Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).
“Check Your Shelf” is sponsored by Albert Whitman & Company, 100 Years of Good Books.
It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac’s best friend Connor was the murderer’s final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion.
Libraries & Librarians
- After receiving a complaint from a local teacher, the Kalispell ImagineIf Library (MT) board voted to keep Prince and Knight, a gay-inclusive fairytale, on the shelves.
- There have been some troubling changes to a New Jersey school district’s challenged book policy, especially because the changes, which would give the superintendent a large amount of power in deciding the fate of challenged books, were made after Fun Home was returned to library shelves despite the superintendent’s objections.
- Inspector General Joe Ferguson says that staffing at the Chicago Public Libraries are still not aligned with community needs, one year after the initial audit.
- Project Panorama is doing a survey of reader’s advisory practices and how public libraries can impact book sales and title/author discovery. The survey is live until May 21st.
- Los Angeles school libraries are in distress.
- (TW: racism) Historical blackface photos lead to librarian’s suspension.
Cool Library Updates
- South Philadelphia library is distributing personal hygiene kits.
- The Elkhart (IN) Public Library hosted a Star Wars escape room for Free Comic Book Day.
- You’ve heard of “makerspaces,” but what about “breakerspaces?”
- Edmonton libraries offer recording booths for local musicians.
- LitHub interviews Dev Aujla, founder of New York’s Sorted Library.
- Shout out to my former workplace! The Waukegan (IL) Public Library, hometown of Ray Bradbury, is planning to dedicate a 12 foot statue of the author on his birthday, August 22nd, 2019. Check out more info about the statue here!
- Unboxing videos at the library.
- “The specialized help that can be accessed at libraries or via knowledgeable staff may be invaluable to a patron, but in highlighting and promoting this work it may come at a cost of privacy to the very populations that are seeking protection.” – On complicated issues of immigrant patrons and privacy.
- “I didn’t want to know that!”: Maintaining privacy from incidental revelations.
- The importance of making your queer and questioning users welcome.
- Adult Literacy through Libraries toolkit from ALA.
- Marketing your teen summer learning program.
Book Adaptations in the News
- Twilight is launching a global re-airing tour with an orchestra.
- Nicole Kidman is producing and starring in Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty for Hulu.
- Trailer for The Handmaid’s Tale, season 3. Also, The Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted for the opera.
- Stay Up with Hugo Best by Erin Somers has been optioned for film.
- Intercepted by Alexa Martin is being adapted for Starz, starring La La Anthony and Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent.
Collection Development Corner
- Baker & Taylor is closing its retail wholesale business. Meanwhile, Penguin Random House launches the “Indies Express Program” that will let bookstores who previously purchased PRH titles from Baker & Taylor order directly from PRH.
- Macmillan Learning becomes the industry’s first company to become “Global Certified Accessible” and provide “born accessible” eBook options for students with disabilities.
- Penguin Classics launches an Asian American Classics line on May 21st.
- Mayo Clinic launches its own publishing imprint.
New & Upcoming Titles
- Richard Chizmar is publishing a solo sequel to Gwendy’s Button Box, which he cowrote with Stephen King. The sequel is called Gwendy’s Magic Feather, and will be released this November.
- Fyre Festival scammer Billy McFarland is apparently self-publishing a memoir, because of course he is.
- Do you remember that adorable photo of Parker Curry, looking up at Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama in wide-eyed wonder? Well, her mom turned the viral photo/experience into a children’s book called Parker Looks Up, and it looks too cute for words!!
- Holly Black has a middle grade Maleficent novel coming out.
- The Spice Girls all have their own Little Miss books!
- Rebecca Roanhorse is writing a Star Wars novel!
- Julie Andrews is writing her second memoir. Meanwhile, Woody Allen’s trying to sell his memoirs, but publishers are passing.
- Glamour picks the best books of 2019 (so far).
- Swoony YA summertime romances.
- USA Today books of the week.
- Best books for May: Amazon, Barnes & Noble (SFF) Bustle, CrimeReads (Psychological thrillers), Entertainment Weekly, Goodreads (YA), io9 (SFF), LitHub (SFF), the Millions, New York Times, Oprah, Time, Tor.com (YA SFF), The Verge, Washington Post
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
- From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home – Tembi Locke (sister of Attica Locke) was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s May book club pick.
- Celeste Ng selects Red Clocks by Leni Zumas for Bustle’s book club.
- Emma Watson picks Pachinko for her book club’s May/June pick.
- Flight Portfolio – Julie Orringer (Entertainment Weekly, New York Times).
- Fall & Rise: The Story of 9/11 – Mitchell Zuckoff (New York Times, Washington Post).
- Lie With Me – Philippe Besson; translated by Molly Ringwald (NPR, Vanity Fair, Vulture).
- The Bride Test – Helen Hoang (Entertainment Weekly, NPR).
