Saturday, November 30, 2013

Guardian witness

I missed hearing about the Guardian witness site until recently.  This is where they ask us to share stories which they might use in news.  This would seem to have amazing local studies potential, if a library set this up, or it could be a collaboration.  I will have to explore it more, but it is interesting to see what people are contributing to the different story/reporting areas.  Go and have a look at it.  I also like that all the stories/reporting can be shared to social media (painlessly).

This is what The Guardian says about the site
GuardianWitness is the home of user-generated content on the Guardian. You can contribute your video, pictures and stories, and browse all the news, opinions and creations submitted by others. Posts will be reviewed prior to being published on GuardianWitness, with the best pieces featured on the Guardian site.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Teen games rule

This is a new book which I co-edited with Julie Scordato.

We have set up a tumblr for people to add their stories of games and teenagers.

It has been very interesting working on this as Julie and I have not met in person, but have used a range of online tools to work together.

The authors are from Australia, Finland and the USA, and are all very skilled at what they do, offering impressive programs, services and collections around games.

We could not fit every great story in the book, which is why we have set up the tumblr, so that you can all share your great stories of games with teenagers with others.  We are using #teengamesrule to bring these ideas together.

Just in case you are wondering, this is a project which Julie and I did outside work time.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Imagining reading...

I overheard a conversation where two people were discussing reading.  I was interested because of the readers advisory work which I do.  This discussion had one person making suggestions to the other as they both liked crime novels.  The person receiving suggestions said they liked an immersive read, so 'of course' detailed descriptions of setting were the most important area.  This interested me at the time, as the authors and titles being described did not strike me as having particularly detailed descriptions.  I enjoy Henning Mankell, but do not find his books heavy on description of setting (unless in a way which is necessary for the story).

In readers advisory work it is really important to remember that other people will see  the same read differently to us.  The 'of course' setting was the only way for an immersive read was also stark (yet interestingly they were only interested in real world descriptions, no speculative fiction).  Of course it isn't the only way for an immersive read, but obviously it was the only way this person could immerse themselves in reading or imagine anyone being able to immerse themselves in reading.  We all immerse ourselves differently, in different degrees and depending upon individual titles.

This highlights the importance of imagination as part of the mix of skills, training, experience, research, use of tools and other aspects of providing an effective readers advisory service.  It is not about what or how we read, but about what and how our clients read, and we have to be able to imagine that people read differently to us, and can have a rich and rewarding reading experience by doing so.  The conversation I heard showed someone who could not imagine anyone having a satisfying reading experience unless other people read in exactly the same way as they do.

Just in case you are wondering about my evesdropping.  It was in a public place and loud enough to hear at a distance.