Thursday, 15 September 2016

A hundred years on from Agatha Christie’s first novel, crime fiction is going cosy again

Hercule Poirot and Miss Marples are among golden age sleuths giving new inspiration to a genre tired of alcoholic divorcees and goth hackers.

Agatha Christie

Thursday, 8 September 2016

4 Reasons Why Being a Librarian Isn’t Boring at All

Young female librarian arranging books on library shelves
Sue Barr—Getty ImagesYoung female librarian arranging books on library shelves

Libraries are changing -- and so are the jobs of the specialists w
Financially savvy individuals know better than to dive headfirst into a dying industry. When a job breathes its last breath, employees will be left scrambling to locate a new job that utilizes the same skills and pays around the same amount.
A few years ago with the rise of digital media, I wondered what would happen to all the libraries. I imagined buildings abandoned, shelves empty, save for the occasional battered book, and everything covered in layers of dust. However, libraries aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And librarians and library assistants are still relatively stable career prospects. Here’s why.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. figures), library technicians and assistants earned a median wage of $13.43 an hour in 2015. And even the library assistants who were paid the lowest in the industry averaged around $9.34 an hour. If you pursue a library assistant job, chances are you will be paid above the federal minimum wage. When you throw in the fact that the job doesn’t require you to invest in an expensive college degree, it’s a pretty solid employment opportunity.
The only downside is that a lot of the job opportunities are currently part-time, but that applies to a lot of jobs that don’t require a college degree. This job can be a steppingstone to a far more lucrative librarian job. Librarians earned an average of $27.35 an hour in 2015. That’s an annual salary of around $56,880. Even the lowest paid jobs within the industry paid an annual salary of around $33,810. The only downside is that to become a librarian, individuals will need to earn an undergraduate degree and a masters in library science.

2. Upward Job Prospect Trend

Sure, electronic media has hurt the librarian profession, but it’s not severely wounded. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for librarians and library technicians and assistants will continue to increase.
The job outlook from 2014 to 2016 for librarians is expected to increase by 2%. And library technician and assistant positions will increase by 5%. The fact that the industry continues to experience growth, even if it’s slow growth, is a good sign.

3. Libraries Are Proactively Changing

Public libraries have been making major changes to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world. Here are some of those changes:

  • Offering movie rentals
  • Renting board and video games
  • Renting meeting rooms to businesses
  • Offering power tool rentals
  • Renting musical instruments
  • Offering free Wi-Fi
  • Providing access to 3D printers
  • Giving out free seeds to plant
  • Providing computer and tech classes

4. Broad Range of Librarian Jobs

The employment opportunities for librarians are far more expansive than gigs at small public libraries and schools.
Larger libraries often allow individuals to really specialize in a specific skill set.

  • User service librarians aid individuals in navigating the library and finding material to conduct research.
  • Technical service librarians obtain, prepare, and organize library materials.
  • Administrative services librarians are focused on the more business-oriented aspects of the library (staffing, budgets, library material contracts, and fundraising).

Librarians can also work in nontraditional librarian jobs.
  • Corporate librarians are hired by private businesses (insurance companies, consulting firms, and publishing companies) to assist employees as they conduct research.
  • Government librarians assist government staff.
  • Law librarians work in law school libraries and law firms. They organize legal resources and aid lawyers, law students, judges and law clerks with their research.
  • Medical librarians help health professionals, patients, and researchers find health-related information. They teach medical students how to find information and answer consumer health questions.

Libraries and librarians have continually fought to remain relevant as technology has rapidly changed. Due to the hard work of librarians, library organizations, and many others, library based careers are still a lucrative career choice.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

From Alias Grace to Anne Shirley, the latest on 2017’s CanLit adaptations

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) - Mad Men - Season 6 - Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Elisabeth Moss (photo: Frank Ockenfels/AMC)

As Toronto prepares to become a Hollywood playground this September thanks to TIFF, CanLit fans can also embrace that three new television adaptations will be going into production in and around the city this fall.

Here is the latest on three productions with air dates (TBA) in 2017:

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
Production: Shot in Toronto. Written by Bruce Miller (The 100), who co-executive produces with Daniel Wilson (from the 1990 film adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale), with Atwood acting as consulting producer. Reed Morano (Vinyl) to direct first three episodes
Stars: Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Yvonne Strahovski (Dexter), Samira Wiley (Orange Is The New Black)
When/where to watch: 10 episodes on Hulu

Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood
Production: Shot in Toronto. Written and executive produced by Sarah Polley (Away From Her); directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho)
Stars: Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Anna Paquin (True Blood)
When/where to watch: Six episodes on CBC TV and Netflix (international)

Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery
Production: Shot in Ontario. Co-executive produced and written by Moira Walley-Beckett (Breaking Bad) with the two-hour premiere directed by Niki Caro (Whale Rider)
Stars: TBA
When/where to watch: Eight episodes on CBC TV and Netflix (international)

Quill and Quire

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Downton Abbey Creator Julian Fellowes Reveals What Happened to Lady Mary After the Show Ended