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.
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.
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.