest speaker, but alas she had to cancel due to the snowy weather. In fact, New York City schools were closed for the day. But it takes much more inclement weather to close public libraries! Witness the stoic lions below:
But back to the book:
I've heard so much buzz about this title, and am now in the middle of chapter four thanks to the copies provided by HarperCollins. Johnson was inspired to write this in-depth study of twenty-first century librarian culture when researching her previous book, The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries, about the obituary writing profession. She noticed that some of the most memorable obituaries were about, of all people, librarians. So far I'm enjoying the profiles of the various specialties within librarianship, particularly the mention of the "tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian." Hmmm, I certainly don't know anyone that meets that description...
An excellent source for upcoming titles frequently cited during the preview was the blog EarlyWord. I've only discovered this collection development website within the past year, and it is a goldmine not just for the earliest information on new releases but also the convenient links to award books, publisher's catalogs, movie and television tie-ins and best of the year lists.
Another exciting event of the morning was finally getting my New York Public Library card! Now my New York City library card collection is complete... and I must say that Brooklyn is winning the cuteness contest (then again as someone who works with young children I am rather biased.) Besides the access to another varied collection and the ability to reserve DVDs (sadly not an option in Queens), I'm also looking forward to using their language learning database Mango.