Friday, October 3, 2008


Last week I took a call via the hunt group from a patron who was trying to remember the name of a humorous chapter book about a knight that she and her daughter had read a few years ago. She remembered a lot about the book, but mostly information about the cover picture and about the author (though not his name!); what she did remember about the book was not enough to narrow down a keyword search. Plus, she uses the Aurora and Arapahoe libraries in addition to Prospector, so there was no way to restrict the search that way.

Rather than tell her I didn't know the book and couldn't find it, I posted a stumper request to PUBYAC, and within 24 hours had two librarians email the title to me. (It was Swords for Hire by Will Allen. We own it. Never heard of it.)

PUBYAC is a listserv (an email mailing list) for public libraries serving young adults and children. People send an email to the listserv address, and it is automatically forwarded to everyone on the list. It is an extremely active and vital community, with numerous discussions weekly about all aspects of youth services, with tons of program ideas and storytime resources. One way to use PUBYAC is as I did, by posting a question about a mystery book to the "collective brain." (If you do want to try PUBYAC as a stumper resource, please read and follow the stumper etiquette posted on the PUBYAC site.) Another way might be to ask for input about a situation your library is experiencing, or to report on a succesful new program you tried.

I strongly encourage you to sign up and follow the discussions for a couple of months to get a taste of what goes on in youth services outside our district! It is a very active list, so you would get lots of emails, but I can help you set up an email filter, or you can opt to get the messages in daily "digest" instead.


Jill Corrente said...

I have been real successful in retrieving info from the "collective brain," as well. It's a great place to participate, too. There are lots of questions where you can share your knowledge!

Elizabeth A said...

I joined on Friday afternoon, and it has been an interesting experience. There is so much information out there, and its interesting to see how other libraries work.