Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Top Five Books of 2019


Every year we make a list of the top five books every LT staff member read this year. You can see past year’s lists here.

We’re always interested in what you are reading and loving, so we invite you to add your favorite books read in 2019 to our list. Again, not necessarily published in 2019, just ones that you read.

>> List: Top Five Books of 2019

Without much further ado, here’s our staff faves of the year!

 

 


Abby

Gideon the Ninth by Tasmyn Muir. This is the lesbian necromancer space opera you never knew you were waiting for. Gideon the Ninth is one of the sharpest books I’ve read in a long time.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson. A smart, political, nicely paced spy story, featuring a young black woman working for the FBI in the 80s.

Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab. Feisty pirates, brooding royals, magic, multiple Londons, strong women, queer characters–this series literally has it all.

This Is How You Lose The Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. This short, queer epistolary story of two time traveling spies who fall in love across time and space has prose so deliciously lyrical that I just want to eat it.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey. Magic for Liars is a queer noir detective story set in boarding school for mages. It’s smart literary fantasy, and I absolutely loved it..

Honorable mentions: Both Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (featuring love notes with attached bibliographies, because what could be better?) and Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner would have made my top 5 if they weren’t already included in a coworker’s list (thanks Kate and KJ). And I just read too many good books this year, so also let me also note The Dutch House (give me a messed up family saga any day, but written by Ann Patchett, and I will devour it), and Mostly Dead Things by Kirsten Arnett which has the most fantastic sense of place (taxidermy in swampy hot Florida!).


Tim

Tangata Whenua: an Illustrated History by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney, Aroha Harris. I’m currently in New Zealand, taking in as much history and culture as I can. As far as I can tell, this is the best general overview of Maori history. It’s a wonderful text—scholarly in tone, but general enough to cover a lot of ground. It has one serious drawback as a touring text—it’s HEAVY!

Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust by Gary MarcusExcellent review of what’s wrong with AI. Less convincing on the future.

Mac Bundle! Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the Computer that Changed Everything by Steven Levy and Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process by Ken Kocienda. Inspiring comfort reads.

V(ery) S(hort) I(ntroduction) Bundle! The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction by William Doyle and World War II: A Very Short Introduction by Gerhard L. Weinberg  I’m a huge fan of the Oxford UP series “A Very Short Introduction“. Lately I’ve taken to getting into a topic, such as World War II or the French Revolution starting with the VSI, and then taking up a longer text. This year, for example, I read the French Revolution VSI alongside Simon Schama’s Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution.

Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life by Jim Al-Khalili I’ll never be a scientist, but this is one emerging and creative subfield I’m eager to peek into whenever I can.

Dishonorable mention: Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio García Martínez. The topic is very much at the center of my interests, but the personality of the author was so odious, I had to stop reading.


Kate

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I would read a detailed ingredient list of any product were Taffy the writer. I’m fully and unhealthily obsessed with her writing. I had high hopes for her debut and I was NOT disappointed. Taffy’s character development is up there with the greats—and I’m a harsh judge.

Normal People by Sally Rooney.Speaking of character development, WHEW. Everyone has been talking about Rooney this year and this is the one to read. I devoured it, I want more.

Nothing Good Can Come from This: Essays by Kristi Coulter. This book knocked my socks off. As someone who identifies as sober curious, I read A LOT of sober memoirs, and Nothing Good Can Come from This is on a whole different level. Coulter has managed to pick apart her relationship with alcohol from the standpoint of being an ambitious woman, a young woman, a naive woman, a married woman, etc. This is so much more than a book about quitting the drink — it’s a book about becoming a person. I recommend this one to folks who aren’t sober curious — that’s how good it is.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi. A YA love/coming of age story set in my hometown of Austin, TX? I never stood a chance. Mary H.K. Choi seems like the raddest of people and I’m here to say I’m a fan of her writing.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. This book made me equal parts angry and uncomfortable and sad. Three Women was not what I expected it to be, and I find myself reluctant to recommend it, but I think there’s something so important about this deep dive into women and their desires.

Honorable Mention: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. Everything you’ve heard is true! This book was a damned delight!


KJ

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I have bullied at least seven people into reading this charming romance between a First Son of the USA and a Prince of England and now it’s your turn. Lovable characters, social media written the way it’s actually used, a dash of Star Wars, and two disastrous boys falling in love against a high-stakes presidential election.

