By Laura Barkema, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
On November 9, 1989, in Germany, a monumental shift in world politics occurred by the bringing down of not only a physical barrier, but a division among families, friends, and humanity. Thirty years ago, citizens from both East and West Germany worked together to tear down that physical barrier, the Berlin Wall. This act came to signify the beginning of the end of communism’s hold over the eastern half of Europe. As we celebrate the anniversary of this pivotal day, we’ll walk through the history of the Iron Curtain and the division between East and West Germany during the latter half of the 20thcentury.
by Gina Molter, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
According to the book Under Pressure: The Science of Stress by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, adolescents are faced with a wide variety of stressors in their lives, but knowledge is power—specifically the power to reduce stress to a more manageable level. With that in mind, the following series are recommended to help children and teens reduce their stress levels through knowledge—not the knowledge of how to achieve inner peace through deep breathing or guided meditation—but the knowledge that even in the worst of disasters, people can and do survive.
By: Briá Woods
August and September are the two months across-the-country during which we prepare for Back-to-School. What does Back-to-School mean for librarians? Specifically, our librarians in training headed back to graduate school. One of the messages we pride ourselves with here at Ingram Library Services is that we understand, “The Library Life Changes, Our Commitment Does Not.” We chatted with Wendy, Becky, and Debbie, some of (Y)Our MLS- Degreed Librarians, to dive deep into the mind of librarians. Grab your index cards, red pens, and highlighters to take some notes on what they wished they had learned in library school.
By Wendy Rancier, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Creating diverse and inclusive collections is a goal of every public librarian. Recently, many library professionals have viewed or attended informational sessions or seminars to help make our content more representative of the communities we serve. A recent study by The Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education exposes a thought-provoking and discouraging statistic in the publishing world: Even after years of work in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness, just 10% of Children’s titles published in 2018 featured characters who were African or African American, 7% Asian Pacific, 5% Latinx, and only 1% Native American. Most characters in children’s literature are white/Caucasian (50%) and nonhuman/animals (27%). Although there is still much work to do, demand for titles with diverse casts is on the rise.
By: Briá Woods
School supplies are at the cash wraps, vacationing is winding down, and weekday routines are slowly repositioning. While summer is still here, schools will be back in session soon and summer Fridays at work are ending. After their regular life of extracurricular activities, late-night meetings, and binge-watching of Netflix, how do we keep literacy at the forefront?
By Beth Reinker, MSLS, Manager, Collection Development Adult Materials
This September, filmmaker Ken Burns will bring audiences Country Music, a new eight-part documentary series airing on PBS. Here at Ingram, country music is especially near and dear to our hearts because our headquarters offices are in La Vergne, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
by Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
Have you seen the “Who Rescued Who” car magnet? Grammar error aside, that decal makes me smile because I often reflect on the relationship between animals and humans. It never ceases to amaze me when I hear stories on the news of a cat waking up his owner in the night when a fire breaks out, or a dog standing guard over his owner who’s in the middle of a seizure, or rats sniffing out landmines.
by Jill M. Andreasen, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
A recent trend I’ve noticed in both juvenile and YA fiction is stories dealing with the apocalypse. But rather than focusing on dystopias, this new crop of narratives is themed around the actual End of the World: some humorous, some figurative, some literal. It’s important to have narratives to allow kids to explore their anxieties about the future—including climate change, political and social upheaval, imploding personal lives, and ya know, extinction.
Ann Lehue, MSIS, Manager, Collection Development Programs
What do you get when you put a group of Ingram Library Services team members (including librarians) into a room with unlimited coffee twice a month? A whole lot of ideas, passion, and spirited negotiations about ipage enhancements, and completely full whiteboards with lots of edits. The past six months, the Collection Development team has been creating and standardizing great content, including genre lists, but the content was largely hidden, known only to ipage experts, serendipitous wanderers, or the most conscientious webinar attendees.
Ann Cox, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Senior citizen protagonists have been one of the most enduring trends in fiction of the last decade. It’s no wonder they’re so popular: as the entirety of the baby boomer generation reaches 65 in 2030, rapid demographic changes will have a drastic impact on American society. For the first time in U.S. history, older people are projected to outnumber children by 2035. Additionally, the number of Americans 65 and older will more than double by 2060 and will comprise almost a quarter of the total population. With these projections, it’s expected that graceful aging is a topic at the forefront of many readers’ minds. Whether embarking on new adventures, finding love, or reflecting on the relationships that make life meaningful, the seniors in these novels prove that you don’t stop living once you reach retirement.
