Exploring New Avenues for Readers’ Advisory

blog post collage 2As @TaraMatsuzaki wrote earlier this year on this blog, Twitter is a boon to Readers’ Advisory. At the Greater Victoria Public Library, we’ve started using Twitter to expand our RA reach. The 140-character tweet is a tidy vehicle for promoting titles in our collections, and we’ve been using it to shine a spotlight on the newly-arrived (#gvplshelfready), along with the topical (individual titles and staff picks lists of books and other media).

For our twice-weekly “Shelf Ready” feature on Twitter, we aim to promote titles that
• have arrived in our collections within the last two weeks
• are available to check out
• haven’t received wide-spread attention (“hidden gems”)

On Mondays, we feature titles of interest to kids and teens, and on Wednesdays, titles of interest to adults. We try to cover all bases by highlighting different genres and formats each week. Examples of recent tweets include,

“Jerry Pinkney’s lively retelling of Puss in Boots graces our folk & fairy tale collection #gvplshelfready http://ow.ly/j120L”


“Pat Conroy recommends Man in the Blue Moon, Southern writer @MichaelMorrisBk’s latest novel #gvplshelfready http://ow.ly/iP4OG”

If the title’s creator is on Twitter, all the better – we include that in the tweet, too!

We currently have 2000 @gvpl followers. In terms of re-tweets and holds created in response to our #gvplshelfready tweets, our success has been modest. It’s a relatively small audience we’re reaching out to, and our wide array of titles tweeted won’t appeal to every follower. Still, we’re encouraged by the replies and re-tweets we have received so far, and it’s interesting to see which titles strike a chord. As important, our collections are getting exposure beyond our walls and web site.

In addition to our “Shelf Ready” tweets, we’ve just launched a new feature on our Facebook page, “Fresh Pick Fridays.” With this feature, we aim to promote titles ordered for our collections within the last two weeks with few, if any, holds. Including the cover image is a must. From March 15th,

“Friday Fresh Pick – for Adults:
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – Therese Ann Fowler imagines the Fitzgeralds’ whirlwind capers through the Jazz Age from Zelda’s point of view. ‘Ultimately, both of these tragic, pathetic and grand characters are torn apart by their inability to love or leave each other. Fowler has given us a lovely, sad and compulsively readable book’ (Kirkus Reviews)”

Whether it’s from Twitter or Facebook, with the click of a mouse or the tap of a screen, the reader lands in our catalogue. Readers’ Advisory has never been so simple!

I’d love to hear how staff at other public libraries are using Twitter and Facebook to expand their RA reach.

Lara Riecken, Collections Librarian, GVPL

1 thought on “Exploring New Avenues for Readers’ Advisory

  1. taramatsuzaki

    Hi Lara, Thank you for sharing an overview of GVPL’s introduction of #gvplshelfready on Twitter & “Fresh Pick Fridays” on Facebook. Great new social RA services!


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