Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Newbery Medal Awarded to Neil Gaiman

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has awarded the 2009 John Newbery Medal for outstanding children's literature to Neil Gaiman, versatile British author of fantasy, science fiction, graphic novels and children's books, for The Graveyard Book. On its Web site, the ALSC, a chapter of the American Library Association, states the following about The Graveyard Book, "A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose."

Furthermore, the Web site for The Graveyard Book offers this opening summary for the book, "Hear this tragic tale: a sleeping family, a talented murderer, and an adventurous toddler—orphaned, but not assassinated. Small and alone, by accident and luck he escapes the scene of the crime and climbs a grassy hill to safety. At the top of the hill the boy finds a fence, and on the other side, a dark, quiet place. "

The dark, quiet place, of course, is the graveyard, where the boy is raised by the spirits within. Although the Newbery Medal is targeted to children's books, The Graveyard Book can be enjoyed by adults, too. Coraline, another children's book by Neil Gaiman, has successfully crossed age lines as well and is currently being made into a film for popular release.

Monday, January 26, 2009

New "Neighbors" in the Library

photo source - Bernardsville Public Library

Two of Bernardsville Public Library's collection areas - adult graphic novels/comics and readers'/book group advice - have been moved to form their own "neighborhood." You will find these books on the shelving to the right as you enter the library (see photo above.)

Noting the growing adult interest in graphic novels, the library staff has brought together all our adult graphic novels and comic books to showcase these items. While Bernardsville Public Library's young adult readers have had their own neighborhood collection of teen graphic novels and comics for some time, this is a new feature for adult readers of the graphic novel form.

In addition, people looking for ideas on what to read next will be able to go to one location to find suggestions for reading specific genres or finding top-rated and prizewinning books. This collection area is called BookFind and is located adjacent to the graphic novels, as seen in the photo above. Helpful resources for starting and running a successful book group are included as well. There you will also find information on our own Book Group Bags. These are zip-up canvas bags containing 10 paperback copies of popular books with reviews and background material on the authors. The Book Group Bags may be checked out for one month's time.

Don't forget that we have our own original bookmarks at the circulation desk which will give you a quick list of reading suggestions. Our bookmarks cover all the popular genres as well as special interest areas such as war fiction, asian writers, and travel. Staff members are always happy to make reading suggestions for you, as well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How Do You Value Your Library?

Today’s front page article in The Wall Street Journal, “Folks Are Flocking to the Library, A Cozy Place to Look for a Job,” is just one of many news articles reporting an up-tick in library usage during this deep economic downturn. The MSNBC video above further elaborates on the increasing number of people returning to their local libraries for services which will aid them in finding a job. People are also using libraries more often for the free materials (books, wireless access, computers, and videos) they may have overlooked in the past.

The Wall Street Journal states that career resources provided by libraries are in high demand right now. In fact, library computer usage has risen dramatically due to people checking job listings and updating their resumes.

Our own patrons and surrounding communities should know that Bernardsville Public Library offers a Career Center dedicated to career planning and job searches. Two computers are specifically loaded with programs and databases to assist you as you target your career move. Included among these online career resources are programs to help you with interviewing and resume writing, links for continuing education, and employer contact information. A large collection of career advisement books is available as well.

While library usage is rising, The Wall Street Journal reports that public funding for libraries is facing dramatic reductions due to the economy, and library services across the nation are jeopardized by budget cuts. Some libraries have shortened hours, closed branches or trimmed staffing, and all public libraries today are carefully managing their expenses while looking for the most cost-efficient ways to provide valuable services to their patrons.
The American Library Association has provided a link for patrons who value their local libraries and want to advocate for them.

Contact your local library director to find other ways you can show just how much you value your library.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bernardsville Public Library Wins Highest Library Ranking

photo source - Bernardsville Public Library

The HAPLR Index, a nationwide ratings system for public libraries, has awarded Bernardsville Public Library the number one ranking for a library of its size in the State of New Jersey. In addition, Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) has ranked our library second in the entire state.

These rankings were published in the October 2008 issue of American Libraries. To commemorate this honor, Mayor Lee C. Honecker of the Borough of Bernardsville issued a proclamation on December 22, 2008, congratulating the library board of trustees and the library staff for this achievement.

Statistics on our circulation numbers, staffing, reference, and other services were considered as well as the size of our population to determine this number one ranking. For instance, in 2007 we checked out 236,000 items whereas our municipality had a population below 7,500.

Many townspeople believe that Bernardsville Public Library is at the heart of the community and prove it by regularly using our services and attending our programs. We are fortunate to have such dedicated patrons.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Are You Looking For Something Good To Watch?

Exasperated with the state of U.S. television, a number of patrons have discovered our very own antidote - The British Collection, featuring a wide selection of British television series and PBS adaptations. Assembled by staff member Susan Popper, the British Collection contains both dvds and videotapes of popular older British TV series such as All Creatures Great and Small as well as newer shows, including
Rosemary and Thyme, a series about female horticulturalists who take on amateur detective work

and Campion, showcasing the sleuthing skills of debonair Albert Campion. Bernardsville Public Library is happy to share these items with you. Come into our video section and look for the Union Jack stickers marking The British Collection.