Debbie Davenport, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Imagine with me, just for a moment, that you are sitting in your favorite movie theater. You have just chosen the perfect seat and have gotten comfortable with your snack and beverage, anxious for the film of your choice to begin. The lights dim, and the people around you get quiet. The previews are just beginning. Now close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Voices of the characters. Movement. The breathing of the person next to you. Go deeper and listen to the background of the film itself. Aha and eureka! You’ve detected the siren’s song! Music is underlying the emotion, the action, the drama. It’s driving the impact of the film and is the vehicle to your very soul. Guess what—it happens in your reality as well.
Written by Tricia Bengel
I, like many of you I am sure, started my library working career as a Page. I was a Page in my hometown Carnegie library for several years during high school and college. During that time, in addition to being able to look at any book and guess the Dewey Number, I had really strong calf muscles from hustling up and down steep steps on marble floors. What we did have was very tall shelves, very uncomfortable wooden chairs and absolutely no books written just for teenagers beyond a few Judy Blume and some horrid Sweet Valley High. I still found the library magical and was constantly awe inspired by the stories it held.
Wendy Rancier, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic in childhood development. Although its research dates back to 1994, it has become more relevant in recent years. Originally developed by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), research and implementation into school curriculums in conjunction with educators of all stripes has become a key part of their current and future work.
Rachel Montgomery, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
March is a time to acknowledge women’s endeavors and achievements–from the women’s suffrage movement to the third annual Women’s March that took place in January–with two major celebrations: International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.
We sit down with the CEO of Edmonton Public Library, Pilar Martinez, to chat about their Voices of Amiskwaciy program. This unique space celebrates indigenous communities and has been recognized by the ULC as a 2018 Top Innovator.
Sandra Farag, MLS, Manager, Collection Development Youth Materials and Beth Reinker, MSLS, Manager, Collection Development Adult Materials
Did you know that Ingram has a team of MLS-degreed librarians and paraprofessionals who have more than 350 years of experience in the industry? Like most of our department’s librarians, we both worked in public libraries before we came to Ingram, and we know firsthand how busy public librarians are. Now that we work for a vendor, our job is to help make your job easier. From hard-to-find topics to new publishing trends, we create the resources that we would have wanted when we were working in libraries.
Ann Lehue, MSIS, Manager, Collection Development Programs
Have you ever had a standing order question, dialed the number, and found yourself speaking to a remarkably cheerful person with a British accent? Rita Allison and Janet Hill have served as the voices of our Standing Order Programs for over a decade, and they have worked at Ingram for a combined total of more than 58 years. Sadly for us, and happily for them, both Rita and Janet have announced their retirements for March 1. Our team has nicknamed this dark period in our history the Ingram Brexit.
Laura Barkema, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian and Jenny McCluskey, MSLS, Collection Development Librarian
On June 28, 1969, at a bar called the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a movement began. Hundreds of gay men, lesbians, drag queens, and trans people who were tired of being arrested and harassed for their sexual orientations or proclivities via police raids at their chosen establishments, such as the Stonewall Inn, stood up for themselves. They refused to be taken by the police and humiliated, so they started riots and protests that lasted all night into morning. The riots continued the following night. This escalation of anger and frustration by members of the gay community came to be known as the Stonewall Riots (or Uprising), and this year in June 2019 is the 50th Anniversary of this pivotal moment in the rights of LGBTQIA+ people today.
Debbie Davenport, MLS, Collection Development Librarian and Wendy Rancier, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
School vacations, winter weather, and holidays can be both a joyous and a tense time. As a parent, you consider and discard multiple ideas on how to occupy your child/ren during those free hours that are normally filled with reading, writing, and arithmetic in a school setting. You ask yourself, what is fun but can also be used for learning something new? The same can be said for public librarians and staff, who are inundated with more traffic from kids, parents, and visiting relatives with no discernable pattern to peak times.
Ann Lehue, MLS, Manager, Collection Development Programs
Sure it’s the most wonderful time of the year and all, but some of us are ready to move on to the long, joyless winter, whether it’s because our dog’s poop is suddenly runny and flocked, we can’t remember where we put that creepy elf, or we have relatives who show up parked in a camper in our front yard, putting down a long-term sewer line.
Live from the Urban Libraries Council Annual Forum, we’re interviewing Jacquelyn Zebos and Chely Cantrell from the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library about their Honorable Mention in the Organizational Change and Strategic Management category.
