Thursday, August 26, 2010

So Long

Many of the followers of this blog already know this, but I'll be leaving Fredricksen for a different job in a few days. This had been my dream job, and I got to work with some of the finest co-workers one could wish for, as well as some incredibly cool teens. A gigantic thank you to the Teen Advisory Group here, who made me look like I had a clue, as well as the front line staff here at the Reference and Circulation Desks who always made every single teen who walked through these doors feel welcome. You all made my job much easier. Hopefully my successor will have the time to keep up this blog. Thanks to this blog I was in contact with teen authors, librarians from as far away as Australia, and, again, some of the coolest teens on the planet. It's been one heck of a ride!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What Mrs. N's Been Reading - For the Win

Just finished Cory Doctorow's For the Win. I'm a big fan of Doctorow's Little Brother, so I snagged this one when it came in. Although there are some similarities, this one is a bit different. If you're about to take a course in macroeconomics, or any history that covers the rise of unions, I'd suggest that you check out For the Win. Now, if you aren't, don't let that last sentence frighten you away from this one either. It starts out a little slow, and follows about half a dozen people in alternating chapters. Although you're getting several people's stories at once, you can see where Doctorow is heading to bring them all together later in the book. He does an incredibly good job of explaining basic economics, and labor relations, both of which can be incredibly dry, but does it by introducing them in a futuristic world based on gaming. In Doctorow's world, some online games have taken on a life of their own to such an extent, that the economies of the most popular games are larger than the economies of most actual countries. Kids are being used as almost slave labor in third world countries and the Pacific rim, to prop up those economies, and keep American kids pouring money into the games. Corporations and unscrupulous bosses are getting rich, while the main labor force struggles to eke out an existence. A movement starts, to unionize the gaming workers, but they need the backing of other unions to have a chance. The rich bosses use force, sometimes deadly, to try to keep their workers in line. A violent confrontation and uprising is almost guaranteed, given the circumstances. Highly recommended!