Saga Series by Brian K Vaughn and Fiona Staples. Takes the tropes of space opera—bounty hunters, animal/robot companions, star-crossed romance, glitchy ships, weird drugs—and spins them in a big blender. You probably don’t want to read this comic series in public because, uh, nsfw. I adored every issue.

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Raza Aslan. This helped me contextualize all the biblical places I was able to visit earlier this year on a trip. A look at the historical man: Jesus of Nazareth, and his surrounding land and century. Not St. Paul friendly. Fascinating, illuminating, ultimately deepened my faith.

When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History by Hugh Ryan. Written to fill in a lacuna in the historical record, Ryan investigates queer history in the borough of Brooklyn. Loosely bookended by Walt Whitman and the Stonewall Riots, this book chronicles everything from early drag on Coney Island to the infamous Sands Street. Come for a grounding in the borough’s history, stay for Whitman’s extensive little black book.

Severance by Ling Ma. The world ends in a flu, but first it’s an uncomfortably accurate meditation on (book industry) office work in the 2010s. Also a nuanced story of a first-generation Chinese-American woman and an ode to NYC. For fans of The Stand and Station Eleven.

Honorable mentions: The Testaments by Margaret Atwood because it is a good sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and I devoured it in one sitting. How We Fight For Our Lives by Saeed Jones, because we should just let poets write all the memoirs, if this is what they do with them.


Chris C.

The Book of Why by Judea Pearl.

The Art of Statistics by David Speigelhalter.

Rebooting AI by Gary Marcus.

Strings Attached: The Life and Music of John Williams by William Starling.

The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos.


Kristi

My List this year is the “I Had A Baby!” edition!

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.My absolute favorite book in my son’s collection! Pretty illustrations, great lessons on kindness within the story, fun to read and a sweet, sing-song rhythm for my son to follow along. Reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could.

The Monster At The End of This Book by John Stone. It’s a Little Golden Book featuring a Sesame Street character (Grover), so how could it not be lovely? This book is so fun to read with my son.

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. Perfect for exploring colors, shapes, and a good book to grow into with advanced plant words like “rhizome” and “Delphinium”.

Ocean Meets Sky by Terry and Eric Fan. Gorgeous illustrations, and a sweet story. The lead character shares my son’s name, too, so of course I love it that much more. It’s a little more advanced for my son, but will be a great book for him as he grows!

The Baby Book by William Sears. Recommended to me by fellow staffer Kate (to whom Abby recommended), this book has it all. The entire team of Sears doctors worked to put together this in-depth reference for virtually any questions you might have about your child’s development for the first couple of years. Something I return to quite often! A worthy resource.


Pedro

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow by Matthew Skelton.
Dune by Frank Herbert.

More?

Tell us about your favorites for 2019 on Talk, or add your own Top Five to our list!

Labels: top five, Uncategorized

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

6th Annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange

cardexchange-fullOur 6th annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange is here! Inspired by ALA Think Tank and Reddit, we’re so excited to continue the tradition that spreads joy throughout the holiday season!

How it works is simple:

  • Mail a holiday card to a random LibraryThing member.
  • You can mail a hand-made or store card. Add a note to personalize it.
  • You’ll get one from another member. (Only that member will see your address.*)

Sign-ups for the Card Exchange closes Tuesday, December 10th at 5:00 PM EST. We’ll inform you of your matches within an hour or so. Send your cards out soon after.

» Sign up for the LibrayThing Holiday Card Exchange

Questions? Join the discussion on Talk.


* In order for the cards you receive to be addressed to your real name, you must include your name in the address box.

Labels: card exchange, events, fun, holiday

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

December Early Reviewers batch is up!

Win free books from the December 2019 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 65 books this month, and a grand total of 3,620 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, December 30th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Candlewick Press Chipper Press
Unsolicited Press Revell William Morrow
Walker Books US Black Rose Writing Artisan Ideas
Westminster John Knox Press Petra Books Red Adept Publishing
Heritage Books Entrada Publishing Horrific Tales Publishing
HighBridge Audio Tantor Media Poolbeg Press
Prufrock Press Raised Voice Press Hoopoe
Platypus Media Seventh Rainbow Publishing BookViewCafe
Zimbell House Publishing CarTech Books Meerkat Press
Architeg City Owl Press Bellevue Literary Press
ScareStreet ClydeBank Media

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Friday, November 29th, 2019

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month: the Library at Temple Shir Tikvah

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month goes to the library at Temple Shir Tikvah, where the entire Library Committee was kind enough to answer my questions:

