March 26, 2006

Thursday Sessions (transcribed notes)

"Grab Them: Books with Guy (and Gal!) Appeal" – Thursday 3/23 Kathleen Baxter

See handout
Great booktalker: FAST. From Walnut Grove
Column in LJ (?) about nonfiction (for kids?)
Had a bullet-pointed list of things that make good guy reads but she flashed it up too fast to copy it—email her for it.

"Looking for a Good Book? Developing an Online Reading Suggestion Services" – Thursday 3/23 Members of the Williamsburg, VA, RA group

Find Fiction-L listserve
Reader’s advisory takes time & commitment from the top down
“I’m an administrator; I don’t work weekends”
Having online reader’s service involves adults and teens!
Four staff members do this
When they started, they did about 2 per week; now it’s about 2 new forms per month
Takes an average of 1-4 hours per form, with practice
When they started, they only had the paper form while they created an annotated database of titles in Word
One person needs to oversee the whole operation, making sure each survey is being handled and generally administer everything
Link from R.A. page of library website
To advertise, bookmarks are placed in each fiction customer’s book when they check out, and inside all books on the hold shelf
They do 10 books with annotations per customer, but smaller staff could do a shorter list
Need to specify turn-around time on survey, so customer knows ahead of time how long to expect to wait
Keep all responses archived to reuse titles with other customers, and also to makes sure the same books aren’t recommended to the same customer
They have a separate follow-up form for re-users
Offer customers the option NOT to save information (not sure what I meant by this—privacy issue??)
Would be useful to link to catalog entry in email response

See handout

Elie Wiesel Luncheon and Speech (we were in overflow for the speech only) – Thursday 3/23

Born in Transylvania in 1928
His foundation’s organizing principles: to fight indifferent, intolerance and injustice
“I believe in gratitude”

In the 1950s he was a foreign correspondent for an Israeli newspaper, having taken a vow of silence about his experiences during WWII (vow lasted ten years)

History sometimes has a sense of justice and sometimes a sense of humor: he sold all the rights to Night to his publisher because he didn’t know any better

Is it better to be sold but not read, or read but not sold?
The greatest joy of all authors is to be REread.

If he’d been asked when writing Night which would come first, the Messiah or a Nobel Peace Prize for him, he’d’ve said the Messiah.

He doesn’t reread his own writings

"On the one hand, I had to write it; on the other hand, I cannot write it."
"Those who know, don’t talk. Those who talk, don’t know."
"If all the skies were parchment, and all the trees were pens, and all the seas were ink, we still couldn’t explain God’s love."
"Those who hate, hate everyone."
"I cannot explain because you cannot understand. [pause] Thank God you cannot."

He answers ever letter he receives from a child.
What do you do with despair? Despair is never an answer, but it’s always a question.

The killers had college degrees. Before the war he thought: A cultured person cannot do certain things. After the war: God should not forgive them.

Writing is an attempt to fight destiny, to humanize it, to infer meaning from our survival.
If we forget the victims, we have killed them again.

What is the response to tragedy? A tragedy transcends any response.
There is response in RESPONSIBILITY. We are all responsible for one another.
At the end of the war, he thought anti-Semitism died in Auschwitz.

All wars are ugly.
One war that must be fought over and over is the war against injustice, intolerance, evil. Only despair is strong enough to respond. And yet, we must reject despair. We don’t have the right to despair.

His book on Alzheimer’s is a way of taking on his commitment to memory; he compares Alzheimer’s to "every day tear out a page from a book until only the covers are left"

How can you believe in God after Auschwitz?
There is a choice between being a victim of God and an orphan of God
Not everything in [rote] prayers is believable
The real question is how did we keep our sanity, much less our faith?
None of the 400 children released with him because mentally ill, substance abusers, or despaired.
No heart is as whole as a broken heart (change "heart" to "faith")
The world in which we live is a sick world—wherever you touch, it hurts
Do not accept hatred, humiliation or evil as an option
If I’m ugly/nasty to my fellow man, I go away from God

Compulsory courses on ethics in professional studies to answer "Why are we doing this?"

Why are people killing each one another? What is going on? …a desperate appeal for hope

A society without hope is doomed to become __________ (destroyed?)

ONLY another human can drive me to despair; only another human can restore hope.

Tales of despair are actually tales against despair.

"Capturing the Hearts and Minds of the Gamer Generation" – Thursday 3/23 John Beck

Started by playing the theme music from Super Mario Brothers, All Star edition (without identifying it) and asking if anyone recognized it—about 40% of the audience did

About 34% of people over 35 and about 80% of those under 35 grew up playing video games

Parents know little to nothing about this technology
compared to
Baby-boomers’ parents who controlled and used TV

Gamer Generation is different in thinking, beliefs and attitudes
10% of what we read we retain
30% of what we hear we retain
71% of what we collaborate/do we retain

Attention is not a factor in ability or differences

Dot-com starters used rules taken from video games they’d played: if the game goes badly, hit reset and start over ** [not scary, just a fact of life]

Gamers are:
More competitive—believe competition is the law of nature
More global in their thinking, less focused on “Made in the USA” (Japanese model of
More social (higher need for interaction): recognize the need to connect to the right people, better at team-building and managing
Likely to take more risks
More self-important
“if I need something done right, I’d better do it myself”
“I’m an expert at my company”
“pay should be linked to performance”
Less likely to mind changes
To lead them: give them something difficult to do and let them go on their own.

Life is fair, but random, multitasking is normal and works for them, life is fun, getting strategy advice is good, while obstacles and rules are bad. (Level Bosses are enemies in games!)

Lineage II online—new hot thing, from Korea (?)
BrainAge—‘game’ for old people
Videogames are now being used to train employees on their own time
Nissan Urge has a removable steering wheel which allows people to play driving video games in the driver’s seat of the car (while stopped)
Websites that have a game component are ‘stickier’
Different kinds of attention: Aversive/Attractive – Captive/Voluntary – Back (routine) / Front (focused) of the Mind
Using all six makes a great game, or great experience

To attract this generation, libraries need to be
Heroic [i.e.
let users figure stuff out, with assistance]
Schools should put the ‘teaching to the test’ on CDs to take home, make it a game to learn the rote stuff. Use school for the complex teaching and interacting.—Beth Galloway, author
Over the time video games have gained popularity, violent crime has decreased by 30%

"Literary-Themed Scavenger and Clue Hunts" – Thursday 3/23 Topeka & Shawnee County PL

Doors of [town] — Month-long scavenger hunt

Collect puzzle pieces at each scavenger station

See handout

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