More Superheroes, and a Quest for Library Opinions
At the end of my somewhat grouchy post about superhero books from a couple of weeks ago. I asked commenters to add their own suggestions for superhero books that I might have missed, and got some heroic recommendations:
- Alkelda the Gleeful notes that while The Adventures of Blue Avenger, by Norma Howe, is technically a Young Adult book and not a children’s title, it is “too good not to mention.”
- Amanda recommends the Supertwins series, by Brian James, for ages four through eight.
- And Lisa Chellman contributed a link to a super-thorough list of superhero books, courtesy of the Wilmette Public Library.
Which brings me to my second topic of the day: libraries, and what people want from them.
I’ve been doing time behind the reference desk at several
different libraries in the last month or two, and have been thinking a lot
about what makes libraries places where people want to go—whether it’s the
physical comforts (spaces to read or work or let the kids crawl around) or the
friendly service, or the helpful recommendations via booklists (like the Wilmette Library's) or in-person
suggestions, or the rows and rows of computers with free Internet access.
Conversely, I know several people, some of them big readers, who don’t use libraries at all; it’s not that they’re necessarily anti-library; it’s just that the library isn’t in their orbit. Sometimes they don’t like trying to find their way around what feels like an arcane organizational system, or they find the fines off-putting, or there just isn’t a nearby branch that’s convenient to them. If they want a book, they’ll buy it at a bookstore or online.
So…if you are a library enthusiast, what makes it a place
you want to be? And if you aren’t, is there any particular reason?
If you want to play another way, here’s a question from a survey I recently gave to teens at local high schools: what’s one thing you like, or don’t like, about the library? (and please let me know which it is! I got several replies from my teen participants that read simply “Quiet” or “Books”, leaving me to puzzle over whether these were likes or dislikes.)
I’d be grateful for all replies, and promise to post another follow-up.
April 30, 2008