Friday, July 6, 2012

Why All This Silliness?

Arrggh, there have been posts flying all over the interwebs since ALA about ARCs and bloggers vs. librarians and how it's all a bunch of silliness and grabbiness over free books. A Publisher's Weekly article summed it up pretty nicely this week if you've missed what's going on.

I pretty much hate to add to any internet kerfuffle, but I feel like there is a real lack of understanding about how teen librarians use ARCs to fuel programs and get teens invested and involved in their public libraries. I happen to know some awesome librarians and teachers doing awesome things with ARCs.

If you're wondering why librarians are all in a tizzy about entitlement and free stuff and who has the right to grab what, check out what some of these fabulous librarians and teachers are doing with ARCs. It's much more than scoring a free book to read on the plane ride home.

Sarah of GreenBean TeenQueen has blogged about using ARCs in her library to get book reviews from her Teen Library Council and to inspire library staff to keep up with popular literature.

Kelly of STACKED has posted about changing teens' lives with ARCs, putting books into their hands when they may not have any other opportunity to actually OWN a book.

(Side note: we're at the public library, you say. Can't teens CHECK OUT books since they're at the LIBRARY?? you say. I've said the SAME THING, but I've found that you might be surprised at the number of kids who love to read but are reluctant or unable to check out books. Maybe they have fines on their cards. Maybe it's a 20-minute drive to the library and they don't have reliable transportation. Maybe, with all the other things they have going on, they have trouble keeping track of due dates and are skittish about taking a book they think they'll forget to return...)

Sarah of The Reading Zone writes about using ARCs in her classroom to motivate high school students to read and to expand her classroom library. She says, "ARCs are magical. Nothing hooks a reluctant reader like the promise of reading a story before the rest of the world has access to it."

Drea of Book Blather runs a teen book review program where she gets teen feedback to help her decide which books she needs to purchase multiple copies of.

Katie of Book Blather told us about her book speed dating program, a program fueled by ARCs she brought back from ALA conferences.

At my library, we've used ARCs as prizes for teen programs and we've used ARCs with our teen advisory board to solicit reviews. Many libraries use ARCs from conferences as prizes for major programs like the Summer Reading Club.

Anybody else used ARCs in your library or classroom? Please share in comments!