So here and I doing my thing. It’s the last meeting for the Teen Library Council. Unfortunately all but one teen couldn’t make it. So here I am, one on one with our Teen Library Council, asking for feedback and reflect on the past year. This member is a huge anime and manga fan and is very good about suggestion which series are popular among friends and classmates in high school. We’re talking story, it’s a very chill atmosphere, and I drop my “official” demeanor and let slip some of my fangirl persona since we’re discussing a topic we mutually like.
We must have been very relaxed because the member mentioned how I act like Retsuko of Aggretsuko fame. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the character, only knowing the anthropomorphic red raccoon was a new character amongst the cute Sanrio characters I knew of when I was a kid. Essentially the conversation turned to how, as a librarian, you present yourself professionally then you let loose with your favorite hobby. The Council Member is a huge fan of the Netflix series and encouraged me to watch it to understand how Retsuko acts. As I watched the series later that night, Retsuko is a salary woman working in accounting for a big firm. She deals with the day to day with a calm demeanor then unleashes her stress and rage at night in her own private sanctuary: a karaoke room.
Self-reflecting on our conversation, I got this thought (and please feel free to comment). That we present ourselves as professionals to the public. My Teen Library Council had asked me questions about the job: Do you need a Master’s degree? What kind of experience would be good to work with the public? Now I look back a question I’m sure they had since it was the same when I was a kid which was How can you keep your composure? Just like Retsuko singing karaoke, my outlet is reading manga!
We all have our different ways of expressing and releasing stress from keeping a professional composure. How do you reflect your professional life? What are ways you do to release stress?
Crunchyroll recently released Today’s Menu for Emiya Family, a cooking spin to the normally action-charged Fate/Stay Night anime series. Each episode is shorter than others, clocking in at a little over 12 minutes. Shiro Emiya, our protagonist, shops and cooks for the household. As this is a spin-off, he interacts with characters that are normally viewed as enemies in the main plot line with hilarious and intriguing results. I also like the portrayal of a young man who is cooking for the rest of the household, all of whom are women. Everyone cooks! Everyone eats! Everyone wins!
This has been a fairly popular series to show at my library’s ani-mazing anime programs due to how quick the episodes are. However be warned when showing this without snacks or having lunch yourself. Just be aware that if you laugh or discuss about the characters in relation to Fate/Stay Night, unless the attendees have seen it, it would be best not to bring it up and keep it light.
Kawaii Kon has come and gone. An excited event filled with numerous events and guests from all over the world. To a happy Kon!
This year was my second year volunteering for our public library system booth located inside Kawaii Kon’s Artist Alley. I must say, it was a fun and interactive experience, learning new things as time goes on. My partner in crime being Hillary C., my co-presenter from our 2017 Hawaii Library Association panel on graphic novels.
I was only able to stay for 1 hour due to a last-minute schedule change with my volunteering time for Kawaii Kon but what an hour! We interacted with 80 people in 1 hour! Considering how quiet Sundays usually are for a convention and we came in after the lunch rush, I’d say that’s pretty awesome.
How it worked: Attendees who show their library card can get a choice of a manga or book! This year there were puzzle books and superhero graphic novels aside from manga and literature. No library card? No problem! Get a free pencil or sticker! Grab a library card application to fill out and turn in to your nearest library to have a card and account set up.
Why volunteer: Get the library out into the community! Libraries are just filled with classical literature. There are still people surprised and happy to see the public library booth at the convention, it makes us happy to be noticed.
Is cosplay mandatory at the booth? Not at all, go with yourcomfort zone. Cosplay? Always a good idea! Also an excuse to wear cute costumes! No cosplay? No problem! If anyone asks, say you’re displaying as an otaku librarian. I can say that as my official “cosplay” for 2 years.
I hope to continue my volunteer saga so we’ll see about next year! 😄
Ideas! I’ve been brainstorming ideas to hopefully build a book club for the library. Been meaning to have one but I admit, I feel like I’m trying to put all these ideas into play in so little amount of time. It’s time to sit down, focus, and breathe. Make a 5 year plan. Not a 1 year “do all the things” plan!