Live from the Urban Libraries Council Annual Forum, we’re interviewing Amber Mathewson and Karyn Prechtel-Altman from the Pima County Public Library about their Library Restorative Practices for Youth.
By Ann Cox, MLS, Collection Development Librarian and Wendy Rancier, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Any pop culture fan can tell you that books and comics are currently the hottest source material for Hollywood. In 2017, eight of the top ten highest grossing movies in the domestic market were based on stories or characters originally found in print, with Black Panther poised to claim the top spot in 2018.
Jenny McCluskey, MSIS, Collection Development Librarian
What do you think of when you hear the term “graphic novel?” Superheroes, check. Manga, check. Fun stuff, right? And what about the term “nonfiction graphic novel?” Does that suggest popular classics of the medium, such as Persepolis or Maus? Or maybe newer standards come to mind, such as Congressman John Lewis’ New York Times-bestselling MARCH trilogy? Suddenly we see a great divide that is unfortunately still a very real misperception; that reading books that are fun cannot also be educational, and vice versa.
I recently had the chance to sit in on a webinar that my colleague Donna George, Director of Sales Operations and Product Development, hosted. The webinar was all about using Analytics tools to aid in decision making. The panelists consisted of Sam Cook, Systems Library for The Library Connection in Connecticut; Emily Althoff, Public Services Administrator for St. Louis County Library; and Mo Yang, Studio Coordinator at Anythink Libraries in Colorado.
During episode 4 of our #OnTheRoadULC road trip, we sat down with top innovators Noma Naficy and Beverly Redd to discuss their workforce and economic development programming at Hartford Public Library in Connecticut.
Live from the Urban Libraries Council Annual Forum, we’re interviewing Susan Broman from the Los Angeles Public Library about innovative additions to the area of Civic & Community Engagement through the New Americans Initiative.
We are hitting the road and taking our listeners to the 2018 Urban Libraries Council Annual Forum in Baltimore, Maryland. Join us as our hosts interview the Top Library Innovators, starting with Brooklyn Public Library's Teacher Lab.
Ingram’s Collection Development librarians regularly visit with publishers to find out about forthcoming titles, publishing trends, and what titles the publishers are most excited about each season. Check out their reviews for these forthcoming potential break-out novels:
In 1988, I voted for the first time. George H. W. Bush won handily (426 to 111 electoral votes and +7.8 percent of the popular vote)—he received 98 percent of the vote in my small Michigan village, so my single vote one way or the other didn’t seem to matter at all. Now that the country is more divided than ever, and the races so close, new voters and their views of civic duties, rights, and privileges seemingly have a real say in the direction of our country, at least on paper. But how do today’s new adults look at politics and voting?
Gone are the days when libraries could take a "cookie-cutter" approach to their community programming and outreach. Tune-in as we discuss the hyper-local drive towards engagement being embraced by libraries all over the country.
By Lisa M. Umina, Halo Publishing
2017 was an important year for self-publishing, when, for the first time ever, self- and indie-published books surpassed the market share of big publishers, with 42% of the market, as compared to 34% held by big publishers. In 2018, experts predict that the number of self-published books will increase, which is an indicator of the success and popularity of this option.
Libraries today are so much more than a place to find a new book. These public safe spaces are stepping up in their communities in a big way. From fighting homelessness to saving lives, libraries stand on the frontlines of public good.
Join us as we embark on Season 5 of Two Librarians And A Microphone! This season, inspired by the Urban Library Council's Annual Forum theme,
We took Season 4, What I Didn’t Learn In Library School, on the road. Straight from the trade show floor in NOLA, we asked librarians who stopped by our booth what they would share with the next generation of information experts. From building maintenance to library marketing that works, see if they add insight to your own ideas.
Debbie Davenport, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Librarians, public servants that we are, see many things in our careers and are confronted with a multitude of questions, requests, and situations. I always viewed a patron’s request for information as slaking my own thirst for knowledge. The topics varied from World War II history to astrology; local genealogy to learning how to sew; green energy to the latest tax law. Most were exciting and effervescent unveilings of new information… but there were those library consumers who made requests in haunting ways I will never forget.
Joyce Skokut, Director Collection Development
If Stephen Hawking was afraid of it… When executives from Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and another 100 business leaders visit the White House to attend a meeting about the need for a strategy for it… you know you should pay attention. Whether you’re aware of it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is already at work all around you.
