One of the many fun projects that I have the privilege of working on is the New York State Summer Reading program website. We’ve been working on some redesigning, which is always a work in progress, and also lots of updates for this summer (not done yet)
I was checking stats today to see what pages were getting hits and was pleased to see the Teen Booklists (boring name I know) was the top hit getter.
Since I’m in no way an expert on YA titles, I wanted an easy way to add titles that appear on the many booklists available from different sources. But also wanted something that had some graphic appeal. Since it’s a statewide site, I couldn’t pull a list of covers from a library catalog and link directly back to the titles.
Enter LibraryThing. I added titles from lots of different lists and used their widget building tool to create a widget that randomly displays 15 titles at a time. There’s also a YouTube playlist of book trailers (again, that needs updating)
It’s easy enough to build your own widget, but if you want to use ours, here’s the code you can use to embed it on your own website.
Last week Nancy Pearl was in town for the 50th anniversary of the Southern Adirondack Library System and gave a delightful talk at their annual dinner. She also presented several other programs, including a session on readers advisory for children & teens. And even though I’ve never done any real RA work, the librarians I work with do. Going to events like this helps me keep a bit better in touch with the real world of libraries! Little did I know that I’d learn so much in that hour. Nancy’s framework for looking at the appeal of books is so elegantly effective, yet simple enough for my non-literary brain to wrap itself around.
I won’t attempt to write up my notes since my good friend and librarian extraordinaire, Sue Rokos, did such a great writeup.
Book Blizzard – What at terrific project at Stillwater Free Library (NY) – a reading challenge to the whole town and a fund raiser to boot. The funds will go towards making their wonderful old building handicapped accessible.
The Book Blizzard blog has lots of fun stuff going on: Santa reading “The Night Before Christmas”, holiday music, video of holiday lights, patrons comments on what they’re reading and more. Nice job!