I’m currently on a true crime/crime fiction binge. I recently finished the Netflix original series “Mindhunter” and am halfway done with John Douglas’ book. I started looking into True Crime for YA but couldn’t find much (will need to exercise more on this) so I made a post with a mix of YA Crime and Thrills.
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & the Trial of the Centuryby Sarah Miller The gruesome murders of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother made headlines in the late 1800s. The suspect in the murders is daughter Lizzie, whose alibi is seriously put into question. Narrated like a novel, it makes it hard to believe this was a real crime. The research that went into this book includes pictures, newspaper reports, and interviews (a hallmark of many a crime book). Did she do it?
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
An award-winning book (Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, National Book Award for Young People’s Literature) and a classic in it’s own right. At sixteen, Steve is held in a juvenile detention hall awaiting trial for the murder of a drugstore owner. He is an aspiring filmmaker, thus writing his story like a screenplay. It is unclear what Steve’s role was in the murder gone afoul. In-between his screenplay are journal entries that show a raw look at a teen suffering through doubt and fear for his life.
One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus
A group of teens enter detention. One doesn’t make it out alive. Follow the clues and motives, find who killed the creator of Bayview High’s gossip app. You get the stereotypes of each teen (homecoming queen, jock, the brain, the criminal) in detention and what they have to lose if exposed to their social circles. Why go the whole nine yards and kill the outcast? How badly did the killer want his/her secret safe?
Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe
I am very excited to re-read this book due to a revised edition released earlier this year. Emmett Till was a 14 year old African American boy visiting relatives from Chicago when he was murdered for allegedly whistling at a Caucasian woman. His body was found three days later. The book weaves Till’s murder with America’s Civil Rights Movement. Revised edition includes new information by Till’s accuser which caused sensational headlines in late 2017.
Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell
I read this back in high school which became a guilty pleasure among the Agatha Christie novels I hungered for. Includes pictures from the Jack the Ripper Case. Cornwell did a great job framing the story however with a multitude of suspects in the Whitechapel Murders, this is but one of many to suggest who Jack the Ripper really was.
Bonus: The Stuff You Missed In History podcast is wonderful and has a few episodes on crime, suitable for history buffs at their own discretion. They do great research and narrate in a way that leaves you wanting more. Search under “Crime” to find episodes tagged. I like listening during my drives to and from work. Happy reading!
I had recently created a small section of Biographical Graphic Novels and Non-Fiction Graphic Novels at the library I work at. It’s a little section but I’m proud of creating a visible assertion that graphic novels aren’t 100% superheroes. That non-fiction and memoirs have been in the graphic medium and will continue to grow.
So imagine my confusion receiving Soviet Daughter : A Graphic Revolution by Julia Alekseyeva to have processed. I figured it was a memoir and would be placed under our Biographical Graphic Novels because Julia uses information provided by her great-grandmother, Lola from her days growing up in the USSR to witnessing the Fall of the Soviet Union and moving to the United States. At the same time, moments of Julia’s story is interwoven, reminiscently reminding me of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, where she revisits her relationship with her father prior to his death. However the library system placed it as a Fiction.
So I dug deeper and ran across more confusion. Amazon lists Soviet Daughter under Amazon Best Seller Ranks as “Educational and Non-Fiction” (#164) but “Historical and Biographical Fiction” (#96). The publisher, Microcosm Publishing, markets it as a “graphic novel memoir unites two generations of strong, independent women against a sweeping backdrop of the history of the USSR.” A memoir is a biography, written from personal sources. If this was fiction, the marketing would say so since it would put the book in a tricky situation. WorldCat lists it as “Biography, Fiction” with Similar Items listing subjects including “Nonfiction/Biography/Memoir”.
Food for thought when looking at books in the library. The collection says a lot if books are placed in Fiction or Non-Fiction. For now, Soviet Daughter: A Graphic Revolution will be under Fiction. If there are any changes, we’ll see!