What’s Your Dewey? 090 Hooked on Books – in whatever form.

Some may claim they do not read and therefore do not own a book – or, they may have a book or two floating around the house – but for lovers of books, for bibliophiles, there is simply no such thing as ‘a book or two’.

In Ex Libris: Confessions Of A Common Reader author Anne Fadiman shares her life-long passion for books in 18 essays that explore her inextricable connection to the written word. She talks about relations (she and her husband only married after they managed to combine book collections); explores the reader’s treatment of books (calling those that underline text, tear pages out or read books until they fall apart – carnal lovers);  and theorises about the scarcity of editions (first editions of Alice in Wonderland were eaten by children). A witty, insightful look at one person’s passion for books that spans an eclectic view of their history.

Since early times when humans learned to communicate with symbols , they have sought ways to preserve and disseminate the written word.

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In The Book : A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time,  Keith Houston follows the path of the 2,000 year old history of universal information technology. Houston looks at the book’s development from cuneiform tablets to today’s paperbacks, presenting a vibrant and rich history of civilisations. This sometimes surprising history is attractively packaged with full-colour illustrations.

Books about books come in many forms, from the text that will inspire the casual reader to academic titles designed for intense study.

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The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book edited by Leslie Howsam provides an extensive account of the book’s history and the way humans have viewed it over time. Taking a thematic and chronological approach, the first section of this title considers ‘book’ cultures from ancient inscriptions to e-books.  Part two, looks at the relationship of the physical book and it’s content, from early manuscript production to the globalization of publishing, and the introduction of e-books. Part three is largely academic and includes bibliographical, archival and pedagogical strategies for studying books. You can take a look here: Camdridge Companion to the history of the book

Despite the enormous number of books printed over time, there is the view that the history of books can be encapsulated in the choice a select few.

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The History of the Book in 100 Books by Roderick Cave & Sara Ayad is one such book. They look at 100 books they believe have played a critical role in the creation and expansion of books that have brought literacy, numeracy, knowledge, and ultimately liberation to many in the world. Themes discussed include ancient times in the East and the West; the Medieval world; print technology and the Information explosion led by Public Libraries. The size of the book may be prohibitive to some (a coffee-table book) and the beginning of the book is far stronger than the end, but the abundant photographs and inclusion of some lesser known titles make it interesting nonetheless.

 There are many claims that the e-book has all but destroyed the popularity of the printed book, and that book publishing in Australia is all but dead.

Publishing Means Business: Australian Perspectives

Publishing Means Business: Australian Perspectives by Aaron Mannion, Millicent Weber & Katherine Day shows us how in fact the ‘Australian publishing industry has transformed itself from a colonial outpost of British publishing to a central node in a truly global publishing industry’ (readings.com). The book examines the current state of an unpredictable industry that has seen government cuts, the rise of boutique and e-publishing houses and the flood of international titles into the Australian market. It questions the broader role of publishing in Australia and looks to its future. It includes contributions from academics, writers, publishers and economists, and can be considered an authoritative book on the topic.

Of course if you are the sort of bibliophile I tend to be, the whole point of books is to read them, enjoy them and most likely own them. If book collecting is your thing, there are many websites and many books, devoted to the topic. Rather than go through an apparently, inexhaustible list of guides on the topic, I thought I would leave with a picture – or two…

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How Does That Work? Life Cycle of a Library Book.

Have you ever wondered how your favourite book gets to you when you borrow it from the library? Clearly, public libraries are seldom involved in the creation of the books you find on the shelf – so how do they get there?

Welcome to this ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Life Cycle of a Library Book.

The first step is knowing what to order and library staff across the state must keep abreast with what is available, what is recently published, what is topical and what you, the reader, might choose to take home. To do this staff use review journals, blogs, webpages and magazines; monitor what is being borrowed across the state, take reader suggestions and access online publisher websites. Of course in this state, we have the advantage of belonging to the OneCard Network which means staff from 130 public libraries across the state are working toward building a great state-wide collection.

Books are ordered centrally and online through BlueCloud, the OneCard Network’s Acquisitions module. Publishers and Library suppliers populate the Acquisitions database with a range of titles across many categories of books; fiction and non-fiction, adult, teen and children’s titles – books in standard print, large print, graphic and audio formats.
As there are many titles to choose from in the various categories, a monthly list for each category is created and made available to libraries. Once available, selectors across the state go into BlueCloud and choose the titles they would like to see in their library, according to their local budget and preferences.

Selected titles are delivered by suppliers to libraries across the state. Once they have arrived at their home library, they are ‘Received-in’ to the BlueCloud Aquisitions module and assigned to the library, which is the first step to it appearing on our catalogue.

Each item received into the library is processed. Physical processing includes Library ID stamping, Date stickers, Barcodes, Security tags and book covering.

All items received into the library are assigned an RFID tag. RFID tags (or Radio Frequency Identification tags) are small tracking devices that allow libraries to use secure, library user self check-out and return systems.

At the end of the physical processing, items are put through the library circulation system to make them available for borrowing. At this point items can be viewed and reserved from our library catalogue.