Jenny McCluskey, MSIS, Collection Development Librarian
After almost two years of labor, the inaugural Excellence in Graphic Literature (EGL) awards were announced last month at Denver Comic Con. The idea behind the awards is to further recognize the format’s value and importance as literature. John Shableski, VP of Sales at Udon Entertainment, explains, “One of the goals of the awards is to create an annual event that all publishers, authors, librarians, and educators will celebrate, much as they do the ALA Midwinter awards.” Thomas Maluck (Richmond Public Library) reacted positively to the EGL awards. He points out, “The increasing prominence of comics narratives in libraries and syllabi means more opportunities than ever for great reading experiences. Strong reviews, professional recognition of quality, and diversity of content go a long way toward book selections.” The EGL awards are yet another way to recognize quality in graphic literature.
Beth Reinker, MSLS, Manager, Collection Development Adult Materials
In many libraries, biographies are some of the most popular titles. Why? People love to read stories about others, and biographies and autobiographies are some of the most captivating stories out there. The fact that they are true only makes them more fascinating. Where else can you get an in-depth glimpse at the real lives of athletes, actors, politicians, musicians, well-known business people, supermodels, and everyday people who have experienced extraordinary situations? You can watch a movie or a documentary, but unless there is strong narrative to help you understand what the person is thinking and feeling, you miss a big part of the person’s story. Reading a biography is often equal parts surprising and reassuring—the stories inspire empathy, sadness, laughter, amazement, or disgust. But almost always, they remind us of the similar threads that bind all of us to the human experience.
Ann Cox, MLS, Collection Development Librarian
Are you caught up in The Great American Read fever yet? It seems that no matter where I look, everyone has an opinion on the 100 books that made the list, let alone what book should be the top pick for America’s favorite fiction title. (Sorry, nonfiction fans: they weren’t considered for this list.) Kicking off on May 22, the eight-part PBS series will include interviews with authors, celebrities, notable Americans, and regular book lovers across the country, all advocating for their favorite book. Themed episodes explore the concepts behind the books, how readers are affected by these stories, and what their status in the American psyche says about us as a diverse nation with a shared human experience. Voting will take place throughout the summer and fall, leading up to the final episode to reveal the results of nationwide voting and crown America’s best-loved novel.
Season 4 is here with a unique look at lessons from #TheLibraryLife ! Two Librarians and a Microphone: What I Didn’t Learn in Library School.
Becky Walton, Collection Development Librarian
BABY TEETH Zoje Stage’s first adult novel, is about a wicked seven-year-old girl named Hanna who really has it in for her mother, Suzette. You see, if Suzette were out of the picture, Hanna would have her dad, Alex, all to herself. As early as page one, the reader gets a sense of how Hanna feels about her mom and dad, and soon it’s revealed that Hanna wants to kill her mother!
by Jill Andreasen and Wendy Rancier, Collection Development Librarians
It’s clear that authors, artists, and creators in the children’s publishing world feel a responsibility, an urgency, to raise a level of empathy and awareness in the newest generation around many issues our country is facing. In 2018, many are highlighting the plight of refugees and immigrants including those fleeing war, persecution, or poverty.
We caught up with the Seattle Public Library during PLA to chat about one of our favorite stories from #TheLibraryLife—their superbly successful Somali children’s board book project.
Donna George, MLS, Director of Product Management
When I started my work in public libraries over 30 years ago, would I have guessed that I would be managing a branch library right about now? Not so much. Like many folks in many different professions, a few interests and decisions along the way have led me to a much different place. As Director of Product Management at Ingram Library Services, I’m thrilled to be working with hundreds of libraries and thousands of librarians across the country.
So much of what we think we know is perceived through a political lens—education, women’s rights, even public library funding. How can libraries respond to this social shift without losing the integrity of their missions?
The 2016 election turned up the heat on an already simmering political climate. What can libraries do to promote civil discourse—in the home, at schools, and in the workplace—when at high levels those lessons are lacking?
Joyce Skokut, Director Collection Development
If your library hasn’t tapped into the quilters in your community in some way, you’re missing the boat. There is so much passion for quilting that a discussion group session held in the library is an easy way to attract and engage patrons who visit your library, and there is a wealth of titles to be checked out! A quick Google search shows that many public libraries do just this, but so many have yet to tap into the rich quilting culture.
Jill Andreasen, MLIS, Collection Development Librarian
Ah, debuts. I absolutely LOVE them. Lots of people are a bit apprehensive in taking a gamble on an unknown talent, especially if budgets are tight (and really, when are they not?), because Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Maggie Stiefvater are just flat-out going to circulate, and you know you’ll get your bang for your buck.
