Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

207. An Interview With Robin Bradford, Genre Avenger and RWA Librarian of the Year

Sarah chats with Robin Bradford, known as @Tuphlos on Twitter, and the 2016 RWA Librarian of the Year! They discuss how collection development works, what her responsibilities are, and how she acquires different materials for her library system. They also cover how library acquisitions and methods of cataloging genre fiction have changed since she started her career as a librarian. The conversation touches on greater inclusivity in library collections and on librarians accepting and acquiring self published materials – related topics given how much increased racial and cultural representation is found particularly in self-published genre fiction.

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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

You can follow Robin on Twitter at @Tuphlos, where she regularly posts about books she’s acquiring for her library system.

She also mentioned:

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This Episode's Music

Peatbog Fairies Blackhouse, a glowing ball in a very old foundation for a house by a small body of water

Our music is provided by Sassy Outwater each week. This is the Peatbog Faeries brand new album Blackhouse. This track is called “The Chatham Lassies.”

You can find their new album at Amazon, at iTunes, or wherever you like to buy your fine music.

Podcast Sponsor

Burn Down the Night

This episode is sponsored by Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe.

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Available August 9.


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This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

Transcript Sponsor

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Add Your Comment →

  1. CK says:

    Would really love to see the link for the sci-fi/fantasy list!
    Sarah and Robin, thank you for another interesting episode! One of my favorite parts of this podcast is the interviews with industry professionals. I always think of books as Author to Editor/Publisher to Reader but it’s so much more complicated.

  2. SB Sarah says:

    Sorry about that! The links are now present above in the entry.

  3. Cat C says:

    Recognized Olivia Waite’s name–I looooovvvvvveeeeedddddd her short story “The Best Worst Holiday Party Ever” (so cute! engagingly written! very satisfying despite being, well, short!) so I’m very happy to click through and buy these novellas 🙂

  4. Crystal says:

    I’m getting ready to return to school this fall to pursue information and library science, and this was a great episode for me to listen to, as I am intensely interested in collection development. Thanks for this one, it was interesting and informative for a baby future genre avenger.

  5. Christine says:

    Really enjoyed this episode! Robin, thanks for fighting the good fight as a Genre Avenger–I remember the frustration of checking out a stack of romances from our library in Los Angeles and then not being able to figure out which ones were actually due because they all came up as “paperback 313” in the catalogue. So annoying and just not right!

  6. Riikka says:

    As a fellow librarian from across the pond, I’m always super excited when ever you talk with other librarians! Such great insights into what librarianship around the world is.

  7. Great interview! I really enjoyed reading the transcription.

    One thing to know about the SELF-e program is that authors are required to put their books in for free. It pays no royalties. SELF-e is pitching itself to the content providers on that good old “exposure” trope. And yet, libraries have to pay for the program. Somebody’s making money here, but it’s not the authors, unfortunately.

    I love and support libraries, but I can’t support a model where authors are not being at all compensated for their work, especially when money is changing hands…

  8. Nancy C says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for interviewing librarians and letting them–us–describe what life is like in the stacks!

    And for those who are looking for another great resource for SF/F/Horror titles, try Locus Online. I used to use the print magazine back when I was the selector for fiction and genre fiction for my library (lo, these many years ago), and it was chock full of all kinds of SF and fantasy goodness: amazing author interviews, book and film reviews, upcoming releases.

    And congratulations to Robin for carrying the library torch forward!

  9. mamx says:

    science fiction fantasy horror , perioidals , is talked about in magazine called Locus. it online , digital and paper. it has interviews, reviews and so on. and they have every feb the list for best scifi fantasy recommending list. they really know their stuff. it also has the info for books author , publisher , dates, isbs ,prices. when it will be published in forthcoming months. they have section on what new , what being reprinted, what what being printed in paperback after being published in hardcover. they cover overseas books long before they come to north america, it seem to be the kind of thing for librarians but for fans and reades of all things like it.yound adult, children etc. they cover it all. online is limited but u get more from subcribing . from mamxnb of canada

  10. Susie McIntyre says:

    Loved this episode. As a librarian from a medium-sized library with a much less funding for collection development, I am jealous of Robin Bradford’s budget. Most public libraries (over 75%) served a population area of fewer than 25,000 people.* I would be interested in hearing how smaller libraries are balancing purchasing the big blockbusters and the smaller genre titles.


  11. Heather RR says:

    Totally geeked out over this one! Robin works for my local library system.

  12. greennily says:

    Loved the episode, Robin sounds amazing! And you should totally do an episode about horrible library experiences! That would be… well, if not fun, then at least make people see they are not alone. It could be fun if you add embarrasing library experiences! I bet there’ll be tons of those.

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