Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Monday, September 7, 2020

Don't Miss Your Opportunity For Launch of the Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Kristin Harmel has recently released her latest book to the world The Book of Lost Names.  I cannot wait to read it myself.  I have very much enjoyed her other books.  Kristin needs our help!  Due to COVID-19, there has been a delay in printing more copies of  The Book of Lost Names.   Many of the bookstores around the country's shelves are empty. We all want to be able to share more stories from Kristin in the future.  Purchasing a copy of her book ensures that we readers will hear more from Kristin Harmel in the future.  She is relaunching her book starting tomorrow.

I will include some buy links:  

Bookshop.org                           Barnes and Noble

Books-A-Million                     Amazon       Simon & Schuster

Here is a synopsis of the book 

"Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books one morning when her eyes lock on a photograph in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes; it’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in sixty-five years—a book she recognizes as The Book of Lost Names.

The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II—an experience Eva remembers well—and the search to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photograph, an eighteenth-century religious text thought to have been taken from France in the waning days of the war, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin’s Zentral- und Landesbibliothek library, it appears to contain some sort of code, but researchers don’t know where it came from—or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer—but will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?

As a graduate student in 1942, Eva was forced to flee Paris after the arrest of her father, a Polish Jew. Finding refuge in a small mountain town in the Free Zone, she begins forging identity documents for Jewish children fleeing to neutral Switzerland. But erasing people comes with a price, and along with a mysterious, handsome forger named Rémy, Eva decides she must find a way to preserve the real names of the children who are too young to remember who they really are. The records they keep in The Book of Lost Names will become even more vital when the resistance cell they work for is betrayed and Rémy disappears." (The book of lost names, 2020)

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Ode to Dorothea Benton Frank

Last summer I had the honor of reading the Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank.  Do I consider this book a beach read? Yes, it is.  It is also the last book that Dorothea Benton Frank will ever share with the public. I also had an opportunity to meet her once. She passed away last summer and was at the top of my list  when came to thinking of my favorite writers that publish during this beach read season.  A patron where I work highly recommended this one.
Beekeeper Holly McNee Jensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivans Island, tending her hives and working at the local island library. Holly calls her mother The Queen Bee because she’s a demanding hulk of a woman. Her mother, a devoted hypochondriac, might be unaware that she’s quite ill but that doesn’t stop her from tormenting Holly. To escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father, Archie.
Her world is upended when the more flamboyant Leslie returns and both sisters, polar opposites, fixate on what’s happening in their neighbor’s home. Is Archie really in love with that awful ice queen of a woman? If Archie marries her, what will become of his little boys? Restless Leslie is desperate for validation after her imploded marriage, squandering her favors on any and all takers. Their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. Scandalized Holly is talking to her honey bees a mile a minute, as though they’ll give her a solution to all the chaos. Maybe they will. (Amazon, 2019)
I did not think that I would like this novel, but I did!   I loved the sense of humor and irony that appears in Dorothea Benton Frank’s writing.   I would love to go visit Sullivans island one day because it is one of my favorite settings.  This book also has great characters and is a character-driven story.  I read the book but I bet the audiobook would be just as good.  There was one subject  that I was not comfortable reading about but otherwise, I loved the book. 
This novel takes a page from another author Mary Alice Monroe who writes about animals.  Mary Alice shapes her story around the animals and this time Dorothea Benton Frank did the same.  I always say there is a little truth in fiction.  This novel is about honey bees.  For those of you who have read Mary Alice Monroe know that the story reflects the animal of choice. How would you say these characters reflect the hive that lives on Sullivans Island? 
Please make sure you check out other books by Dorothea Benton Frank.  My top favorites are Queen Bee,  Return to Sullivan’s Island, and Sullivan’s Island.   I hope they become yours as well.  

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Dewey Readathon Hour 1: Let's Begin

Dewey Readathon begins with introductions: 

My name is Jencey Gortney.   I am reading from Atlanta Georgia in the US.   I am reading and will be starting with two books  The Last of The Moon Girls by Barbara Davis and continuing with my audiobook Written In My Own Hearts Blood by Diana Gabaldon.   I am looking forward to finally reading a Barbara Davis book and not using an audiobook.  
The snack that I am most looking forward to beginning with is my Cinnamon Starbucks coffee.  I will then proceed to the oatmeal bars that I made from scratch. 
I just finished yesterday twelve hours of graduate school.  I am working on my master's in Library Science from the University of Alabama.  I work at a library in north Atlanta and I love books.  I am glad to be here to do because this is a great activity to do while in quarantine! :)
This is not my first Dewey Readathon.  It has been a while since I participated.  I am glad to be back.  One action I would like to do to make my reading more enjoyable is to not fight through a book.  I want to really enjoy my reading today. 

Monday, April 6, 2020

Crowdsourcing and the Libraries

Crowdsourcing is a new concept for me.    Crowdsourcing is the use of a network or a group to create content for a  specific task within a business (Paniagua & Korzynski, 2017).  Social media provides another way for crowdsourcing to take place.  The engagement between the owners of the  social media account and its followers would be important for when given a task to follow up and assess these contributions. It would be important to invest in others and make them feel part of the group.  

