There is just something cool about new books, just arrived at the library, and never circulated. A sense of discovery of something fresh–both the content and the actual physical book. I find this particularly the case with board books, pop-ups, and touch and feel books. Once they’ve circulated a few times they are missing parts, things are broken, and the corners of the board books are chewed. To me that is cool, because it means kids are enjoying the books, but at the same time I don’t feel like really spending a lot of time looking at them. Opening a pop-up book that has all its pieces still connected and seeing them the way they are meant to be seen adds something. The other day I was looking at an animal touch and feel and pull the tab book–it was very elaborate, but because it was on the new cart all the bits were there, and the sticky touch and feel part was still sticky and not completely germy.
When I used to work in circulation, I loved to help check in the new books when they arrived. Most of them were reserved to patrons, but it was great to see all the different titles that were coming out. It made it SO much easier to perform reader’s advisory, because I know what the latest books have just come out. Lots of times I have seen books that I want come in with the new books, and even more often books that I can recommend to someone else.
At one of my libraries, we have a cart that we keep new books on for the staff to look through, which is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. Recently I’ve been given the task to create a list of the top 25 new books that we’ve received each month–an even better excuse to spend time perusing the cart. There are so many books that I don’t normally think of browsing through–such as non-fiction, but this provides an awesome opportunity.