RA for your Monday

In a small library, you may be the only person buying titles for your collection. But how to keep up with genres or formats you don’t know well? And what about when a patron asks for a recommendation? Don’t worry – North Country librarians are pooling our expertise on a variety of genres and formats to help you build your collection and provide excellent RA service. Check out our new deep dives into genre on our Collection Development Guide! Many thanks to Dorothy MEX and Linda Formerly-GOU for kicking us off with Literary Fiction and Horror, respectively. Mystery and sci-fi coming soon…

Moving right along to our regularly scheduled content!

We’ve got October picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, What’s Nonfiction, and The Millions. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB, sci-fi, fantasy and horror from io9, and crime reads from CrimeReads.

In other October news, it’s Reading Group Month! In order to ensure that your patrons know about our Book Club in a Bag program, we’re sending out fancy new bookmarks. So, keep an eye out for those.

Fall picks continue with this list from Lit Hub, Booklist is putting a spotlight on romance, and NoveList is offering another crash course – this time on True Crime!

Finally, #FridayReads: I’m not outdoorsy (frankly, nobody could be more indoorsy), but that seems to be making reading about wildlife in Mary Roach’s latest book even more interesting. I’ll be on vacation next week, so hopefully I can make a dent in the rest of the stack on my metaphorical and literal nightstand. Happy reading!

Video Project: Community Collaboration

To support Library Lover’s Month in February and NYS Library Advocacy Day on March 2, NCLS is coordinating an advocacy project that puts your community collaborations in the spotlight! We’re looking for short videos – three minutes or less – about a project or program that highlights a collaboration between your library and another community group. Some examples might include:

  • Schools or homeschooling groups
  • Head Start or other early childhood educators
  • Museums or historical societies
  • Parks and recreation
  • Social agencies
  • Literacy groups
  • 4-H, FFA, or other youth-serving organizations
  • Police or fire departments
  • Arts organizations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Health care providers

Did you partner with your school library system to host a maker fair? Bring fire trucks to your parking lot for a fire safety storytime? Publish a cookbook with your local food pantry? We want to know about it!

Submit your video by uploading it to your YouTube channel (set to public) and sending us a link, or by sending us the file so that we can upload the video to ours.

Deadline is Friday, December 31, 2021. Contact Angela with questions.

Youth Services Roundup


DLD will be providing one free CSLP summer reading poster to each NYS library next year, but we’ll all be getting the same design. Youth Services consultants have been asked to cast a vote representing what their their systems would prefer, so please let me know by next Wednesday (9/29) what you guys would like to see as The One Poster. Vote here!


Every Child a Reader is currently accepting proposal submissions from schools interested in hosting an event with Jason Reynolds, the 7th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature! Get more details here, and then call your favorite school librarian to plan a truly awesome potential joint program. Deadline for submissions is December 1.


From the ALSC blog: “Whether outdoor or virtual, any songs or rhymes that involve breathing or stretching encourage kids to slow down and be present. A new one I started using at my outdoor storytime is “A Big Sea Star.” I found this on Jbrary (credits listed in the YouTube notes). The movements have kids stretching out their arms and legs to make the sea star, soothing themselves by rubbing their arms as a little cuddle clam, and taking a deep breath in and blowing it out to make the puffer fish…”


Booklist has some good webinars coming up that focus on children’s literature, including middle grade trends and a winter book preview. Check it out!

RA for your Friday

I want to kick today off by expanding a little on a reminder that was sent out earlier this week (hat tip to CRO!) and encourage everyone to order upcoming titles as early as possible to try to have them on the shelves on their pub dates. Book Riot has an article explaining what’s behind the delays, and Teen Librarian Toolbox advises libraries to keep all staff informed about this issue:

“One thing I would recommend is that if you are finding that your books purchased before publication date aren’t coming in by publication date due to this issue, let all staff know about the supply chain issues affecting publishing…. A quick message to let all library staff know about how supply chain issues are impacting the book publishing business may just help a coworker answer the complaints of a patron who doesn’t understand why you don’t have the book they want on the shelf in a timely manner.”

So, if your staff don’t already receive my RA emails, please let them know about this issue so that they have the information they need to field patron questions. And then have them sign up for my emails. We have fun here.

Moving right along to our regularly scheduled fall content!

The RA for All blog is here with tips on how to prepare for the busy fall release season. (Spoiler: Know yer backlist. Love yer backlist.)

We’ve got fall lists from Oprah and CrimeReads as well as October lists from LibraryReads and IndieNext.

Speaking of October, for those of you planning spooky, creepy, or otherwise eerie displays, check out these reading lists about witches, vampires, and haunted houses.

In awards news, we’ve got the National Book Award longlists and the Booker shortlist.

Looking for readalikes? Bustle has 20 Books to Read if You Love Sally Rooney and Paste has Five Mystery Novels if You Love Only Murders in the Building.

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve gone off the rails with placing holds these days, so my nightstand is a bit wobbly with all the reads that have come in. That being said, I can guarantee I’ll start The Dark Angel, by Elly Griffiths, because a series run cannot be denied. In my earbuds is Be My Ghost, by Carol J. Perry, and this may be the weekend I break down and do the free Hulu trial for the aforementioned Murders. Happy reading/listening/viewing!

