Jan 29

A few updates and reminders; a discussion of a planned library that will have no physical books; Ann recommends Where’d You Go Bernadette?by Maria Semple and I loved Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman

Updates and Reminders

Project Short Story – Ann has kept to her schedule of reading a new short story every day and she is loving it. I wish I had jumped on the bandwagon at the beginning of the year, but Ann informed me that May is National Short Story Month, so I think I have a challenge for May! You still have a couple of days to read The Paper Menagerie, the Readalong Story for January. Ann will announce the February story within the next week or so.

Two Books I Can’t Wait For You to Read, Volume 2 – Don’t forget to submit your recommendation for two books you love, to be printed in a new volume in April. Your recommendations don’t have to be long (in fact, you are limited to 475 characters for each blurb), and can be completely conversational; they don’t need to read like a New York Times review. You have until March 3 to submit and you can do so here.

Libraries Without Books (9:14)

Library photo courtesy of CCAC North Library via Flickr

Elizabeth from our Goodreads Group shared a link to an article about a county in Texas that will be opening the first physical book-less public library this fall. All books will be available electronically. Ann and I discuss whether this should still be called a library (I say no, she says yes), how the functions of libraries are changing, what’s to happen to the books that aren’t available for e-lending, and how will librarians display books? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Two Books We Can’t Wait For You to Read (21:03)

Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple     wolves

At the very end of last year, Ann read Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple, an epistolary novel that she found funny, sad, and poignant all at the same time. It also was just named to The Alex Awards list of ten adult books that would appeal to teens, along with Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Girlchild, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, and My Friend Dahmer, among others.

Little Wolves by Thomas Maltman, was recently released in hardcover. It’s a novel about a shocking crime in a small Minnesota plains town, and the effect it has on the townspeople, especially the new pastor’s young pregnant wife, and the father of the perpetrator. I found it fascinating and uniquely told.

 Library photo courtesy of CCAC North Library via Flickr
  • Dan Nieman

    I enjoyed the podcast. I especially enjoyed to listen to you grapple with the concept of a library without paper books. This is a paradigm that has been pushed at us librarians for more than a decade.

  • Michelle

    Here in San Antonio we have a great library system. This new location will be our 26th ‘library’. There is a library just 4 miles from where Bibliotech will stand; in addition there are 4 libraries within 10 miles. I think these are interesting things to know when thinking about this addition to San Antonio libraries. An aside: Bexar County is pronounced ‘bear’ 😉

    • Michelle, thank you! I’m curious: what has been the community response to this story? In the end, that’s what really matters.

      • Michelle

        I haven’t actually heard many people talking about this yet, but I do live on the opposite side of the city. The area where Bibliotech will stand has lots of lower income neighborhoods– I see this becoming a big homework/study center for the students in that area; many of them not having adequate technology or homework assistance at home. I don’t know how our city compares to others around the country, but it’s common here to walk into a library and see a dozen people waiting to use a computer. I think this new facility will be utilized and I think that’s an important point. I do wonder if one will be able to request a paper book to be delivered to and picked up from that location as is allowed at all other locations…

        • Nick

          I formerly worked for Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio, and we had been considering a similar concept in a similar neighborhood. At the time I left we hadn’t been able to find space for it, but the concept was still on the table. The demand for technology at the branches in that area is massive, with some of the longest wait times across the system, so there was no doubt that it was needed and would be well used. Kudos to San Antonio for making it happen!

  • Anonymous

    I wrote a blog post about the “bookless” library proposal in TX and someone posted a response in Dutch. Lots of people noticed this story! http://thenocturnallibrarian.com/2013/01/15/bookless-libraries/

  • Mariano

    Thank you very much for referring the Alex Awards. First time I heard of such awards and I think they are very useful to find good books. Cheers!

  • Tina

    Has anyone offered to track the stories for the “Project Short Story” yet? I’d be willing if you are not looking for anything too extravagant.

    • Tina, we’ve had so many amazing listeners come forward to volunteer! It’s really incredible. I think we’ve found our helper, but thank you!

      • Tina

        I am happy to hear it. Thanks for the reply.

  • Rita Hernandez

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned this yet, but bibliotecha in Spanish means library.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    I’m in Austin now, but am originally from San Antonio, and wanted to make much the same comment as Michelle. I think the location of the Bibliotech is really important. It will be in an area of town where ownership and access to e-readers and even computers is probably pretty low. It will be a great way to provide access to the technology. Now, these goals might have been accomplished by creating a regular library and enhancing its technological offerings. Ann mentioned that it felt like a stunt. Maybe it is, but it will get a lot of people’s attention, especially in that area and will attract a younger population that might not otherwise go to a library. I certainly wouldn’t want to see all libraries go this way, but I think it’s worth trying and am interested in seeing what comes of it. I’m excited to go visit it when it is ready in 6 months or so.

    And yes, the county is pronounced “bear”. It used to be Bejar when we were part of Mexico. The “x” is silent. Weirdest county name ever.

    Oh, and here is an article from the local media: http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/Bookless-library-good-for-county-4217907.php

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