First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

We are the library for Temple Shir Tikvah, a Reform Jewish congregation in Winchester, MA. Our congregation consists of about 350 families and individual members, and we try to provide materials of interest to all of them. Our collection houses about 2500 books (plus a few DVDs and CDs), which range from storybooks for children to cookbooks, fiction, history, Torah study, “how-to,” spiritual journeys, poetry, and so on.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

Our temple building is quite small, so on Sundays, we hold education for adults and children in a nearby public school. Because we want people to be able to check out applicable books, we bring a portion of the library to the school we use on Sundays, for a monthly “bookmobile” (picture left). The third graders and their parents help pick out the books, which helps them know what’s in our collection. When they pick out the books, they also choose a book for us to read to the class that day.

We’ve also moved some of our books up to the sanctuary—books on poetry, mental health, and aging—so that people can easily find them when attending services.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have so much fun with our collection! Some of our most popular books are practical things, like tips for bar/bat mitzvahs, or Passover haggadahs. But we’ve also recently expanded our Young Adult/Teen collection with some really great reads (The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children).

We’ve started carrying some interesting graphic novels, as well (A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York, Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, The Property, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, The Arrival). And our women’s studies area has grown dramatically in the past few years (Sisters At Sinai: New Tales Of Biblical Women, Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story, The Women Who Danced by the Sea: Finding Ourselves in the Stories of our Biblical Foremothers, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, After Abel and Other Stories).

What’s a particular challenge you experience as a small library?

We are a small library not just in collection size, but also in physical space. The room where we house our collection is quite small, so we have to be fairly ruthless in culling our collection. As hard as it is, we feel it’s important to do so, so that we can keep materials current. If people cannot wander in and see something of interest, either because the collection feels too dated or because the shelves are so packed that they can’t actually find things of interest, then we are not doing our job.

In addition, our library is used as a classroom at least once a week, and as a meeting room several times each week. When it is being used for these other purposes, people cannot come in and browse the collections. It’s hard to get people to see what we have (which is a good part of why we run the bookmobile).

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat? Anything you’d love to add?

The best thing about LibraryThing is being able to find other libraries with similar collections. Often, before we purchase books in a category, we’ll look around to see if those books are popular in other libraries like ours, so we have some assurance that they might be a good fit for our collection as well.

As far as TinyCat goes, before we had TinyCat, people signed out books on a sheet of paper — it was nearly impossible to keep track of what was in or out, plus we had no easy way to track which books were actually being used. TinyCat has totally solved this for us, and we love seeing community members, especially the children, be able to check out books on an iPad, without any help from grown-ups.

The biggest new TinyCat feature that would help us would be for our community members to be able to create their own accounts. It’s a barrier to usage that, unless we create an account for someone, they have no way to check out books (so we have to keep that sheet of paper around). A smaller feature that would help is if TinyCat returned to the home page after people check out a book, rather than remaining on the page containing the book just checked out.

Thanks for your feedback! We’ll be sure to announce if anything gets added for this in the future.


Want to learn more about the Library at Temple Shir Tikvah? You can explore their library on TinyCat.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, November 25th, 2019

LibraryThing Holiday Store is Here

holidaystore

holidaystore_collage2

LibraryThing’s favorite time of the year is finally here! With our 13th annual SantaThing exchange in full swing (signups close next Monday, December 2nd, 12pm EST) and our 6th annual Holiday Card Exchange on the horizon (details coming soon), it’s time to release the LibraryThing Holiday Store so you can stock up on all of your bookish gifts for the holidays.

This year’s Holiday Store offers our classic CueCats for just $5 apiece*, plus our favorite organic-cotton tote bags, American-made book stamps and more, all at a great discount.

Extra special: we’re clearing out our entire shirt inventory so we can bring some new, fun designs your way. All shirts are going for just $5 to $7 each*, so be sure to stock up on any designs you’ve been eyeing before they run out for good.

The Holiday Store is running now through Epiphany**—shop the deals here.


*Prices do not include cost of shipping. Shipping is included on Store pages.

**Epiphany is also known as Little Christmas, the night before Orthodox Christmas or the day after the Twelfth day of Christmas—surely your loved one deserves twelve LibraryThing tote bags?

Labels: barcode scanners, cuecats, events, holiday, LT swag, sale, tshirts

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

SantaThing 2019 for Litsy Members

SANTATHING_2018-Litsy

Every year LibraryThing members participate in “SantaThing,” our Secret Santa for book lovers.

