Thursday, June 27, 2013

Attracting Reluctant Male Readers @ ALA 2013


This Saturday at 1:00 pm, I will be making a presentation to the American Library Association in Chicago on Attracting Reluctant Male Readers. Normally I don't start gathering butterflies in my stomach until the day before a presentation. But then I made the mistake of looking and saw that almost five hundred people had indicated a desire to attend my program. Now I have three days of feeling like I want to vomit.

I have spoken on this subject many times in multiple venues over the last few years, including at the Illinois Reading Council, the Ohio Educational Library Media Association, and the Indiana Library Federation, and a number of libraries across the Midwest. This time I am part of the YALSA at the ALA group of session.  I will be discussing the problem of Reluctant Readers, giving program and activity recommendations to change them into eager readers, and recommending a number of YA books geared at attracting those guys who think they don't like reading.

I also recruited a male author and school librarian to work with me. he will be giving a number of first hand tactics that have worked with the boys in his school. maybe if I sink into a puddle of goo at the sight of hundreds of faces he will be able to hang on.  Seriously, my biggest audience so far has been about a hundred people.

Once I finish on Saturday I will be putting a copy of the recommended books and my presentation on my website.  If you are a librarian and attend ALA, stop by the convention center in room 106b Saturday at 1. There will be door prizes (copies of Pull, Being God and/or Die Trying)

I promise not to faint. Not even if you turn out to be the five hundred and first person in the room.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Over the weekend I went to the movies to see Star Trek. I'm an old time Trekkie from the dark ages, yet I do love this new incarnation of the story. The friendship between Kirk and Spock has always been the major point of the original Star Trek series and movies. It's great to see it continue with this new line.  Come on Kirk, did you really think Mr. Logical-And-Proper would not file a report? I mean, really!!

But that's not the most memorable part of this movie, at least not for me.

Cheif Engineer Scotty shows his independence when Captain Kirk orders him to do something he knows is wrong. Scotty is ordered to sign off on allowing torpedoes with unknown to be placed on the enterprise.  Knowing their engines are basically explosives just waiting to go "boom" at the wrong move, or if contaminated by the wrong energy, Scotty says he'd resign first.

Captain Kirk accepts his resignation.

The same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

No torpedoes were involved, no unknown energy sources, nothing was going to explode. But I was told to do something that would inconvenience a number of people for no good reason other than the powers that be decided that's what should happen. I could not agree to do that.  I refused to follow the order, and I was out of a project I had worked on since last August. The new person steps in at the 11th hour and gets all the kudos for her hard work. But I wouldn't change my decision. I made the right choice. Nothing went boom, many of the people involved don't even know things could have been better for them. But I did not compromise, and I don't regret my decision.

For the record, Scotty was right too.