Thursday, February 11, 2010

Unshelved #7: Reader's Advisory

“BREAKING LITERARY NEWS FROM THE AWARD-WINNING STAFF OF THE MALLVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Whether it's a Paranormal Romance front coming in from the North, colliding Low-carb and Low-fat Cookbooks causing a whirlwind in the South, or a high-pressure Get Rich Quick system building in the Tri-State area, our news team is there with the reading recommendations you need. Featuring the latest daily and Sunday comic strips from Unshelved, your trusted source for library humor.” [text from the back cover] “Follow the adventures of a young librarian named Dewey, his dysfunctional coworkers, and the people they're supposed to be helping.” []

Reader's Advisory is the seventh yearly compilation of Unshelved, a daily online comic strip set in an american library. It was originally published on the Unshelved website from February 17, 2008 to February 15, 2009, and ALA CogNotes newspapers in June 2008 and January 2009 (CogNotes is the daily paper of the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting and ALA Annual Conference, where the famous Unshelved “Conference Tips” are published). I have already reviewed the previous six volumes. You can also find more information in the Wikipedia entry, the Official Unshelved Facebook page or the Unshelved Readers Facebook group.

Written (under a pen name) by a real-life librarian who works in an undisclosed library in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A., Unshelved is a rather funny comic strip. The art is a little crude and it's probably of a greater interest to me because I work in a library (although it made me laugh even before I started working there). Also, I admit that this particular volume feels a little less funny to me, maybe because the novelty of a witty librarian in riduculous situations is wearing off and previous volumes had more continuity in the story of each strip as they were more or less following a general theme. I don't see that in Reader's Advisory as you have some stories or themes that go on only for two or three strips. However, after seven volumes it still makes me laugh, so I recommend it without hesitation (even more so to my fellow assistant-librarians, for whom it should be a mandatory reading)!

This volume compiles the daily strips (unfortunately not in their original publishing order), some “Library Tips”, the ALA “Conference Tips” as well as the color “Book Club” pages (where the authors illustrate book recommendations). The beauty of it is that you can always read it on the Unshelved website: it's free.

Strip from 2008/03/01:
Some of my favourites: 2008/02/18, 2008/03/03, 2008/03/17, 2008/04/01, 2008/04/02, 2008/04/24, 2008/05/30, 2008/08/23, 2008/09/16, 2008/10/24, 2008/11/11, 2008/11/13, 2008/11/22, 2008/12/26, and 2009/01/30.

Unshelved Vol. 7: Reader's Advisory, by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes. Overdue Media, 2009. 10.7 x 8.2 in, 128 pgs., $17.95 US / $22.95 CDN. ISBN-13: 978-0-9740353-6-9.

Unshelved: Reader's Advisory © 2009 Overdue Media LLC. All rights reserved.

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