This year we’re inviting Littens to join in!

The idea is simple: You sign up and pay $15–50 and choose your favorite bookstore. We match you with someone to pick books for, and someone else will pick books for you. We try to match people with similar reading tastes, and members help each other out with suggestions. LibraryThing staff does all the ordering and everyone gets surprise books for the holidays!

SantaThing is a joint effort between LibraryThing and Litsy. When signing up, you can opt to give and receive from members of only one community or the other, or either.

LibraryThing/Litsy takes no cut: this is a community project, not a money-maker. And it’s a lot of fun.

The first 15 Littens to sign up for SantaThing will get a free Litsy mug! (1)

» Sign up here!

Questions about SantaThing? You might find this post about SantaThing helpful.

Hoping to see you in SantaThing this year,
Tim, Kate, and the Litsy/LibraryThing Team


1. We’re defining Litsy members as members who posted to Litsy at least once in the last 14 days—this to favor regular Litsy members, not LibraryThing members who signed up for Litsy once upon a time. If there aren’t enough of these, we’ll open it to any Litsy member.

Labels: Litsy, santathing

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

SantaThing 2019: Bookish Secret Santa!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the thirteenth annual SantaThing is here at last!

What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is “Secret Santa” for LibraryThing members.

Done this before?

» SIGN UP FOR SANTATHING NOW!

HOW IT WORKS

You pay into the SantaThing system (between $15–$50), and pick your favorite bookseller. We match you with a participant, and you play Santa by selecting books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

SantaThing is a joint effort between LibraryThing and Litsy. When signing up, you can opt to give and receive from members of only one community or the other, or either.

Sign up once or thrice, for yourself or someone else.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others. Click on an existing SantaThing profile to leave a suggestion.

Every year, LibraryThing members give generously to each other through SantaThing. If you’d like to donate an entry, or want to participate, but it’s just not in the budget this year, be sure to check out our Donations Thread (here), run once again by our fantastic volunteer member, mellymel1713278.

IMPORTANT DATES

Sign-ups close MONDAY, December 2nd at 12pm EST. By that evening, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.

You’ll then have a week to pick your books, until MONDAY, December 9th at 12pm EST. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can.

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

WHAT ELSE?

Once again this year, we’re thrilled to be partnering with Print as our official local SantaThing store once again. Print is a great indie bookstore located in Portland, ME (not far from LibraryThing HQ!). Other new additions: Amazon.de has expanded their free shipping options, which is good news for all. Sadly, Audible still doesn’t allow for the gifting of individual audiobooks. If you’d like audiobooks, be sure to say so in your SantaThing profile, and your Secret Santa can select CD copies of those from your store of choice.

Just like last year, the Kindle option is available to all members, regardless of location. So long as your Kindle is registered on Amazon.com (not .co.uk, .ca, etc.), you can elect to receive your SantaThing gifts as Kindle ebooks. See more information about Kindle and SantaThing here.

SHIPPING

Some of our booksellers are able to offer free shipping, and some are not. Depending on your bookseller of choice, you may receive $5 less in books, to cover shipping costs. You can find details about shipping costs and holiday ordering deadlines for each of our booksellers here on the SantaThing Help page.

Go sign up now!

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?

This is our THIRTEENTH year of SantaThing. See the SantaThing Help page further details and FAQ.

Feel free to ask your questions over on this Talk topic, or you can contact Kate directly at kate@librarything.com.

Happy SantaThinging!

Labels: santathing

Monday, November 4th, 2019

November 2019 ER batch is live!

Win free books from the November 2019 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 86 books this month, and a grand total of 3,798 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 25th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Kaylie Jones Books Akashic Books Candlewick Press
Candlewick Entertainment Ballantine Books Greenleaf Book Group
Revell Black Rose Writing Unsolicited Press
New Harbinger Publications Run Amok Books Entrada Publishing
William Morrow Vesuvian Books Prufrock Press
Artisan Ideas Provisioners Press Tantor Media
Real Nice Books HighBridge Audio Berlinica
Literary Wanderlust LLC Soul*Sparks Black Spot Books
Zimbell House Publishing Temptation Press Bellevue Literary Press
Caitlin Press Inc. ScareStreet City Owl Press
World Weaver Press Red Adept Publishing WaterBrook & Multnomah
Scribe Publications Coach House Books BookViewCafe
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Open Books BHC Press
Orca Book Publishers

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, October 7th, 2019

October 2019 Early Reviewers batch is up!

