Author Archives: gllibrarian

Running Walking Book Clubs

When the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group minutes went out to the list-serv last week, I was excited to learn that Richmond Public Library will be leading a Walking Book Club this summer in partnership with the City of Richmond Parks. Participants will meet at a different park each month, June through August, to walk and talk as they discuss the book.

This idea sprang up betwprasanna-kumar-218699een me and a colleague in a discussion last spring–we didn’t get around to organizing it for last summer, but we were intrigued after we read about the program idea in a Programming Librarian post about the Roaming Readers Walking Club. We brainstormed partnering with the recreation centre attached to our library. What a great way to combine physical activity, literacy, love of reading, and community!

As a runner, my mind started wandering to how we could create a running book club–would people still be interested in discussing books as they ran, potentially out-of-breath, down the streets of Guildford in Surrey? Although we haven’t pursued either a walking or a running book club yet, the opportunity exists and it would complement the children’s BC Summer Reading Club theme: “Walk on the Wild Side.”

I’m curious to hear from you–have any of your libraries hosted walking book clubs or hosted other book clubs with a movement or physical activity component? As the first cherry blossoms finally start to appear in what has been a long west-coast winter, it feels like the perfect time to think about summer reading and outdoor book clubs!

-Meghan Savage, Information Services Librarian, Surrey Libraries

What’s the Appeal? Using Appeal Factors and Field Codes in NoveList

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I have to admit that I don’t use NoveList nearly as often as I could when delivering Reader’s Advisory at the library desk. I was intrigued to learn that NoveList has been developing their appeal factors to help you find just the right book for a patron. Their appeal categories include Character, Illustration, Pace, Storyline, Tone, and Writing Style. Each of these categories can be broken down further into a list of adjectives (for example, do you want “candid” writing style or a “spare” writing style?) Please note, I haven’t included links because you have to navigate to these pages through our own library’s NoveList site.

NoveList has some pre-set searches including “I’m in the mood for books that are moving and haunting” (try Girl at War by Sara Novic) OR “action-packed and fast-paced” (try White Ghost by Steven Gore). You can also try their appeal mixer. The appeal mixer is a lot of fun—I chose “Character-Complex,” “Writing Style-Compelling,” and “Pace-Fast-paced” and received 135 recommendations including Tana French, Anna Quindlen, and lots of Sherrilyn Kenyon (who I was not expecting and have not yet read…) You can also adjust the results for adults, teens, kids aged 9-12, and kids aged 0-8.

In addition to appeal terms, NoveList has two-letter field codes that enable you to do Boolean searches. For example, to find suspenseful literary fiction, type in “GN literary fiction AND AP suspenseful” into the NoveList search box. Be sure to capitalize the field codes (GN for Genre and AP for Appeal Terms) as well as capitalize the Boolean operators. This search resulted in 200 results including Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests and Emma Donoghue’s Room. They have list of all the field codes in a PDF here as well as a cheat sheet of the most commonly used field codes here.

When I receive requests about genres or styles that I rarely read, such as romance books without any sex, it’s good to know NoveList has field codes to help narrow down possible titles (“GN romance AND AP chaste”).

If you have access to NoveList at your library, explore the different appeal factors and field codes to see the types of searches that might help you solve those tricky Readers’ Advisory requests!

-Meghan S, Surrey Libraries

Book Club for Masochists

book club for masochistsMany members of the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group are part of the Book Club for Masochists, a group they started while attending SLAIS to “become […] better librarians by reading books [they] hate!”

The premise is a good one for pushing you out of your comfort zone: each month they select a genre and members read a couple of books from that genre that they will share with the group.

They’ve got quite a few genres under their belt now including:

Space Opera
Aboriginal/Indigenous/First Nations
Christmas/Holiday
Cozy Mysteries
Books in Translation
Religion (non-fiction)
Psychological Thrillers
Technology (non-fiction)
Gothic Literature
Historical Romance

Read about their feedback on books—what they recommend for a particular genre and what they advise avoiding. This is a great resource for encouraging you to read something new or for helping you find a book for a patron in a genre with which you’re unfamiliar. Be sure to tune into their very first podcast, published March 17 2016 on the genre of Historical Romance: http://bookclub4m.tumblr.com/

Has anyone participated in a similar-themed book club?

-Meghan S, Surrey Libraries

 

Learn about Loan Stars in March 9 Webinar

loanstars2For those of you interested in the Loan Stars program, they are offering a free webinar this Wed, March 9 from 10-10:30am (Vancouver time) to give you the low down on how to participate in Loan Stars:

Join BookNet Canada to learn everything you need to know to participate in Loan Stars, the new readers’ advisory service fueled by voting library staff across the country. Plus, get a guided tour of CataList, the online catalogue tool where Loan Stars voting takes place, to discover how to get the most out of your account, including accessing digital galleys, ordering books, exporting MARC records, and more.

This is a good opportunity to learn more if you’ve signed up for Loan Stars with enthusiasm, but stalled in the actual process of reading and selecting your upcoming favourite titles.

-Meghan S, Surrey Libraries

 

Surrey Libraries Launched Diverse Books Challenge for Staff

piles of books.jpgThe January 2016 What Are You Reading blog post about Reading Challenges inspired us at Surrey Libraries to launch a staff challenge. We had been discussing ways in which we can encourage more diversity in our own reading habits and help our Surrey Libraries Book Blog be more reflective of the Surrey community. Therefore, we launched the Surrey Libraries Diverse Books Challenge for Staff!