- What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence by Michele Filgate (ed.) (Bustle, Buzzfeed, NPR).
RA & Genre Resources
- Mystery genre spotlight from Library Journal.
- Agatha Award winners discuss the state of the cozy mystery.
- April romance column from Entertainment Weekly.
Books & Authors in the News
- USA Today looks at the best-seller status of the Mueller Report.
- Oyinkan Braithwaite talks about the books that made her.
- Roxane Gay is hosting a book club that will air on HBO (!!!), AND she launched her own magazine, Gay Magazine, “creating an online space where writers are afforded the time to produce their best work.” Is there anything she can’t do??
- Living & learning at the first annual Antiracist Book Festival, hosted by Ibram X. Kendi.
- Christian author Rachel Held Evans passed away, and her death has struck a chord with a huge number of people.
- Trailer for Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.
Numbers & Trends
- Library Systems Report of 2019.
- Can we say “whitewashed?” Study finds that 94% of authors in the U.K. are white. Meanwhile in Canada, a new report shows that 60% of Canadians are actively seeking out diverse reading material, although 13% of respondents who self-identified as belonging to a marginalized group “strongly agreed” that they had trouble finding diverse reading material.
- 2018 North American comic sales rise to $1.09 billion dollars. *cue the Dr. Evil gifs*
- Nominees for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Tony Awards.
- Winners for the Agatha Awards, 2019 Indies Choice and E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, and the Wellcome Book Prize.
- Vermont Department of Libraries is changing the name of a children’s book award that honors the late Dorothy Canfield Fisher, an author and activist who had ties to the eugenics movement of the 1920’s and 30’s.
- Imtiaz Dharker, a Pakistani-born British poet declines the British poet laureateship, citing a need to focus on her writing.
- Here are the programs that the Obamas are going to bring to Netflix!
- Peter Mayhew, forever known as Chewbacca, passed away at age 74.
- We’ve got movie sign! 10 bookish Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes.
- Pets in their best Star Wars cosplay for May the 4th.
- The best true crime podcasts of 2019 so far.
- Disney is creating a live action version of Lady and the Tramp, with Janelle Monae writing new music for the film.
All Things Comics
- OverDrive adds 600 Marvel graphic novels and comics to its collection!
- 5 recent Marvel comics that influenced Avengers: Endgame.
- 5 comics to read this May from Entertainment Weekly and Barnes & Noble.
- Mackenzi Lee is writing a queer YA novel about Marvel’s Loki!
- 10 essential graphic novels and memoirs about queer women.
- 3 comics to mark Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Trailer (and spoiler warning) for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- The CW has a teaser for the new Batwoman series, starring Ruby Rose, which will also be the first superhero series with a gay lead character.
- A reader’s guide to Naruto.
- Canada’s Indigenous comic artists redress history.
- New audiobook suggestions from the Washington Post and the New York Times.
- 4 types of books that are better as audiobooks.
- Chronicle Books is creating an audio division.
- Middle grade and YA audio picks for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
- 6 picture books that make great gifts for Mother’s Day.
- Children’s books about dogs.
- 37 amazing illustrated book covers featuring people of color.
- 10 modern classics for young readers.
- 5 books about foster families for young readers.
- 25 middle grade books by black authors.
- 50+ YA books about sports.
- Reading pathway for E. Lockhart.
- 21 must-read books for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, plus 17 books by queer Asian American writers.
- 7 strange and beautiful Holocaust novels you’ve probably never heard about.
- 30 books for 30 days of Ramadan.
- Fiction that explores #MeToo.
- SFF romances.
- The Bride Test and 5 other books with differently-wired protagonists.
- 20 romantic suspense titles.
- You want vampires? We got vampires! Unique vampire novels, diverse vampires, non-Western vampires, and under-appreciated vampire novels.
- 9 nonfiction books about spies.
- 40 best true crime books of all time.
- 8 crime books featuring women loving women & other queer people.
- If your library’s anything like mine, you’ll want this list of 5 books to read if you loved Where the Crawdads Sing.
- 10 books where the narrator is not the main character (and no, The Great Gatsby is not on this list).
- 24 of the best historical fiction books.
- Tor.com: Star Wars books for every type of fan.
- 11 chill books about anger management.
- 9 new novels with shocking endings.
- 10 novels featuring single mothers.
Bookish Curiosities & Miscellaneous
- Barnes & Noble is launching a YA book club.
- This anonymous library employee posts the most bizarre book titles in their library’s collection on Instagram.
- A beginner’s guide to book blogging.
- Who hasn’t wanted to stay in Hagrid’s hut? (Illegal dragons not included). Also what it’s like to use the Hogwarts library.
- Unpopular opinion: tagging authors in negative reviews.
- Can you read…too much?
- Holocaust memorial project in Israel turns poetry written by Holocaust victims into music.
Level Up (Library Reads)
Do you take part in LibraryReads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.
Thanks for hanging out and I’ll see you again next week!