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January 3rd, 2014
Carole · Staff Recommendations

Shelf of New Books at the Harrison Public Library

The library is fluid. The flow of items into and out of the library is ongoing as materials are borrowed from and returned to the library constantly. Each time this occurs, the collection has been altered. The book or movie sitting on the shelf one day could be checked out at a moment’s notice and may not return for weeks. New materials are added to our collection on a daily basis. We want all of our patrons to know about the many new, enticing, important additions to our collection. We want our library users to be aware of the depth and breadth of our collections. How can this be achieved?

Enter the Harrison “Shelf ie”. This is a snapshot of one particular shelf or section of the library at a particular moment in time. For the purpose of this piece I have taken a shelfie of the New Books section of the Downtown Branch of the Harrison Public Library. Not all new books we receive make it to this area, although the majority do. If a new book arrives that is on hold for a patron, it will go directly to that patron. Some new items go directly to their appropriate subject area, to update and maintain the regular collection. These include updated travel guides, computer books and medical guides. The titles placed in New Books are those we want to highlight, those we expect demand for, those we want to bring to readers’ attention and those that have been reviewed in literary sources. For browsing purposes many books are displayed with their cover out. You will find a collection of fiction, mysteries, non-fiction and biographies, in no particular order.

At the time of this shelfie there sat 2 works of fiction that are on many Best of 2013 lists. Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish by the late David Rakoff spans decades and geography with the exploration of the commonality of a disparate set of characters; At Night We Walk in Circlesby Daniel Alarcon is described in Goodreads as a breakout book from a prizewinning young writer: a breathtaking suspenseful story of one man’s obsessive search to find the truth of another man’s downfall. In a blend of essay and biography Man-Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes writes of his profound grief and intense mourning following the sudden death of his wife in Levels of Life. The popularity of the biography is a constant among our readers. Three recent acquisitions are American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell, Dr. J: The Autobiography and Roth Unbound: A Writer and his Books.

You never know what you will find while browsing. My shelfie includes an eclectic mix of non-fiction: Hollywood Said No! : Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show by Bob Odenkirk, Dot Complicated: Untangling our Wired Lives, a social media primer by Randi Zuckerberg, and the tongue-in-cheek This Land Was Made For You and Me (But Mostly Me) by David Letterman and Bruce McCall.

We strive to include books on current and wide ranging topics. Rounding out my shelfie is Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters and the Making of a New American Food Culture by Dana Goodyear, an introduction to the “extreme foodie phenomenon…that is changing the face of American eating”, Beatles vs. Stones in which author John Macmillan reflects on the debate of the superiority of the two mega-bands and The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy is Transforming the American Family by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

Curious? Come in, explore our shelves, discover our gems. Then make a shelfie or two of your very own.

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