Friday, December 11, 2015

Spoilers, Sweetie

I am excited to announce a new segment to the 5 Minute Librarian titled: Spoilers, Sweetie!. This segment will be very different from our other ones because we're starting it with a call for help:

We're looking for readers who can help us write spoilers! Here's your chance to join the 5minlib team and help librarians everywhere! If you like to read and your soul doesn't die when you share a spoiler, this is for you!

Scandalous, I know. But let's look at the facts:

#1. More Books are Published Than You Can Read in a Year

Even if you read a book a day, you won't be able to read every single new book that is published. (Just in YA Lit alone, Goodreads lists over 1,400 YA books were published this year.) That doesn't even cover all of the books that are currently in your collection that you haven't even read yet. If you are a new librarian who isn't familiar with previous publications, good luck to you! 

#2. Librarians Aren't Paid to Read

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all we did was sit, read, and then recommend? We all love reading -- you can't get into this profession without it -- and we're expected to know our collection, but reading must be done on our own time. I get it -- it is hard to justify paying someone to read when librarians are needed for circulation, ordering, programming, teaching classes, patron help, etc. But this is our FREE time we're talking about and many of us are also balancing second jobs, families, and so many other commitments. How many books can we realistically read? It is never enough.

#3. Librarians Don't Love Every Genre or Book They Read 

Not only do you need to read on your own time, but it's also in genres and titles that you don't even enjoy. Wouldn't it be nice to read a bunch of spoilers and then pull the book off the shelf to read a few chapters for the reader's advisory info? It doesn't take long to figure out the pacing and style of writing. Five minutes and you have a new book under your belt that you can booktalk for the appropriate audience.

#4. Why Spoilers?

Let's be honest. Librarians have NEVER read every book that is published. It isn't possible! So, many people have found other ways to build their RA toolbox. I've heard of reading lots of reviews to skimming books to bouncing around on audio books. We're putting in so much time and effort to become acquainted with as many books as possible. 

But it isn't a perfect system. For starters, if you are anything like me, as you're trying to skim, you become hooked in the book and end up reading it anyway. If I knew the spoilers ahead of time, I wouldn't have that problem. Other people struggle with this because they worry about content warnings -- how much sex, violence, and death are in this? The only way to know for sure is to finish the darn book.

#5. Are You Worried You'll Kill the Love For Reading?

All of our posts will list the titles at the top of the page and we'll link them to their spoilers and back up to the top. We don't want to spoil anything you really want to read. In fact, we are hoping that this series will free up your evenings so that you CAN actually read what you want to. Because we love reading. We already have To-Be-Read book lists that we'll never finish. But we all also have genres we're not interested in and popular books that we just cannot make ourselves read. Let us at 5minlib do that dirty work for you!

#6. What Can I Do?

If you enjoy reading and willing to write up spoilers, please fill out this form: We are going to begin this series by spoiling the award-winning books. You'll get to pick what book(s) you want to read and must be able to submit spoilers within a reasonable deadline (one month). It is simple, and the more people who participate, the quicker we can share these spoilers with everyone and possibly branch out to other niche-genres. You will be credited for your work!

#7 And What is With this Title? 

For those of you who don't know, I'm about to up your geek cred a little bit:
On Doctor Who, the amazing BBC sci-fi series, the Doctor has a (super awesome) love interest named Professor River Song. Since they are both time travelers, they don't tend to meet in the right order - one may have already had an experience that the other has not yet had. In order to keep things exciting, River Song discourages speaking about these things, with the warning: "Spoilers, Sweetie." We love that phrase and decided to name our series after it.

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