This is a fun, optional reading challenge adapted from this tumblr post, which was inspired by the We Need Diverse Books movement. We are encouraging Surrey Libraries staff to read and submit reviews to the Surrey Libraries Books Blog for a chance to win prizes.

Here’s how it works:

1)      Participation is 100% voluntary

2)      Read books fitting one, two, or several of the criteria below. Read one book, read two books, read green books, read blue books. Feel emboldened to read books that fit more than one of the below criteria – intersectionality is encouraged!

3)      Write a short review for the Surrey Libraries Book Blog and email it to Meghan S. Mention that your book was read by participating in the “Surrey Libraries: We Read Diverse Books Challenge” and your name will be entered in a prize draw for a gift card.

4)      A draw slip will be entered for every review.

5)      The challenge is launching March 7th and ends May 8th

6)      Happy spring reading!

 

Challenge Criteria

  1. Surrey author
  2. Book translated from one of the top 5 unofficial languages of Surrey (i.e. Punjabi, Mandarin, Tagalog, Hindi, or Korean)
  3. BC author
  4. Canadian author
  5. Author of colour
  6. Female author
  7. First Nations author
  8. Graphic novel by a female author or author of colour
  9. Immigrant perspective
  10. LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer) – protagonist or author
  11. Mixed race author
  12. Over age of 70 – protagonist or author
  13. Physical disability or chronic illness – protagonist or author
  14. Positive portrayal of main character living with mental illness
  15. Exploration of a refugee experience
  16. Under 20 but written for the adult market – protagonist or author

We’re excited to hear about people’s diverse reading experiences!

-Meghan S, Naomi E, & Jenny F at Surrey Libraries

Surrey Libraries’ Book Advisors

We recently launched a Readers’ Advisory service at Surrey Libraries very loosely based on Multnomah County Library’s My Librarian. On our Recommended Reads page, patrons can now learn about the Surrey Libraries Book Advisors and their reading interests and send us an email for book recommendations. For example, see Book Advisor Naomi’s bio below

BookAdvisorNaomi

Book Advisor Naomi:

Pop culture, historical true crime, politics, fiction with vivid characters, graphic novels, thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy, teen fiction, classics, ESL Readers

I have a confession to make… I am a pop culture devotee. I love nothing better than to brew a cup of tea, cuddle down on a couch, and binge-watch a season of Empire with gossip blog breaks. My reading interests follow suit – give me the page-turners with the larger-than-life characters. Wherever the top is, this book better be over it. I want vivid characters to love or love to hate and plotlines steeped in melodrama. I also enjoy listening to podcasts covering pop culture, current events or comedy. I’d be happy to recommend a couple!

We are excited to interact with our readers in another capacity and to see where this program takes us! Unlike Multnomah, this project is not specially funded, so we will be hosting it on a smaller scale and adapting the program and evaluating it as we go along. Any questions? Please email bookadvisor@surrey.ca

Multnomah County Library’s “My Librarian”

Similar to the Edmonton Public Library, Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon also has a Readers’ Advisory team! I had the opportunity to learn more about this program during their session “My Librarian: Personalization and The Future of Reader Services” at the American Library Association (ALA) Conference.Laural_2

Not suprisingly, their program is called “My Librarian” and currently consists of 13 enthusiastic library staff members who offer personalized and specific recommendations to patrons. These team members offer staff training, deliver outreach, participate in public events, contribute to social media, and respond to individual RA requests in just 4 hours a week (or roughly 10% of their time, ideally).

This program was created to “facilitate more personal connections for online readers.” Staff members conducted a focus group study, coordinated a series of conversations at ALA conferences, and collaborated with Seattle Public Library to develop the program. A grant for $190,000 helped this project get off the ground.

What staff learned from their research:

  • Libraries are often the last point in the book discovery process. People mention word-of-mouth, bookstores, & online resources before they consider libraries as places to attain reading recommendations. Libraries are competing with Scribd, Goodreads, Powell’s Daily Dose emails, National Public Radio’s Book Your Trip series, the New York Times Book Review, Nancy Pearl,  & Kindle Fire with their 10 second customer response rate to name a few.
  • People respect librarians, but don’t want to take up our time
  • People value asynchronous readers’ advisory (RA), but are hesitant to engage
  • Patrons have been very enthusiastic about the personalized librarian recommendations
  • Email is the preferred way to communicate the service

How did they recruit & train their team?

  • Staff members were encouraged to apply by showcasing their hobbies, talents, and passions
  • They solicited applications from anyone in an information services role–25 applied from over 200 staff
  • Team members were trained in RA skills, Drupal, virtual reference skills including chat and Skype, email tracking software, booktalking, and Novelist over a series of four classes
  • One training activity included visiting Powell’s to find read-alikes in the stacks and book-talk them to one another

What does the exMatthew_2_0perience look like?

  • It’s like match.com for books! Each “My Librarian” has a profile with a photograph showing their personality, a biography, monthly recommendations, blog posts, and a contact link
  • The goal is to respond to each question within 48 hours and to offer 3-5 recommended titles

How was the program marketed?

  • The program was first announced through an email to all 39,000 subscribers
  • Library Journal & The Oregonian featured the program, and it was then picked up by people on Twitter
  • They featured a tile ad on their website
  • They included it on their Google + account and in a Google ad
  • They paid $400 for an ad on Facebook, reaching approximately 30,000 people (as opposed to 560 people reached through an organic Facebook post)
  • The mobile app promoted it
  • Print ads are forthcoming

Thanks to Alison Kastner, Jeremy Graybill, Temlyn Chun, and Laurel Winter for the information.