When news comes with two sides it can be a slippery slope. Add in community-built “reference materials” like Wikipedia, and the need for trustworthy and critical resource evaluators is vital to ensuring infoliteracy.
Did you know that Ingram Library Services has a library podcast?!
Join our team of librarians as we explore trending topics, discuss library industry news, and share expertise on how to build the perfect collections for your community. Life in the information age- preceded by the 24-hour news cycle and the internet- has made the job, gatekeeper of information, more difficult than ever. While improved access has its merits, it has also fragmented our communities.
Written by Tricia Bengel, Library Sales and Services Manager
As I sat down to write an article about holds to copy ratios, I felt compelled to note early on that this blog post has more questions than answers. I have always worked with libraries that had limited budgets and really intelligent people who are very conscientious and want to spend those limited dollars in the smartest ways possible. Therefore, the holds to copy ratio on books was always an issue that I never felt I had a good solution for, or even that I was thinking about it correctly. For all of my friends with great library budgets who have 2:1 holds to copy ratios, you can stop reading and count yourself lucky! For the rest of you in my situation, I would welcome your feedback.
Jim Heuer, Director of Sales
In my 19 years at Ingram, I am fond of telling customers that everything we do starts with a story that took place in a meeting when someone said to us, in one way or another, “Hey can you do _________ (fill in the blank)?” Here’s my story.
New York Times-bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is reintroducing her critically acclaimed novel SPEAK as a graphic novel. Her works, including SPEAK, have earned numerous honors including national, international, and state awards. She recently discussed storyline updates, #metoo, and the continued impact of her work SPEAK.
Author of ROOM and THE GIRLS, Rhiannon Navin is back with her new book, Only Child, debuting February 6, 2018. This tenderhearted novel follows Zach, a seven-year-old boy, through a life-altering event.
By: Tricia Racke Bengel
In my news feed every morning is the latest entry from the website Awful Library Books: Hoarding is not Collection Development.I usually chuckle to myself, metaphorically shrug my shoulders and then go on with my day. But, this morning, I spent a little more time and actually clicked through to the site. After spending a few more minutes on the site, I was happy to see that beyond the humor, the site was full of great information on how and why we should weed. There was also a link to a 2016 book published by PLA for the Quick Reads for Busy Librarians series, straightforwardly called,Weeding Manual.
by Jill Andreasen, MLIS, Collection Development
Last month I had the very good fortune to be able to attend SLJ’s first one-day Diversity Workshop – it was held in the extremely well-appointed conference room facilities in Nashville Public’s main downtown branch.
Welcome to Two Librarians and A Microphone, a library podcast by Ingram Library Services. Join Ingram's Collection Development Team as they explore trending topics, discuss industry news, and share their expertise on how to build the perfect collection for your community.
What do hurricanes, hungry kids, dancing, civil unrest, learning and entertainment have in common? These things, and so much more, are examples of ways that libraries support those who live in their communities.
Computer software skills, book discussion groups, career development, writer’s workshops and more. A recent Pew research report found that only 34% of library programming is for adults, and yet most of the US population is age 45+, and the fastest growing demographic is over 85!
Who wouldn’t want to wave a magic wand and fix life’s problems? For many, escapist fiction is a way to put aside daily stresses and take a break from reality. Literature can help you explore the broader world, refresh your mind and provide time to regroup. Help your patrons escape with a good book and put a little distance between themselves and what’s causing them stress.
Gigs are no longer reserved solely for comedians and musicians. Bloggers, vloggers, ridesharing drivers and a host of other nontraditional career opportunities now occupy the space of independent and temporary work. Listen in as we explore the on demand career path and how you can provide resources to your patrons who are already involved or interested in picking up a gig.
By Tricia Racke Bengel, Library Sales & Services Manager, Ingram Library Services
I’m sure, like many of you, I watch a lot of education webinars. They are a great way to learn things in a cheap, convenient way. You always think: I can duck out of the topic if it doesn’t end up being interesting or pertinent to me, or listen with half an ear while multi-tasking three different things. Occasionally, I put everything else away and listen with both ears. A few weeks ago, I did the latter. I closed my email, laid my pen down, and listened for an hour and 15 minutes to a really great library webinar.
by Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development
Every year when September rolls around, people start thinking of cooler weather, snuggly sweaters, and leaf peeping, but my thoughts turn to Halloween, my favorite holiday! Since I’m a fan of horror literature and film, I was asked to write a blog post about horror fiction. Let’s look behind that creaking door together, shall we?