• By Laura Weigand
  • Posted Friday, June 28, 2013

How Did That Book Get On Our Shelf?

I have a librarian’s dream job. I select adult fiction and non-fiction for all libraries in Forsyth County Public Library System. After 30 years of working in various Forsyth County Public Library locations, I moved into the newly created Collection Manager’s position in December 2010. The Library was excited to follow other major library systems in the state by centralizing book selection.

So, how do I do what I do? First of all, I start with you. Each library location keeps me informed about the customer needs in their libraries: action thrillers, cozy mysteries, biographies, current thought, events and trends, homework needs, how to fix or improve anything---the list goes on. Your interests help form my base map for choosing books. In addition, I also depend on a variety of “road signs” that pop up: broadcast commentary and interviews, The New York Times book reviews (beyond bestsellers), literary award announcements, daily media heat updates, monthly “don’t miss” lists, your purchase suggestions, and of course the blockbuster/bestsellers that we all want to get our hands on.

Every week a special library resource sends me customized lists that alert me to new materials coming out in fiction and non-fiction. These lists come with book reviews and I read every one. This part of my job is like being a jeweler and turning diamonds over in my hands. I match these book reviews with library needs and start building an order list. This goes on all year, so new books keep rolling in.

We have resources to help make you aware of what’s coming out and what’s available. Start on our web page by clicking on Books and More and go to The Readers’ Page. This dynamic site offers a variety of ways for the book lover to explore authors and titles. And in this point and click age, it’s always important to remember that our librarians are here to help you find what you’re looking for. We, of course, are readers with varying interests like you and we’re happy to make book recommendations and help you build your own list of good reads. In addition, our libraries provide helpful subject and genre related bookmarks and often feature displays on trending subjects of interest. While technology may change how we read, our interest in new insights and plain old good storytelling never changes. Libraries are here to connect you with those materials.

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