New items are put out on display in their general collection area for people to borrow. Some items are directly shelved into their relevant collection – not all new items are displayed. This year’s new item sticker is red with New 2018 written on it.

The first loan of any new item in the library is easy and exciting! A picture book, for example, seldom sits longer than a day or two on the New Books stand and can be out on loan again as soon as it is returned. Some titles never seem to make it back to the shelves and can be out several times per month, on reserve even before they hit the returns chute.

Books can’t last forever and those that have been dearly loved will fall into disrepair. While staff will do minor repairs on popular items, there is always a time in any book’s life that we must remove it from the collection. Old items that are damaged or outdated may end up on our Friends of Library sale trolley, or donated to nursing homes and community facilities. Many of the library’s pre-loved children’s books are often available at Pop-up Library events for children to take home. While it is sometimes sad to farewell a favourite title, the good news is, we can often re-order it through BlueCloud and if not, replace it with an equally great new read.


What’s Your Dewey? 808.5 Public Speaking And The Power Of Words.

Speaking in public can put fear in the bravest of people. Known as glossophobia, symptoms of speech anxiety can be physically debilitating and affects as many as 75% of people. Despite this, there are many demands on us to speak in public – at work, social and special events, family occasions, celebrations and ceremonies. When asked to give a speech, it’s important not to panic – there is help about and 808.5 is a good start for some great oratory tips!

Part of the Life Skills series, Panic-free presentations by Greg & Elisa Paulk, is aimed at younger would-be orators, and provides practical tips and a stepped guide for presenting to an audience. Although the book approaches the topic from a student’s perspective, the layout, coupled with clear simple text and easy pace, makes it a useful entry-level introduction to the topic of public speaking.

According to Stand, speak, deliver! by  Vaughan Evans, ‘conquering the fear’ of public speaking involves ‘feeding like PACman’, that is, Practising (at every opportunity); Attracting (by engaging with the audience); and Chilling (taking your time). Evans aims to give readers the essentials of public speaking from the perspective of an experienced Toastmaster. The book is divided into five parts, which can be categorized as preparing, structuring, delivering, speaking and presenting. It is designed to both instruct and entertain, and includes sample speeches and notes in seven Appendices.

While many may focus on the fear associated with public speaking, key to successful speaking is focusing on the message, be it a wedding speech, a thank you, a lecture or a pitch for funding. What’s your message : public speaking with twice the impact, using half the effort by Cam Barber is based on the premise that all other titles on public speaking work on the ‘performance of the act of speaking’,  rather than the reason we speak in public. He argues that this approach adds unnecessary pressure to speakers, forcing them to be what they are not. By focusing on the message, Barber asserts speakers can be more relaxed and therefore more engaging, improving their communication. The book is structured into two parts – The Power of Messaging with examples from great leaders, public figures and company CEOs; and  The Vivid Method for Public Speaking which demonstrates a 3-part method to prepare and deliver speeches.
You can sample the e-book here: Whats-Your-Message-Public-Speaking-ebook



What’s Your Dewey? 641.5 Wintery food easy and quick!

It’s officially winter in South Australia and the term ‘comfort food’ springs to mind when thinking mealtime. Often this is linked to the term ‘easy’ because the thought of protracted preparation and cooking time after a cold, wet wintery day away from home, is less than inviting.
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Paul Gayler's Little Book of Salads : Stunning, Healthy, Ready in Minutes - Paul Gayler
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A Winter Harvest with Maggie Beer 1
Those who are familiar with Barossa Valley chef and identity Maggie Beer will no doubt be drawn to Maggie Beer’s winter harvest : recipes (photography by Mark Chew).  This is however not a new title but a ‘title extract’ from her popular Maggie’s Harvest released in 2007. While the stories and recipes are not new, the format and size (a 208 page paperback), more easily allow for kitchen use than the glossy 2007 full edition, and reinforce Maggie’s philosophy on sourcing, cooking and sharing local seasonal food.  Maggie’s winter theme is citrus so many of her recipes include some form of citric fruit, vegetable or herb. Anyone interested in Maggie’s ideas can read a short interview here:  A-Winter-Harvest-with-Maggie-Beer
Cover image - Winter Food
Many family chefs seek their recipes on the internet and there is no denying that this can sometimes be a quick and easy way to find that illusive ‘what can I cook with these ingredients’ recipe. It also serves to protect valued, beautifully illustrated coffee-table cookbooks from nasty kitchen accidents. The downside is – it’s difficult to browse a theme, it chews up your data and the ads are annoying! So… why not try an ebook! There are plenty out there and one that caught my attention was Winter Food by Sally Wise. Wise’s recipes focus on flavour, quick and easy preparation and fresh, easy to access ingredients. Recipes include pies, soups, curries and casseroles, and there are over 90 recipes to choose from. You can view a sample from the Soups and Starters section here: Winter Food by Sally Wise

Of course, this is only one example of eCookbooks available – there are many, and if you are a member of a South Australian Public Library, you can freely download a range of ebook titles from searching our catalogue here: Winter food Recipes
It’s easy!