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June 2017

Not sure there is anything worse for an avid reader than cracking a book open and finding that the first few pages seem awfully familiar.  Not all that uncommon, there can only be so many story plot introductions right?  So you continue on but then the rest of Chapter 1 gets more and more familiar and now you’re just sure you’ve read about this character before.  Chapter 2 opens and yep, there is now only a small cast of doubt that you don’t already know this story.  Finally, you have no other choice but to flip to the end and sure enough – yet another book you didn’t quite remember when selecting it but you’ve definitely already read it so now you’re stranded with nothing to read!

Tracking what you’ve read or listened to may not seem like a chore for an occasional reader but for those who are never caught without a book it’s a never ending process to keep track it all.   Everyone develops their own system.   Library Staff have watched regulars flip out anything from small notebooks to intricate spread sheets.  It is really impressive the work some readers do to keep track of what they’ve read and what they still need to tackle.

Unfortunately we’ve seen an upswing in a trend we’re hoping to end.   More and more readers seem to be initialing or strategically marking our precious materials.   I say “our materials” not to claim turf, but rather most people recognize we are funded through tax revenue so we all have a stake in our collections.  As a public entity, the material becomes public property but the vandalism of that property with initials, colored markings, symbols and even blatant highlighting is sadly still your basic destruction of public property.  Not only does it ignore the basic principle of not writing in a book, it encourages others to do the same and the problem seems to be significantly growing.

Instead of writing in these poor items, we wanted to share some other means to help you track your accomplishments!  Of course, keeping a reading journal has long been a practice of many bibliophiles.  We’ve seen them categorized by author, by title or even by genre.   They’re pocket-sized notebooks to full sized bound journals – they really are amazing personal catalogs.  For computer users, Excel spreadsheets offer great ways to sort by any factor you want.  By the time you’ve got a decent amount of reading done, you’ve got your own database.

For more tech savvy users there are some great websites and apps that now help keep you organized. A definite favorite among Library Staff is Goodreads at www.goodreads.com.   Accounts are free to set-up and not only can you track what you’ve read, the site even serves as a great reader’s advisory tool helping you decide what to read next based on what you like and what you’ve previously read.

A favorite Staff app is Fantastic Library available from your app store for both Android and iPhone.  Scan what you’re reading and create your own catalog of books, movies, music and games.

Our WRLSWeb catalog can also assist you keep track.   As you may be aware, access to your library account is available right on this website  - just click here.  The Encore software allows you to click an option to keep a history of what you’ve checked out.   Although we can’t see your list on our Staff side of the software, you can easily access it on your own.   Ask any Staff member at our locations in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska or West Salem to help you click the right option to start keeping track.

We’re all about getting the right reading or listening material in your hands but once you’ve got it home and you’re finished with it, please uphold your public duty and keep our materials in good shape so everyone else can enjoy them too!

For more information about our services or for the latest program information, visit your favorite location in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska or West Salem, look around the rest of this website or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lacrossecountylibrary

Chris McArdle Rojo, MLS
La Crosse County Library Director
103 State St.
Holmen, WI 54636

608-526-9600, opt. 1


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