Monday, April 22, 2013

WTF?-RA RART Readers' Retreat, April 20, 2013, Roseville Library

I helped organize this wonderful Readers' Retreat as part of my work on MLA's RART Steering Committee.  We started the day with an icebreaker:  What is your favorite RA blog and why do you love it?  Mine was Detectives Beyond Borders "because murder is more fun away from home."  The others are listed in LeAnn and Anna's google site below.

Next up were LeAnn Suchy and Anna Haase Krueger, who talked about Social Media and Readers' Advisory.  They put together a google site, Readers' Advisory & Social Media, that lists all the sources they collected and consulted for their presentation.  It was heartening to see the way libraries are using social media to further the love of reading!  Some of the tools libraries are using are Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  (LeAnn and Anna urged libraries that use Pinterest to link to their library catalogs rather than to amazon or another book selling site.)

Before lunch, Carol Jackson of Ramsey County Public Library and I talked briefly about our experiences with Facebook Readers' Advisory.  Carol pointed out that the last time her team had a FB RA session, there was a reply function on each comment, which they used to--yes, that's right--reply.  This made their session much easier to manage.

After lunch, Jody Wurl talked about her experience as one of the 11 or 12 librarians who chose ALA's The Reading List, which highlights outstanding genre fiction based on these criteria:  •It is a pleasure to read.  •It embodies the standards of the genre, or conversely, it offers a new or unexpected take on those standards. •It is well conceived in terms of story line, character, setting, language, dialogue, tone, pace, detail, description, learning/experiencing, and narrative structure.  She showed us photos of the stacks of books in her house during the process, and the sight of those stacks made being a Minnesota Book Awards judge seem like a walk in the park!

Our final presenters were Peter Geye and Hans Weyandt, who talked about what makes an American classic.  Peter mentioned The Western Canon by Harold Bloom as the place to find the "classics."  Hans pointed out that if you look at the novels that have won the Pulitzer for the last 50 years, some have lost their luster. Peter and Hans each brought five books they consider "the people's classics" to the retreat, and here's that list:  Benediction by Kent Haruf, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Empire Falls by Richard Russo, True Grit by Charles Portis, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee, The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro (this may not have been the collection Hans had in his hand, but it's her newest), The Turtle Catcher by Nicole Helget.All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren.  I have only read In Cold Blood and lots of Alice Munro stories, so I've got my work cut out for me.

--Barb @Highland Park

No comments: