“Things Are Rough All Over”: Likeability and Empathy in The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders

This week, the readings for my course Young Adult Materials offered me a chance to revisit the past. Of the four suggested novels I had read three as a teenager: J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and Judy Blume’s Forever. I remembered hating The Catcher in the Rye — good God Holden, is there anyone in the world that you don’t think is a phony? Your endless criticism is both hypocritical and dull — but loving the latter two.¬†The Outsiders was one of the few school assigned readings I enjoyed on its own merits and I spent at least a month in middle school reading through everything else S. E. Hinton had ever published.¬†Forever was one of the many Judy Blume novels I devoured after discovering¬†Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

I was curious, then, to see whether I would interact with these novels differently as an adult. Continue reading ““Things Are Rough All Over”: Likeability and Empathy in The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders”


Self(-ishness) and the YA Protaganist

Karen Coats’ “Young Adult Literature: Growing Up in Theory” is an excellent article. She argues for the need to develop a critical studies of young adult literature — akin to the analytical frameworks already in place for studying traditional literature and children’s literature. While she makes several interesting suggestions for what distinguishes YA literature as its own field and how we should subsequently approach it, one comment she made on YA protagonists particularly caught my interest:

If the hallmark of the teen character has traditionally been Holden Caulfield’s narcissistic self-involvement, then Infinite Darlene represents a kind of expansive narcissism that admits of embeddedness in community as integral to the self (Coates 319).

Continue reading “Self(-ishness) and the YA Protaganist”

Who Uses the Teen Annex? Exploring the YA Section of My Local Library

I spend a lot of time in the teen section of my public library. Since the library is inside my local mall, I use weekly grocery shopping as an opportunity to drop in to the library and pick up any holds or interesting new titles. When I have time to relax and read the teen section is the first place I head to. After taking the opportunity to closely observe the Teen Annex today, I’ve noticed that it seems to be the most popular section of the library for patrons of all ages.


Continue reading “Who Uses the Teen Annex? Exploring the YA Section of My Local Library”

What Can You Get From the Digital Library

What do you think guys? Is everyone feeling inspired by the idea of the digital library? Excited about all the information available for searching? A little concerned about how useful a digital library can be when so many works are restricted by copyright?

Continue reading “What Can You Get From the Digital Library”

To Link or Not to Link

When I began this blog I put some thought into linking it to my other social media accounts. I knew I wouldn’t link to Facebook right away — I’ve done my best to maintain some semblance of anonymity here, I have no plans to change that by linking to my real name. Besides which my Facebook account is highly personal and not something I considerable suitable for a professional blog.

That still left other options though. Twitter? Not likely, I made a personal twitter account two years ago and have used it only once since. I’m a loquacious person, I’m sure there are people out there who can say something meaningful in 140 characters but I’m certainly not one of them.

Continue reading “To Link or Not to Link”

The Climbable Library

The Climbable Library

I really enjoy reading stories about libraries that experiment with architecture and layout. I talked about the concept of the library as an institution that provides information but I also think the physical component of the library is very important. I can get a lot of information sitting at home searching google, I can’t practice my rockclimbing skills.


Who Needs Books? Changing Concepts of Librarianship

While watching this 1947 promotional video I was struck by how much of it sounded familiar. Librarians love books and people. They work in cataloguing, reference, circulation, and outreach. They provide access to to information for diverse communities of patrons, whether that means developing Braille collections for vision impaired patrons or sending out bookmobiles to visit rural communities. Nothing objectionable here, right?

Wrong! Friends and readers, I point you to our narrator’s list of qualifications for librarianship: a love of books and of people. Today I am plan to contest the first half of that statement. The modern librarian can work just fine while maintaining only a passing fondness for books. Perhaps even (drumroll please) no interest in books whatsoever! Continue reading “Who Needs Books? Changing Concepts of Librarianship”