Blood Groove, by Alex Bledsoe

bloodgrooveTitle: Blood Groove

Author: Bledsoe, Alex (Author’s Website)

Genre: Horror

Bibliographic: Tor, 304 pages, Paperback List Price $19.99, Audiobook List Price $20.97, Audiobook CD List Price $29.95, ISBNs 9780765321961, 9780765323088, 9780765361615, 9781429956574

Publication Date: April 28, 2009

Rating: ★★★★☆/♥♥♡♡♡ (The rating scale is here).

Appeal Factors: Urban fantasy, flawed characters, creepy, steamy, violent, dialect-filled, gritty

Why I picked it up: It seemed like a good book for Halloween.

S.I.A.S.: Sixty years after his “death,” vampire Rudolfo Zginski wakes up in 1970s-era Memphis, Tennessee.

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#hyperlib Virtual Symposium: Libraries to the rescue!

My husband is a comics artist, so I thought I would make a comic for my virtual symposium post!

Also, I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how graphic novels and comics can draw the youths into the library and make them love reading, so it seemed appropriate for that reason, also.

Finally, I really like the idea of the librarian as a superhero.  Maybe Marilyn Johnson was right all along.

This comic is available as a pdf: hyperlib symposium



#hyperlib Reflection on Reflection: Metareflection!

This post is due today, and I’m only just starting to write it, which makes me nervous. For as long as I can remember, I have been a hyper-organized type-A personality. I usually finish all the homework for my classes by midterms at the latest and turn them in at the beginning of the week in which they’re due. And so this writing a post on my lunch break on the day it’s due is unusual, for me.

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#hyperlib Director’s Brief: Goodreads

Since OCLC found in 2010 that the general public still overwhelmingly associates public libraries with books, if we want to stay relevant in the Internet age it only makes sense that we move into the bookish internet. As such, this memo explains why the Hogsmeade Public Library should make establishing a presence on Goodreads a key part of their social media strategy.

Here it is: St. Dennis — Director’s Brief

(P.S. — Yes, Hogsmeade came from Harry Potter. Why not?)

#hyperlib: the library (and everywhere else!) as a classroom.

When I was small, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I loved learning, and I just knew that someday I was going to help other people love learning, too.

Now, I realize that I would have made a terrible teacher — I’m a tour guide currently, and I am very good at what I do, but there is a crucial distinction between teaching students and teaching the public (even when the public is students on field trips): the general public is, for the most part, learning because they want to be. No truant officer is going to arrest an adult for not visiting a cultural site, vacationing children are not at risk of getting grounded for low grades. I love the fact that I am teaching people who are choosing to spend their time with me.

There are drawbacks, of course. I rarely spend more than an hour with any individual and almost never get to develop any long-term relationships, and I have to teach people the same thing over and over and over again (albeit with slight variations).

Librarianship, to me, represents the best of both worlds: I get to interact with a variety of people who, for the most part, are at the library voluntarily, and given enough time in a community I will hopefully be able to develop long-term relationships with at least some of the patrons.

And so, I love the idea of the library as a classroom — I especially love the use of the word “classroom,” since so many adults are laboring under the misapprehension that their educations ended on their graduation days. Since I personally am a traditional learner of the nose-always-in-a-book variety, I was originally looking forward to performing reader’s advisory and reference more than any other aspect of my future career. But now? I am amazed with the possibilities.

Most of all, I think it’s wonderful that libraries are helping people learn what they want to learn even if what they want to learn is way outside of the library’s traditional purview. There’s an organization here in Washington called Knowledge Commons (KCDC) that partners with the DC Library fairly often, and they describe themselves as “a free school for thinkers, doers, and tinkerers – taught anywhere, by anyone, for everyone.” I’ve attended classes on DC History, on math theory, and on Go-go music — and I only discovered them last year! I was not surprised to learn that many of its organizers are librarians.

There is a definite desire out in the zeitgeist right now to keep learning, keep consuming, and keep improving. Libraries should be right in the middle of it — and it’s gratifying to see how solidly they already are.

#hyperlib: Mobile Info Environments: 3 Vignettes.

In the lecture for this unit, Michael Stephens shared a photo of a girl posing in front of American Gothic while her picture was taken, there are dozens of cell phones being held up by the other patrons of the Art Institute of Chicago. Michael says “I don’t know if this is good or bad, I don’t want to make that type of a judgement, I just know that this is how people experience art in the 21st Century.”  With this quote in mind, I’d like to share three stories from my personal life.

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#hyperlib Emerging Technology Plan: Collaboration!

Disclaimer: The author of this post has no affiliation with either Spotsylvania County Schools or the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. This plan was written as an exercise for a class at San Jose State University’s iSchool, and while the author is happy to discuss it with you it has no basis in the real world.

Introduction: This plan will discuss a new collaboration between Spotsylvania County Schools and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, which will culminate with the addition of Envisionware 24-hour Libraries to each of the County’s seven middle schools and five high schools. One machine will be added to each school’s cafeteria, so that students can access them during the educational day. The machines, in aggregate, will be treated as a new branch of the public library, and will contain a selection of books chosen in consultation between the public librarian and each school’s media specialist.

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#hyperlib: Any chance to advocate for libraries is a good chance.

The summer between tenth and eleventh grade, I decided that I was going to spend my time off from school doing something useful: I was going to read fifty books as part of the summer reading challenge (most of them came from the library where I was a volunteer). With that fact in mind, the following spring the branch manager asked me a favor — would I be willing to attend the upcoming County Board of Supervisors meeting and speak about my summer reading in defense of the library budget?

Being a civic-minded high schooler, I went, and while I was there a debate broke out so dramatically that it’s still discussed in Spotsylvania when topics to gossip about run short: the chair of the local Republican party chapter said that Spotsylvania students were hopelessly stupid because the school board wasted so much money — he said that high school seniors were so uninformed that they “didn’t know a participle from a predicate.” With the knowledge that my geography textbook still contained a chapter on the USSR (in March 2005!) because we couldn’t afford new ones, I listened to my neighbors talk about whether or not over-funding was making me and my classmates dumber than average.

When my turn came to speak, I couldn’t hold my tongue. According to the official minutes, I said my bit for the library, “spoke about the library’s resources and asked the board to support full funding for the library.” I also mentioned that I supported the school budget and did, in fact, know the difference between a participle and a predicate. On my way out of the meeting, an old man (or so he seemed to me at the time) stopped me to congratulate me on speaking, and mentioned that he himself didn’t know the difference between a participle and a predicate.

The reason I’m telling this story now is because, ten years later, there are two things about it I find somewhat striking, especially in light of some of our recent readings for this class.

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#hyperlib Context Book Report: I think I am, therefore I am. (I think.)

By this point, I think everybody knows that technology is making our society stupider. Kids these days would rather sit inside and watch mindless trash television than think for themselves, and as a result we have a generation hitting adulthood now whose brains are mushy and whose bodies are atrophied from sitting in the dark. Everyone knows that, right?

Everyone but Clive Thompson, apparently.

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