Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Featured Author: Ursula K. Le Guin

Ursula K. Le Guin is a Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy. She grew up in California, the daughter of anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and writer Theodora Kroeber.  Le Guin has published seven books of poetry, twenty-two novels, over a hundred short stories (collected in eleven volumes), four collections of essays, twelve books for children, and four volumes of translation. Her novels often feature alternative worlds, and her themes include utopian societies, issues of identity and social structures, and environmentalism. Most of her major works are still in print - some have been in print for over 40 years. Among her enthusiasts are Salman Rushdie, David Mitchell, and Neil Gaiman.

In April 2000, the Library of Congress made her a Living Legend. In 2014, Le Guin was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation, a lifetime achievement award.

Earthsea
The story of Ged (or Sparrowhawk), a mage from the fictional archipelago of Earthsea.

A Wizard of Earthsea 

The Tombs of Atuan

The Farthest Shore

Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea

Tales from Earthsea

The Other Wind
 
Catwings
The story of four winged cats. [Children's]

Catwings

Catwings Return

Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings

Jane On Her Own: A  Catwings Tale 


Hainish/Ekumen
Alternate or future histories set on a collection of worlds, all with a connection to Terra.

Le Guin has said on her website that "People write me nice letters asking what order they ought to read my science fiction books in — the ones that are called the Hainish or Ekumen cycle or saga or something. The thing is, they aren't a cycle or a saga. They do not form a coherent history. There are some clear connections among them, yes, but also some extremely murky ones."

Other Books

The Lathe of Heaven 
also on DVD 

The Wind's Twelve Quarters: Short Stories
 
Orsinian Tales

The Eye of the Heron [Large Print]

Always Coming Home  

Annals of the Western Shore [Young Adult] - Gifts, Voices, Powers  

Lavinia

Incredible Good Fortune: New Poems 

The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays On the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination 

The Birthday of the World and Other Stories   

Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew    

She also translated from Spanish Gabriela Mistral: Selected Poems, published by University of New Mexico Press.

Links

7 Reasons to Fall In Love With Ursula K. Le Guin [Bustle]

The Real and Unreal: Ursula K. Le Guin, American Novelist [Bookslut]

The Left and Right Hands of Ursula K. Le Guin [Kirkus]

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Online Privacy

Last week, an essay by young adult author Kathleen Hale was published in The Guardian, detailing a time when Hale stalked a woman who had posted a negative review of Hale's book on Goodreads. Since then, there has been much discussion online about what this means for book bloggers and privacy, so I thought I'd share some useful tips I've found about online privacy.

But first, let's talk about why it's important.

As evidenced by Kathleen Hale's situation, people can find out a lot about other people online. Once you have someone's address, it's really easy to plug that address in to something like Google Maps, and not only see where on the map that person is, but you can also see satellite pictures of the house. Now, there might not be much you can do about that, but this isn't the only reason online privacy matters.

It matters because any information you put online will never go away. You can delete a photo you posted to Facebook, remove a blog post you wrote, or delete something you Tweeted about, but that doesn't mean it's gone. Why? Because people can save things you post online. Pictures you post can be downloaded and saved. Things you Tweet can be saved as screenshots. And, as the website iKeepSafe points out, you never know what search engines have crawled your information and stored it.

And all of that matters because the details you share online can reveal information about you that you wouldn't otherwise want people to have: where you work, your habits, the places to which you travel.

So, what can you do?

Use a pseudonym

Many of the things I've been reading strongly recommend not using your real name, and instead using pseudonyms online. While this might work for you on Twitter or a blog, it might not work as well on Facebook. It's entirely a personal preference, but be aware that if you use your real name on your social networking sites, it makes it just a little easier to find you. Do a Google search for your name, putting your name in quotes (e.g., "John Doe"). You'd be surprised at what you might find.

Get a post office box

Depending on how you use social media, you might also want to get a post office box. For most of us, this probably isn't a concern, as we typically don't post our addresses online; however, as the Kathleen Hale situation shows us, it's sometimes beneficial to have a post office box that you can use online instead of your address, if you need to do online shopping, if you review products online that have to be mailed to you, etc.

Don't talk about where you are

Many of us love to talk about what we're doing. We use Facebook's check in feature, we post photos of our vacations, and we love to tell our social media followers what we're up to at any given time. And while this is okay for some things--say, if you're want to tell your followers about the amazing book you're reading--it's not as okay for other things.

If you want to talk about your amazing vacation or the day you had at the zoo, that's awesome; however, it might be best to not use Facebook's check in feature and to not post about where you are until you get home. While I've known that not posting online about being on vacation is a good idea, I had never considered not posting about being at the zoo while I'm actually at the zoo. It makes sense, though. If you're posting about your day at the zoo while you're there, guess what? It's now easier to find you. It also means people know you aren't home, so you've made your home vulnerable to break ins.

Disable your mobile device's geotagging feature

Here's another big one that I hadn't thought about before. If you use a smartphone or a tablet to take photos and upload them to social networking websites, make sure the geotagging is turned off. Geotagging embeds the location of where you took a photo into the photo itself, and people who view your photo can also view the embedded location information. Tech-Recipes has a great article on how to turn geotagging off of Androids, iPhones, and Blackberries.

I think, though, that most important thing about online privacy is talking about it: what it is, why it's important, and why it's a good idea to not reveal more information about yourself than you would if you were in a roomful of strangers.