Win free books from the October 2019 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 107 books this month, and a grand total of 4,090 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, October 28th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, and many more! Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Candlewick Entertainment Candlewick Press
Walker Books US Chronicle Books Tundra Books
Puffin Books Canada Bloomsbury Ballantine Books
Turner Publishing Zimbell House Publishing Black Rose Writing
Jamii Publishing Cayena Press Open Books
William Morrow Yali Books Lucid House Publishing
Revell The American University in Cairo Press Prufrock Press
City Owl Press Tantor Media Artemesia Publishing
HighBridge Audio Plough Publishing House Suteki Creative
Unsolicited Press Best Day Books For Young Readers Red Adept Publishing
CarTech Books Coach House Books Greystone Books
Scribe Publications ScareStreet Poolbeg Press
BookViewCafe BHC Press Melange Books
Oneworld Publications NewCon Press Harper Perennial
Chicago Review Press Tiny Fox Press Run Amok Books
Fontreal

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

TinyCat’s September Library of the Month: Pine Tree Academy Library

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s Library of the Month for September, in honor of Back-to-School season, goes to a school library very close to LibraryThing’s Headquarters in Portland, Maine. Hailing a few minutes away from the town of Freeport, congrats to the Pine Tree Academy Library!

School Librarian Laura D. was kind enough to take my questions this month:

First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

We are the library of Pine Tree Academy, an Adventist school spanning pre-K to 12th grade. The library serves mostly the elementary wing. Our “raison d’être”, bottom line, is to give our students the love of reading—for life. It is perhaps a tall order, but one that is definitely worthwhile. How rewarding to witness young minds fall in love with a book, an author, a series or an entire branch of human knowledge! We are here to ignite their minds through the printed page, to counterbalance the pull of the electronic screen. Our school strongly values literacy and chose two years ago to transform the computer lab into the new library when it converted to laptops. Students are attracted to the new room, which they experience as an oasis in the busy school day. We also come alongside the teachers in complementing their curricula, providing books covering everything from friendship for kindergarteners to American national symbols.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

Right now we are conducting Orientation for K to 6th grade, which focuses on caring for and valuing the books. We teach the students that the books are theirs, and that borrowing them means sharing them with the whole community, which comes with responsibilities. We discuss rules for book care in detail with the help of the P.E.T. Patrol, which includes Officers Finnigan Magee and Tartar O’Sauce (pictured right).

Our next focus is to bring to our students a framework by which to understand the wealth and breadth of Creation, which they are discovering. Through the Dewey Decimal System, we can show them how human knowledge has been organized to be accessed. In this digital age, it is vital that the students understand what constitutes information, how it is used, and can be retrieved. Walking into the library to research a topic or find a book provides the missing link to the Google search box with its instant hits. In contrast to the virtual display, the children can experience directly the permanent information on the printed page.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

I am crazy about children’s picture books—unique stories with beautiful illustrations that ignite the imagination and make a new world come alive each time we open the book and read. I am also proud of our ever-growing Maine collection, which includes titles signed for the students by local authors and illustrators, as well as ancient and out-of-print stories, harkening back to a Maine of long ago.

Among our older collection, I discovered a little gem: The Family Nobody Wanted, by Helen Doss (pictured left), recounting the adventures of a “one family United Nations”, comprised of twelve children of mixed ethnic groups in the 1950’s, then considered un-adoptable. It was amazing how the Dosses’ love and care overcame the prejudices of the times.

What’s a particular challenge you experience as a small library?

With some 200 books added each year, we are running out of space! We also need more “people power” for circulation and shelving as the library is becoming a victim of its own success. Through TinyCat, patrons discover our lesser known titles, bringing more interest and more circulation, a good problem!

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat? Anything you’d love to add?

One favorite thing? No, there are many things to love about TinyCat:

  • The clean design and simplicity of use.
  • The ability to offer public access to a search platform and online catalog like the public library—we’ve joined the Big Leagues! Now we can provide our teachers and students with more book info than before—reviews, related titles, lists from awards, etc.
  • It is wonderful to create links tailored to the interests of our patrons, ready to go right on the home page!
  • Last but not least, I appreciate how Kristi and her colleagues are so responsive and willing to assist us with all our questions. Belonging to TinyCat makes us part of a special group of books lovers that spans the world, and though very diverse, all sharing this desire to enrich the lives of others and open new horizons to them, regardless of our size or resources.

Want to learn more about the Pine Tree Academy Library? You can explore their library on TinyCat.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat