Archive for Fun Stuff

Introducing the very first “IAmRUSA” podcast!

A drum roll, please… Introducing the very first “IAmRUSA” podcast with RUSA President, Anne Houston!This podcast was created by Patty Valdovinos, our 2016 RUSA Spectrum Intern.  Patty will be creating more podcasts profiling RUSA members as part of her Spectrum project for RUSA, continuing the IAmRUSA conversations created by our previous Spectrum Intern, Kirk MacLeod, last year (see the past conversations here).  We hope these podcasts will help us all learn more about each other as RUSA members. Thanks to Patty for this great initiative and a special acknowledgement to her for conducting the interview.

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RUSQ seeks column editors

Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ), the peer-reviewed journal of the Reference and User Services Association, is seeking editors for two columns, “The Alert Collector” and “Information Literacy and Instruction.”  RUSQ is an online journal, and issues are available immediately on publication to RUSA members and subscribers at journals.ala.org/RUSQ. The current four issues are limited access and then open access after that.

“The Alert Collector” offers readers titles appropriate for building and maintaining collections in specific subject areas. The columns can focus on fiction or non-fiction areas, and cover print and online resources, with short annotations. Topics covered recently include hip-hop, autism spectrum disorder, art pricing and evaluation, and dance with a focus on flamenco.

“Information Literacy and Instruction” covers any topic in this area in public and academic libraries. Recent columns have explored MOOCs, preparing LIS students for atypical jobs, working with students with autism spectrum disorders, and using specific tools for improving information literacy.

The column editor is responsible for recruiting authors, editing copy, and submitting columns to the editor of RUSQ on schedule. Columns run 2500-3500 words and are published quarterly. RUSQ seeks to provide columns that will be of interest to librarians working in the areas of reference and user services, in academic, public, school, and special libraries.

If you are interested in applying for a column editor position, please send a copy of your resume and a one-page letter outlining your thoughts on how you would shape the column to meet the needs of RUSQ readers to Barry Trott, Editor, RUSQ, btrott@wrl.org, by May 15, 2016.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you have about the journal or the positions.

Barry Trott

Editor, RUSQ

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RUSA’s Newest Interest Group – FYE IG

RUSA is proud to announce the formation of the RUSA First Year Experience Interest Group, (FYEIG). This group has been formed in order to address the many challenges of first year students in higher education. One of the anticipated outcomes is to establish a forum with regular meetings for the discussion of practical and scholarly topics relating to first year students and those involved with this group.

The purpose of this group is to share ideas and develop new connections for future collegiality and support. Topics for discussions include but are not limited to retention improvements, introduction to higher education research skills development, outreach, first generation students, international students, students enrolled simultaneously in high school and college (dual enrollment programs), reference services, etc.

This group is in the initial pilot project phase, which ends on June 30, 2016.  In order to become a regularly scheduled, RUSA-sponsored group, there must be sufficient support and some credible work by this date.

You are invited to join this interest group by going to http://connect.ala.org/node/249585, then log into your ALA account, and join the group.  FYE IG membership is automatic.

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2016 Notable Books List: Year’s best in fiction, nonfiction and poetry named by RUSA readers’ advisory experts

BOSTON—The Notable Books Council, first established in 1944, has announced the 2016 selections of the Notable Books List, an annual best-of list comprised of twenty six titles written for adult readers and published in the US including fiction, nonfiction and poetry. The list was announced Sunday during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

The 2016 selections are:

Fiction

“In the Country: Stories” by Mia Alvar. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Exploring the Filipino experience spanning decades and continents, these fully rendered tales express wonder and sadness leavened with humor.

“The Sellout: A Novel” by Paul Beatty. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Poking the underbellies of many sacred cows, this biting social satire examines race, culture and politics in modern America.

“Did You Ever Have a Family: A Novel” by Bill Clegg. Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The aftermath of a tragedy and its rippling effects in a small Connecticut town.

“Delicious Foods: A Novel” by James Hannaham. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group.
Themes of race, addiction, wage slavery, and corporate greed coalesce in this startling, darkly comic coming of age odyssey.