If you have any other ideas on how to protect your online privacy, let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cinema By the Book: Upcoming Movies Based on Books

There are quite a few movies based on books coming soon!  What's your pleasure?  Do you like to read the book first or see the movie first?  Do you think the book is always better than the movie?

The movies based on the books listed below can't be found in the library catalog yet, but keep checking our New on DVD list!  You can find all the books in the library catalog, should you desire to read them first.  Links to both the book in the catalog and the movie's IMDb record have been provided.




Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson (October 31)

Horns by Joe Hill (October 31) [showing at The Guild Cinema, November 1-6]

The Homesman by Glendon Swarthout (November 7)

Then They Came For Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari with Aimee Molloy (Rosewater, November 7)

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (December 5)

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon (December 12)

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice (December 25)

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond (Paddington, December 25)

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (December 25

Also look for (release date TBA):

The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

Serena by Ron Rash

Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

and of course, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 17).
    

Monday, October 20, 2014

Noted: Found Items from Library Books

Lately, we have seen a spate of items returned with Post-Its attached. We often find items returned with opinions - DVDs especially, with their handy attached "report any problem" forms (some people's problems with the DVDs are more in the range of "This movie is really bad" than "This movie doesn't play", as seen in this post from the I Work At A Public Library blog). We thank customers for attaching their opinions and not writing in or on library items!

Should you find a book on the shelf that has been written in (or with other damage), please do bring it to the attention of library staff.  If you want to check it out, we can stamp it "Damage Noted", and there won't be any question upon its return that the item was damaged before you checked it out!



We also find a lot of items left in books when they are returned, including bookmarks, personal mail, library cards, Post-It flags, and other personal treasures. Sometimes we even find original drawings! Don't forget to check inside your book before you turn it in.  Most items found in books, unless they are trash (tissues, etc.), will be put in lost and found temporarily before being discarded.



By the way, we totally agree with whomever wrote this about Nick Hornby!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Top Circulating DVDs, Audiobooks, Playaways, and Music CDs

“Knowledge is like money: To be of value it must circulate, and in circulating it can increase in quantity and, hopefully, in value.”
― Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man  


In the library, "circulation" means a lot of things.  What's sometimes called the "library card desk" is also known as "circulation".  When we look at a book's record, we count how many times it has checked out as its "circs". The library's collection floats (items checked out at one branch and returned at another stay at the branch at which they are returned), but its items circulate.

Are you ever curious about which titles get checked out the most in the library system? We've put together some Top Ten lists of the recent top circulating non-books (except digital media) - DVDs, audiobooks, Playaways, and music CDs.



Top Circulating DVDs (adult fiction series)
1
Star Trek, The Next Generation
2
Poirot
3
True Blood
4
Dexter
5
Mad Men
6
Jesse Stone
7
Sherlock
8
Foyle’s War
9
Downton Abbey
10
Riddick

Series DVDs look to be the top circulating DVDs in the system, probably because most have multiple sets by season.  So, we thought we'd look for the most popular DVDs that are not part of a series:



Top Circulating DVDs (adult fiction, non-series)
1
Blue Jasmine
2
Iron Man 3
3
World War Z
4
Anchorman
5
The Wolverine
6
Elysium
7
Argo
8
Red
9
2 Guns
10
American Hustle

Pimsleur was the big winner in audiobooks, with the top circulating languages being Spanish (Latin American), French, German, and Italian. We opted to take them out of the equation for our table.



Top Circulating Audiobooks (other than Pimsleur language learning program)
1
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
2
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon
3
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
4
The Wailing Wind by Tony Hillerman
5
Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson
6
Doing Hard Time by Stuart Woods
7
Hit Me by Lawrence Block
8
Stone Cold by C. J. Box
9
The Bootlegger by Clive Cussler
10
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin

If you are an audiobook listener, have you tried a Playaway yet?  Playaways are preloaded, prerecorded audio players, the size of a deck of cards, that hold up to 80 hours of audio - they are marketed as "the all-in-one audiobook".  You don't have to fiddle around with individual discs, but you do have provide your own headphones and batteries.  You will recognize them by their distinctive orange case.



Top Circulating Playaways
1
True Sisters by Sandra Dallas
2
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
3
Love You More by Lisa Gardner
4
Gotcha! by Fern Michaels
5
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
6
Night Watch by Linda Fairstein
7
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon
8
Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
9
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
10
Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance

What music are you listening to? This is the music that library customers are favoring at the moment:



Top Circulating Music CDs (adult)
1
Random Access Memories – Daft Punk
2
Icon (greatest hits series, including Etta James, Michael Jackson, Uriah Heep, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Nirvana, and others)
3
Native – One Republic
4
G I R L – Pharrell Williams
5
Morning Phase - Beck
6
Pure Heroine - Lorde
7
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
8
Abbey Road – The Beatles
9
To Be Loved – Michael Buble
10
Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

If you are wondering about some other top circulating non-traditional items, here are a couple for you:

1) ¡Explora! is the top circulating museum pass.
2) Five branches of the library have Early Literacy Centers with Every Child Ready to Read literacy kits available for checkout. The kit with the most checkouts is: Have Fun With Reading.
3) Other items with high circulation: Kindle Keyboards and Kill-A-Watt energy detectors.
4) Top circulating magazines: People, New Yorker, Time, US Weekly, House Beautiful, and Sports Illustrated.