My first thought when reading one of the other articles for class that discussed crowdsourcing is it would help my sister’s business.  Since COVID-19  has occurred they have set up an online store so that they could continue to do business.  I thought it might be useful to begin using crowdsourcing since they would have time to focus more on the social media aspect of their business.  I have not followed up with my sister to see if they were able to start crowdsourcing but here is her business Sloper’s Stitch house.  

So how would libraries do it? 

First libraries would have to agree on how it would use social media.   Once they have developed their policy then how would they engage with the public?  Do they have the time to engage with the public to develop a relationship where they feel loyal enough to contribute?
Social capital:  Refers to the libraries giving service to the public.  Libraries need the public to provide feedback at times to continue providing service through preferred programs, book budget, and helping to stabilize the library budget. 
Customer’s revealed preference:  Libraries would have to use their IT departments to figure out how to study the use of Social media by data mining to see what trends are popular with the public.   They can also run analytics to assess their presence in social media and their reach in the community. 
Social marketing:  Is when libraries use social media and or other modes of engagement to assess public interest.  This would also involve libraries taking the time to build relationships in social media.  This approach will become more popular in our current situation. 
Social corporate networking:  Is when libraries develop relationships with either other library systems or businesses within their community.   These relationships may also involve social capital to continue to grow the relationship.  
Paniagua, J., & Korzynski, P. ( 2017, January). Social media crowdsourcing. 
          Encyclopedia of creativity, invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship               (pp.1-5). DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-6616-1_200009-1

Sunday, March 8, 2020

What is the Library Brand?

What is the library brand?  Or how would the library define it's brand when using social media? Libraries that choose to make use of social media be more than impersonal posts about their programs and services.  They can reach out to the community and support educating them to learn more about the causes that are interested in supporting social justice.   

I began thinking about the branding question because of my project Sussex Royal Instagram Analysis.  Harry and Meghan have to decide what their brand will be going forward because they are unable to use the word royal.   A library when they choose to use social media has to define what their brand is.  Will, it only is impersonal posts communicating to patrons about the library services or will it reach out to the community?

 A study at Montana State University uses Twitter to reach out to the students by using the hashtag #askalibrarian.  One way to reach out to the community is to find out what their needs are. Should this community be interested in how activism works a librarian needs to provide access to these resources and making them aware of available resources.  Or they could provide a way through the library website for the community to ask about certain causes such as  #BlackLivesMatter, #Metoo, #Macmillainembargo.  Social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram can also be used to reach different populations.

Members of the community use social media regardless of their financial status.   The poorer communities may come to the library to use the public computers to access it.  Library staff will need to support the use of social media on public computers.  The perception should change to how it can benefit the individual that it is just as valuable to use of time as working on a resume.  Staff can specifically respond to community inquiries for using library resources.  Let these community groups use the library and through their inquiries circulation may increase.   One of the readings from this week in class discussed supporting these community groups or local chapters of  Black Lives Matters or  LGBQ. 

There are many ways that the library can benefit from supporting social justice in the branches.  It all depends on how the library defines its brand.


Suciu, P. (2020, 3 March). What influence do prince harry and meghan have without the sussex royal brand? Forbes. Retrieved from  https://www.forbes.com/sites/petersuciu/2020/03/03/what-influence-do-prince-harry-and-meghan-have-without-the-sussex-royal-brand/#7a034ef41dd4

Young, S.W.H. & Rossmann, D. (2015 March). Building library community through social media. 
Information Technology and Libraries.  20-37. Retrieved from:  file:///C:/Users/Jencey/Downloads/5625-Article%20Text-11826-4-10-20150409%20(1).pdf

Monday, March 2, 2020

Meet Harry and Meghan!

My topic is the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Sussex Royal Instagram page.   There are many topics that I could discuss these two very prominent people.  The future of their social media presence is about to change, but they are continuing to post.  My direction for this post will focus on the impact of their current presence and the civility of those who follow them.   The treatment by the media also impacts the civility that occurs in their posts.

Bot followers can impact social media accounts in an article 6 Rules to Follow When Using Instagram Bots.  These are followers that are artificial intelligence that can be used to follow accounts in social media and on Instagram.  One comment made on the most recent post was that many of the positive responses were cut pasted from other posts using bots (Social media explorer team, 2019).  Many social media networks try to root out these bot followers.  The discussion from this current post on St. David Day verges on also not being very civil.  Many people were expressing their displeasure at the choices of both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.   The impact of their decisions is being discussed in their posts everything from discussing their security arrangements and not taking their child to see his grandparents. 

The media coverage has also impacted the treatment of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The status that they have as royals has impacted how their decisions are viewed by the world.  Many of us would not have an opinion if they were not such prominent figures in the public.  The media coverage has caused concerns for both Harry and Meghan and for the safety of their family.  People should remember that Meghan may have become a British citizen but she is also American and still needs her friends like everyone else.   Harry also needs to know that his family can be protected.

Social media explorer team (2019). 6 rules to follow when using instagram bots. Social media                    explorer. Retrieved from:  https://socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-marketing/6-rules-to-follow-when-using-an-instagram-bot/