MythBusters: Readers’ Advisory Edition

Hint: Answer to all questions is sign up for RA in a Half Day!

For new library staff, or even those out of practice Readers’ Advisory can seem like a practice shrouded in mystery, especially as we watch our colleagues pull brilliant ideas from the crystal balls that seem to reside in their brains.

Crystal Ball Shaped DisplayMyth#1: Patrons walk into the library with one book in mind. You just need to guess it.

Contrary to the wily charms of books like The Novel Cure we all know that as complicated human beings there are several books which would “cure” our curiosities and satiate our appetite for narrative at any point in time.

To get away from this notion the Ohio Library Council has an online module focused on Readers’ Advisory which emphasizes the process over the result. The Ontario Public Library Association’s Readers’ Advisory Committee has also developed core competencies which include Reader Service Skills and the Readers’ Advisory Conversation. Moral of the story? It’s about the conversation not the book they leave with.

The Novel Cure

Myth#2: You need to read piles and piles of books to be good at Readers’ Advisory.

While most librarians are indeed readers, contrary to popular belief we may spend our time outside of the library doing things other than, well reading. And thanks to some amazing tools we don’t have to spend every waking minute with our noses in books, making us, well more interesting people.

Still need something to read? Here’s an exhaustive list of RA resources from OCLC’s Webjunction, as well as the list of tools from last year’s RA in a Half Day.

Myth#3: You’re either born with awesome Readers’ Advisory skills or you’re not.

False! We think RA skills can be developed and develop them we shall at RA in a Half Day. Get inspired by our keynote speakers David Wright and Max Wyman, learn from some serious local genre experts and then put it to the test with our difficult RA questions.

Now that all your Readers’ Advisory myths have been busted, we hope to see you on Oct. 30th to learn, practice and maybe even conjure up some RA skills. No crystal balls allowed.

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