>The First of Many

>A book review by yours truly:

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Winter is coming. In the first installment of George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, summer has lasted for ten years, yet winter is almost upon the many compelling characters of Westeros and Essos. Told from the point of view of eight distinct characters, Martin had me hooked from the first chapter in which Eddard Stark’s young son Bran witnesses his father exact justice on a deserter of the Night’s Watch. One of the most intriguing aspects of A Song of Ice and Fire, is that Martin does not explore the world only through the eyes of what many would consider good characters. Many of the characters who help make up the story are malevolent, morally corrupt, inhumanly awful beings who quickly enrapture you and tangle you in webs full of lies and deceit. By moving back and forth between the lives of so many well-crafted characters, you begin to form alliances against certain characters drawing you even further into the world that Martin has created.

Within just A Game of Thrones, you become a well-traveled citizen of Martin’s stunningly imaginative landscapes. As you move within Westeros, you are introduced to families whose houses go back centuries and who have played the game of thrones for almost as long. Within the continent of Westeros, you are also involved in the political intrigue that makes up the backbone of this first A Song of Ice and Fire book. Crossing the Narrow Sea, you are allowed into the lives of Daenyrs Targaryen and the vast, wild plains that Khal Drogo’s khalasaar roam. Along every step of the way, you begin to find yourself falling deeper and deeper into the world these characters inhabit, rooting adamantly for the survival of certain characters.

This book has finally given me a series to look forward to, much the way Brian Jacque’s did with his Redwall series when I was younger. I can not wait to read on and live, or die, with the characters that George R. R. Martin has created. Winter is coming is definitely coming and I can’t wait.

>Librarians: Privacy Superheroes

>Libraries must be beacons of privacy in an increasingly public world.

Even the small pubic library where I work does it’s part in keeping with our patrons right to privacy. In fact, we take it extraordinarily serious. Everyone who works at the library has undergone extensive training in regards to our privacy policies and all of our staff were required to take online courses in library law/policy. Our LISTEN system allows us access to extremely sensitive patron information, which we never give out, nor do we allow other patrons access to it. Information such as home addresses and email addresses are never used inappropriately (i.e., spam marketing or solicitations).

Another way we protect our patrons is by shredding all documents and labels that contain patron information. This means that every reserve wrapper is shredded almost immediately after it is removed from the book. We also fiercely protect the privacy of our patrons when it comes to what they are reading. I have had friends, husbands, siblings and bosses ask me what ‘so in so’ has out and that information would never cross to the other side of the desk.

The article was quite interesting and I very much agree with the author that libraries need to set the standard in terms of individual privacy and community based.

What do you think? Do you believe that the library goes above and beyond in regards to your privacy? Is there something more that libraries could/should do?