What are some upcoming trends for the next year?
Our library customers are like most readers, always looking for a great book that keeps them engaged and the pages turning. I see a lot of what I would call crossover reading, in that adults are reading teen titles and vice versa. The usual suspects continue to be popular—mysteries, thrillers, romance. I would say the biggest trend I see is that the printed book is still strong. We have avid e-book readers, but a vast majority of our readers still check out stacks and stacks of books. This is all ages, from kids to seniors.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
Books for teens that aren’t fantasy/paranormal. We have a lot of readers who want realistic fiction, and while there is a turn toward that with John Green and Rainbow Rowell, more titles in this area would be grand. I continue to get asked for books like Gone Girl, so the psychological thriller continues to be alive and well.
What topic don’t you ever want to see again?
The zombie craze seems to be dying down. But really, I’m happy people are reading, and so whatever topic strikes their fancy, I’m happy to find the right title for them.
What is unique about libraries in the context of the publishing industry?
I think there is a misconception that libraries “steal” sales. From where I sit, watching bookstores close, libraries are an important partner in the publishing/book industry. We are embedded in communities across the country and introduce people to all types of books, genres, authors, etc. Often a reader will discover an author or title via the public library and then go buy the book. Librarians are passionate about reading and books and work diligently to get great reads into people’s hands. That was the idea behind LibraryReads. We want to help connect our favorite books to as many readers as possible. And we want to showcase the incredible power that public library staff has in helping to build word of mouth for new books and the important role we play in creating audiences for all kinds of authors.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love what I do, and sharing books with readers of all ages is incredible. There are days I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do. People say reading is dead, and I for one do not believe that. It is alive and well, you just have to know where to look!
Robin Nesbitt is the manager of the Hilliard Branch at Columbus Metropolitan Library in Ohio (Library Journal’s 2010 Library of the Year) and was named a 2014 LJ Mover and Shaker for her work in readers’ advisory. In her earlier role as manager of collection development, Robin launched central selection and floating collections at CML. Robin is a member of the steering committee that launched LibraryReads. She also does monthly Facebook chats about great books to read. She regularly blogs about great titles at the CML website and you can follow her on Twitter.