Youth Services Roundup


Last call for summer reading reports! If you haven’t already submitted your summer reading report, please take a minute to do so now. These reports not only benefit the state, but also help NCLS evaluate how to best meet the needs of our libraries.


From rain to leaves to squirrels, Jbrary is here with fall storytime ideas. (And just as a reminder, you can find an updated list of publisher permissions for virtual storytimes here.)


From the ALSC blog: “Are you a project person? I am! Whether it’s scrapbooking, knitting, or making cards, I like to have a variety of projects to work on. In looking at my homeschool programming choices, it’s obvious that my “project personality” extends to the Library as well. I enjoy creating month-long series of programs, which culminate in some sort of project.”


From Teen Librarian Toolbox: “So at my library I have begun to program in person again. It has been a challenge for sure. The first program I did was a pirate themed scavenger hunt. I had no one sign up… Then I did a backyard clean up of the library for volunteering. It was eventful. We got locked in the courtyard. Oops… So I started to remember what in person programming was like. I have to remind myself that everything is different. Here are the things I told myself…”

Library Services Update – Fall 2021

Throughout the pandemic, North Country libraries have adapted by offering curbside materials pickup, virtual and outdoor programming, and increased access to online resources.

Other changes have included modified service hours, computer access, indoor programming, and use of library meeting rooms. You can find the latest update on hours and services of North Country libraries here.

As always, for the best and most updated information about your library, please contact them directly.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as libraries continue to provide services as safely as possible to our North Country community.

Youth Services Roundup


The latest bundle from Talking is Teaching is all about fall! Check out posters, parent tip sheets, social media content, and more in this shared folder.


From the ALSC blog: “Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at all levels can do this work with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on researching your community…”


Just a quick reminder that you can still sign up for a summer reading debrief – they’ll be held on Friday, September 10 and Thursday, September 16. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and what will help for next year. (And if you haven’t yet filled out your summer reading report, please take a minute to do so now.)


Barnes & Noble takes a look at the most anticipated children’s and YA book releases of September. Check it out!

RA for your Friday

The state fair is wrapping up, pumpkin spice is back in drinks, and I saw five bright red leaves on a tree. The Best Books of Fall lists are gently swirling and I am ready to rake them into a pile and dive in!

We’ve got fall picks from LitHub, Time, Kirkus, and Esquire, while The New York Public Library is taking us back to school with these readalikes for Netflix’s The Chair, and PopSugar is ushering in the spooky season with these 10 New Books About Witches. For me, though, fall means cozy, and there’s nothing cozier than amateur sleuths trying to crack cases – usually in a small town, and often with recipes. Yes! I’m talking about cozy mysteries, and if you’re looking for some series to add to your back pocket for RA suggestions (or to your collection), check out this list from Book Riot.

We’ve got September picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and The Millions. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance (and more) from SBTB, sci fi and fantasy from io9 and Bookmarks, and of course, crime reads from CrimeReads.

Now that I’ve led off with best books of fall and September, it’s time for an important reminder from the RA for All blog that the ‘best’ books to read are the ones you (and by extension, patrons) want to read:

“…your goal should be to have every single book in your collections checked out at the same time. Obviously this is impossible, but that is what you should be striving for. This means not only are you working to match people with books, but also that your collection is responsive to what they actually want to read.”

In awards news, the Anthony winners have been announced, and Book Riot gives a rundown of romance awards.

Finally, #FridayReads: My Ruth Galloway journey continues with The Woman in Blue, and have finally started a book I own (!) Dial A for Aunties, by Jesse Q. Sutanto. Happy reading!

Youth Services Roundup


Just a reminder that we’re having two sessions for a summer reading debrief this year, Friday, September 10 and Thursday September 16. Also, the final evaluation for summer reading is due this Friday, September 3. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


From Jbrary: “In this updated post I’m sharing self-directed activities for kids and families at the library. To narrow the scope I’ve chosen activities that feature a literacy element. A huge shout-out to all the library staff who allowed me to highlight their amazing ideas!”


From the ALSC blog: “Our community was eager to return to in-person browsing, programs and volunteer opportunities and it was clear they were looking for opportunities to connect with others. From this theme grew the idea for a community art project and passive program that would foster community engagement and visually represent the types of connections that are made at the library…”


From Teen Services Underground: “Spooky season is one of my favorite times to make things, and the teens in my area adore all things disturbing and creepy. My library system is still making 150 Take and Make kits every month for teens, and finding something that was both cost effective and creepy was challenging. My solution? Creepy Eyeball Bouquets…”

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, a time when North Country libraries join the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning. (Do you have friends who don’t have library cards? Invite them to sign up at their local library or at

Through access to technology, media resources and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions.

Libraries offer everything from early literacy programs to GED classes, helping transform lives and communities through education. At North Country libraries, you’ll find a wide variety of educational resources and activities, including books, media, and self-paced online classes on everything from Microsoft Excel to the mandolin.

Visit your library online or in-person to see what’s new and take part in the celebration!