Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MLA Conference Report ~ Genre Blocks

Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference 2008 Report

Genre Blocks: Fantasy

An excellent recap on the Genre Blocks: Fantasy session was written by Sarah the Dyslexic Librarian on the MLA blog at
. Please read this account, and I won’t try to duplicate what she has so aptly recorded about the wonderful session we were able to attend.

Let me make it clear that I was not one of those “types” who reads fantasy literature. Puh-leeze! I mean, how many serious librarian types do you know that would read that “stuff?” (I am a closet fantasy reader and my interest in fantasy has been growing since I was forced to read Doomsday Book by Connie Willis before I could attend a session on Readers’ Advisory Services offered by MBLC and C/W MARS). I was instantly hooked – this was not what I had expected. I went on to read every other book that Connie Willis has written and then moved on to Neil Gaiman (Stardust and Neverwhere), John Connolly (Book of Lost Things), Audrey Niffenegger (Time Traveler’s Wife), you get the idea. For me, reading fantasy is like eating potato chips – you can’t eat just one – it creates an insatiable desire for more, more, more!! So, it was very exciting to attend the MLA session on Genre Blocks: Fantasy and hear experts in the field (Bonnie Kunzel,; Susan Fichtelberg,; and Elizabeth Haydon, tell me what my readers want to know: FANGS AND FUR ARE DEFINITELY IN!!!

There was a handout entitled What’s New in Fantasy that is extremely useful for anyone with fantasy readers in your library. (the MLA blog mentioned above covers most of the information on this handout) I fully expect to use this handout to build our collections and to watch for new books coming out in the near future by popular authors in this genre.

What my experience with reading Fantasy has confirmed to me is that when you venture outside your comfort zone to read books that might be of interest to your patrons, you will often find something that will capture you in a way you never imagined. Isn’t this experience exactly what we would hope for all readers? So, moving on to the fangs and fur… stay tuned!

~ Karen Kappenman, Director, Edwards Public Library, Southampton

No comments:

Post a Comment