Monday, April 2, 2012

For sale: fresh news, never read

  • Interesting Meg Wolitzer article: "The Second Shelf: On the Rules of Literary Fiction for Men and Women"
    "If The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated?"
  • A film version of Zadie Smith's On Beauty is in the works
  • I was getting all enthusiastic about this recap of a meeting in England until I read this: "it seemed like all the participants, with the possible exception of Ciara Eastell of Devon, did not really have their heart in this one and saw the delivery of books as, well, tedious and somewhat old-fashioned. This was summed up by one panel member who said "we're going to get savvier than offering just books." A saying about babies and bathwater comes to mind.... Also, the definition of what a librarian should do needs to change, and this should come from educational institutions as much as from culture: "We're no longer recruiting librarians, just people working in libraries. We recruit youth workers, events managers, experts in partnership relations and in commercial opportunities. These are core skills for running a library now, not "librarian" as such. We're looking to 'broker relationship.'" Well, yes, but.... Nonetheless, some great ideas here. I especially love the one about not needing librarians to train volunteers, but that could just be me....!

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