So what I did before applying the blur is edited the photos
so that they were comparable. For the image with the blur, I toned
down the texture to -100 as it was really grainy, and the photo that had no
blur, I turned the exposure up to +3.00 so the image was brighter. As for the
edit itself I put more focus onto the boxes and blurred out the
background using the iris blur.
For the library image, the orginal image's exposure was turned down to -1.9 as it was really bright, but the for non-blur image, I turned up the exposure to +1.80, the highlights to +50, and texture to -100. For the edit, I didn't know what to do, I just put more focus on the top two sections of books and blurred out the bottom one that was more in focus.
The LinkedIn Learning videos did help a lot in navigating/reviewing the Photoshop menu with the blur gallery and the options that I can do with it. The same goes with the Ch. 5 Adobe Camera Raw tutorials, and the many options of fiters that I can use in my photos.