June 30, 2016

The Case for Informed Browsing | Backtalk

Lynn Lobash

Netflix knows something that libraries haven’t figured out yet: how to create categories that help people browse online in an informed yet serendipitous way.

Stephanie Anderson | Movers & Shakers 2016 – Advocates

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Indie bookseller–turned–librarian Stephanie Anderson passionately believes that librarians should be able to give solid book recommendations whether they are fans of a given genre or not. As assistant director for public services at Darien Library, CT, she has been on the forefront of creative ways to help patrons decide what to read, from displaying a trending book on the holds shelf that might entice patrons to starting a service called “You Are What You Read Next,” allowing people to receive personalized recommendations after completing a survey. Anderson also spearheaded a business book club for nonfiction lovers that doubles as an unofficial networking meeting.

Mind the RA Gap | Backtalk

Stephanie Anderson

The inconsistent treatment of readers’ advisory (RA) as a core service for adults in public libraries has led to inconsistent demand for quality RA education, which has further led to inconsistent service. Jennie Maas Flexner noted as far back as 1934 that the “need for specialized education is as evident in [readers’ advisory] work as in every other department of the library.” This is still true, and the need is still not being met. Two gaps prevent RA from being taught in a way that would make it the core public library service it should be.

We Need Diverse Books at ALA Midwinter

A standing-room only crowd, along with dozens of others sitting in staggered rows on the floor, attended the We Need Diverse Books panel at the most recent ALA Midwinter conference in Boston. A mainstay at both ALA and New York Comic-Con, the We Need Diverse Books campaign continues to engage followers and supporters throughout the […]

The Personal Touch | Readers’ Advisory

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The goal of the My Librarian program at Multnomah County Library (MCL), Portland, OR, launched in April 2014, is to create a virtual space that ignites that same spark of connection and delight that patrons experience when they engage in person with library staff about books, thus building relationships and community and providing service at the patron’s point of need.

NoveList Adds Audiobook Recommendations

Readers’ advisory resource NoveList will now offer audiobook recommendations through NoveList Plus. The new audiobook features include lists of recommended titles and listen-alike recommendations. Users can browse or search for audiobook information and will have search options by length of audio, format, and audio characteristics. Listeners will also be able to access audio samples and read reviews from trusted professional review sources.

New Adult Fiction | PLA 2014

New Adult Fiction | PLA 2014

New Adult (NA) fiction is the rage these days in the publishing world, but what is it exactly? Is it an actual genre or just a marketing term? At a lively PLA2014 ConverStation session entitled “New Adult Fiction: What is It, Where is It, and What Should We Do with It,” facilitators Sophie Brookover (LibraryLinkNJ—The Library Cooperative, Piscataway, NJ) and Kelly Jensen (Beloit (WI) Public Library) ) threw out five questions for the audience to discuss at their tables and then share in the main conversation.

The State of Readers’ Advisory

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Does your library offer a readers’ advisory (RA) service? If so, you’re in good company—and a lot of it! All of the public librarians who answered a survey recently developed by LJ with NoveList and the RUSA/CODES Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee said that they conducted personal RA in-house. Methods varied, however.

Your Next Great Read

RECOMMENDED READING At Tulsa City-County Library, the your next great read program offers personalized suggestions for each reader based on genre, format, tone, focus, and favorite books and authors. Below right is a sample report. Images courtesy of the Tulsa City-County Public Library

Like many librarians, Tulsa City-County Library faced a disconnect when it came to providing face-to-face readers’ advisory service. We didn’t always get the opportunity to do so. Most library customers didn’t know they could ask for book suggestions. On the rare occasions when people approached the desk to request “a good book to read,” the responses varied dramatically depending on who was working the desk and how comfortable they felt answering RA questions. We sought ways to reach more readers and improve the quality of the face-to-face RA service we provided. Our answer came in the form of personalized, form-based RA. In 2011, we launched Your Next Great Read. It completely transformed our RA service.

Readers’ Advisory Panels Look at Genre and Marketing | ALA 2013

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)-sponsored panel, “Beyond Genre: Exploring the Perception, Uses, and Misuses of Genre by Readers, Writers, and Librarians” attracts a large crowd, eager for discussion.