Saturday, January 31, 2009

Library Loot - The Hunger Games & More

So, what did you bring home from the library this week? I brought home a book, and something personal.

I brought home one of the hottest young adult novels in our system, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The cover copy says, "In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV."

When sixteen-year-old Katriss Everdeen takes her younger sister's place in the Games, she doesn't expect to survive. But, Katriss is smart, athletic, and fast, and she could be a contender. the sequel to this intriguing story is due out in September. I had The Hunger Games home before, and had to take it back. This time, I'm going to get to it before it's due.

I also benefited in an intangible way this week, from my library job. At the beginning of the month, my Head of Reference retired, and, with the economy, we're in a hiring freeze. So, I've been spending entire days working the reference desk, instead of filling in now and then. I also had a reference librarian out sick all week. Guess who filled in those hours as well?

Do you know what loot I brought home? I'm a much nicer person after spending all those hours on the reference desk. There isn't one of us who isn't worried about losing our jobs. But, hour after hour I talk to people who are filling out resumes, job applications, trying to find jobs. Our library has really changed in the last year. Our computers used to be taken up by teenagers on MySpace and other social networks. Now, they have to compete with the adults for computer time, and the adults are taking over.

We're in scary times. And, talking with my library patrons, and helping them, day after day, has made me nicer, and not as bureaucratic, in some of my work. As Martha Stewart used to say, "It's a good thing." It's part of this week's library loot.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Scholastic, Inc., Oct. 2008. ISBN 9780439023481 (hardcover), 374p.


Joy said...

Oh! I saw this when it first came out and was interested in it. However, with so many other books already waiting, I decided to wait. I'm interested in your thoughts.

As for the "scary times", I agree. I noticed the computer user change at every library I frequent, as well. But, as you know, I live in Michigan which has the highest unemployment rate. :(

Lesa said...

I'll let you know when I get to it, Joy. That should be soon!

So, I'm not the only one noticing the change in computer users. And, you've probably had it longer than we have here in Arizona, where we had a building boom until the last year or so.

Corey Wilde said...

My local library branch has set aside half a dozen computers in a quiet room, solely for the use of job seekers. Yeah, that brought me up short. I wonder what they've done at the main library.

Tricia said...

If you are anything like me, once you start Hunger Games you won't put it down. I can't wait to see what you think of it.

Lesa said...

Thanks for the information, Corey. Yes, it does startle you, and makes you realize how bad things are.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Tricia! I'm looking forward to reading it!

Jen said...

This past week we had an ugly snow storm and a bunch of schools in our area were closed. A teacher from a school that wasn't closed called the radio station complaining. Someone promptly called after reminding her she should quit complaining and feel blessed that she still had a job! I think I was concurring on that one!

As for what I brought home from the library: two audio books - one called CITY OF THE SUN by David Levien and the other is called JAMAICA BLUE by Don Bruns.

I'm still working on ON THE ROPES, which is what I reported I brought home last time. It's funny. I'm enjoying that one!

meen said...

Lesa, THE HUNGER GAMES sounds an interesting book. I'll have to find that one, if not for Tara, then for myself.
As for computer use in the library. We see the same thing in our library and at times it breaks my heart. We have an irish organization involved with Adult education and reschooling using our exhibition space next week to give people all the help and advice they might need.

Lesa said...


It's funny. Everyone wants a day off, and we don't really appreciate the fact that we have job to go to work.

I haven't ever read Don Bruns. Let me know if you like his book.

Lesa said...


The Hunger Games is quite high on the bookstore lists here, so you'll probably be able to find it.

It's a crime what the U.S. economy has done to the world. It was rough in Ireland before, from what you've said, so I imagine it's terrible now.

Sandra said...

Nice to find something that excites you. Glad you could use the time and circumstances to gain some perspective on working in general and other people's difficulties. We all need to do this once in a while I think. Enjoy your reading.

Lesa said...

Thanks, Sandra. I agree with you. It was good to do. I'll enjoy the books!

Kay said...

Our youth librarian is using THE HUNGER GAMES as her teen book read this month. Copies are circulating briskly because she had a hard time getting some copies in on reserve.

I was interested to hear your new library "loot". It's amazing what new perspectives you can gather in just helping people find what they need. We're drowning in many respects here. I came home yesterday just exhausted. It was a mega-busy Saturday.

Lesa said...

Hi Kay,

I am LOVING The Hunger Games! I'm racing through it. I'm afraid Jim wants to go to Target this morning, and I'd rather stay home and read.

You're right. Since I'm short one librarian, we're a little overwhelmed at times. The days go fast, though.