“Black River: A Novel” by S.M. Hulse. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
This modern literary Western explores a man’s redemptive journey and the possibility (and cost) of forgiveness.

“Fortune Smiles: Stories” by Adam Johnson. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
Humanity: quirky, disturbing, endearing, striving, resigned, and fascinating.

“The Prophets of Eternal Fjord: A Novel”” by Kim Leine, translated by Martin Aitken. Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton.
An epic and evocative tale of colonialism in Greenland; translated from the Danish.

“The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories” by Anthony Marra. Hogarth, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group.
Beauty and humanity are found in the darkest and grimmest of places in these interconnected pieces.

“The Sympathizer: A Novel”” by Viet Thanh Nguyen.Grove Press.
A half-French, half-Vietnamese man serves as a double agent after the war, and struggles with the contradictions of his identity and loyalties.

“This Is the Life: A Novel” by Alex Shearer. Washington Square Press, a division of Simon & Schuster.
Spare prose mixes with heart-wrenching humor in this gem of a story about two brothers coping with terminal illness.

“The Book of Aron: A Novel” by Jim Shepard. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
The perspective of a boy whose only goal is to live another day gives a sharp edge to the mind-numbing tragedies of the Warsaw Ghetto.

“A Little Life: A Novel” by Hanya Yanagihara. Doubleday, a division of Random House.
A visceral, provocative story of four New York City lives marred by ambition, abuse, and addiction.

Nonfiction

“The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission” by Jim Bell. Dutton, and imprint of Penguin Group.
An enthusiastic account of our reach for intergalactic space — and the people who made it possible.

“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” by Ali Berman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
A sobering and impassioned popular history of the fight for universal suffrage in the United States.

“The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World” by Joel K. Bourne Jr. WW. Norton and Company.
An agricultural revolution supported our booming population in the twentieth century, but we’ll need another one to sustain us in the years to come.

“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Spiegel & Grau, an imprint of Random House.
Framed as a letter to the author’s teenage son, this chronicle of race in America works as memoir, meditation, and call to action.

“The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle” by Lillian Faderman. Simon & Schuster.
An authoritative, affecting account of the effort to establish and solidify legal rights and cultural acceptance in the United States.

“Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter, Mary Shelley” by Charlotte Gordon. Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
From A Vindication of the Rights of Woman to Frankenstein, this dual biography provides fresh insight about these groundbreaking authors.

“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larson Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House. “Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.” (Penguin Random House, 2015)

“The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. Simon & Schuster.
A strong work ethic and keen observation fueled the quest to conquer manned flight.

“The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery. Atria Books, Simon & Schuster.
A charming, revelatory journey into the world of cephalopods.

“M Train” by Patti Smith. Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House.
Part memoir, part travelogue, and ultimately an elegy to her beloved husband, written by an iconic American artist.

“Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War” by Susan Southard. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Bearing witness to hibakusha, those left behind.

“Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva” by Rosemary Sullivan. HarperCollins.
A portrait of a woman unable to escape the terrible shadow of her father.

Poetry

“Bastards of the Reagan Era” by Reginald Dwayne Betts. Four Way Books.
Drugs, violence, and incarceration during a period of fear and chaos told in a brutal and haunting poetic voice.

“Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems” by Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton.
Folklore, history, personal journeys, and modern times are entwined in this absorbing work by a Native American poet.

The winners were selected by the Notable Books Council whose members include twelve expert readers’ advisory and collection development librarians. The Council considers titles based on stellar reviews published in standard library reviewing sources and other authoritative sources.

The Council includes Liz Marie Kirchhoff (Chair); Kristen Rae Allen-Vogel; Rochelle Redmond Ballard; Victoria Caplinger; Craig Allan Clark; Carol Lynn Gladstein; Dr. Vicki L. Gregory; Marlene A. Harris; Stacey J. Hayman; Sarah Jaffa; Elizabeth M. Joseph; Mary Callaghan “Cal” Zunt.

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