Category Archives: RA in a Day

RA in a Day 2016

A sign stating "Welcome to RA in a Day 2916" behind a silhouette of a microphone

Welcome to RA in a Day 2016!

The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group is proud and grateful for the success of RA in a Day 2016! Our warmest appreciation and thanks to everyone who attended the event, or who followed along on social media (#RAinaDay16). We would also like to thank our supportive sponsor Library Bound.

This year the event was held on October 18, 2016 in the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch. The Readers’ Advisory Interest Group would like to acknowledge that this event took place on the ancestral, traditional and unceded Aboriginal territories of the Coast Salish Peoples. Continue reading

RA in a Day 2016 Bookslam Titles

Here’s a list of all the highly recommended titles that were bookslammed at this year’s RA in a Day. Click the image to visit the book’s Goodreads page. Share your bookslam worthy titles with us in the comments.

adulthood     sophia     hag-seed      fade     war    sorcerer     course   raven     girl   25159239      Anatomy.jpg   stoned

RA in a Day 2016 – Registration is open!

Have you registered for RA in a Day 2016 yet? It’s getting closer and we’re getting excited!

Register now! Registration closes at noon on Friday, October 7.

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
9:30am -4:00 PM
Vancouver Public Library, Central branch

Presented by the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group, this event is about building your RA confidence, reminding you about what you already know, learning to better serve your patrons as readers advisors and enjoying this practical professional development event.

This year we are back in downtown Vancouver, and we are excited about our workshop that explores the relationship between library catalogues, readers, and readers’ advisors, with Samuel Richmond, Head of Bibliographic Services at VPL.

We are honoured to have a keynote speech by Dr. Catherine Sheldrick Ross, professor and former Dean in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Sheldrick Ross authored The Pleasures of Reading: A Booklover’s Alphabet which drew on over 300 open-ended interviews with avid readers to explore questions about the experience of pleasure-reading.

This year our ever-popular Speed-Dating Through the Genres will feature:
• Adventure!
• Fiction in Translation: French Canadian!
• Non-fiction graphic novels!
• Mindfulness!

Plus we will host a Bookslam demo to which we invite audience participation : )

Event Fee(s)
BCLA Member $ 50.00
Non-Member $ 70.00
Student $ 30.00

Join in the conversation on social media with the hashtag #RADay16.

Register now! We hope to see you there on Tuesday October 18th.

RA in a Day Genre Guides

Every year at our RA in a Day workshop we run “Speed-Dating Through the Genres”, brief ten-minute long presentations about various genres of books. The presenters also create printable guides to the genres, which you can find right here on our website! We now have almost twenty different genres covered, so check them out!

This year we added four new genres, the handouts and presentations for which you can find below. Thanks to the presenters who created these guides and presentations!

Classics for English Language Learners by Anna Ferri

Dystopian and Post Apocalyptic Fiction by Sarah Dearman

Feminist Memoirs by Stephanie Hong

Personal Finance by Jenny Fry

“On becoming a diverse reader” in BCLA’s Perspectives

A new issue of BCLA’s Perspectives has been published! This issue includes an article by two of the members of the Readers’ Advisory Interest Group, Chloe Riley and Virginia McCreedy, on Dr. Brenna Clarke Gray’s keynote address at the recent RA in a Day workshop, which challenged library workers to read more diversely:

Dr. Brenna Clarke Gray is a professor at Douglas College and a contributor at Book Riot. Her keynote address was entitled “Doing the Work: Diversifying the Reader’s Experience, Come Hell or High Water.”

For other reports on this year’s RA in a Day event, check out our write-up on the Literacy Levels workshop, and our RA in a Day 2015 Must Reads. We also recently published a post on why #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

RA in a Day 2015 Must Reads

At this year’s RA in a Day workshop we asked for your “must read” books, and you gave us a phenomenal list of 25 titles. The list crossed genres and age groups, fiction and non-fiction, and featured new favourites and old classics. You can find the titles below listed in alphabetical order by author. Check out our poll and tell us how many you’ve read!

Feed by M.T. Anderson


Horton Halfpott: or The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor by Tom Angleberger


A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

El Deafo by Cece Bell


Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton


Hippos go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton


Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates


Fact Vs. Faith: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible by Jerry A. Coyne


Sweetland by Michael Crummey


All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett


A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James


The Woefield Poultry Collective by Susan Juby


The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew


Displacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley


Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie


We were Liars by E. Lockhart


The Book of Flying by Keith Miller


A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry


I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness


The Nest by Kenneth Oppel


Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind by Ann B. Ross


All my Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews


Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese


Welcome to RA in a Day 2015 & Literacy Levels Workshop

This year’s successful RA in a Day event (yes, a full day this year!) was held today at Vancouver Public Library’s Central branch. The BCLA Readers’ Advisory Group extends thanks to those of you who joined us in person today, or who chimed in the conversation on Twitter (#RAinaDay). We also offer thanks to Library Bound for once again sponsoring the event.

We’d also like to acknowledge that this year’s event took place on the ancestral, traditional and unceded Aboriginal territories of the Coast Salish Peoples.

RA in a Day 2015 opened with a literacy workshop hosted by Joan Acosta, formerly of The Westcoast Reader and Diana Twiss of Decoda Literary Solutions. Diana began by reframing how we measure literacy, explaining it is not an on-off switch; instead, we should consider literacy as a spectrum of how well readers can read.

Literacy and reading are learned skills that need to be practiced. Diana points out that reading consists of three cognitive processes: analyzing, interpreting, and monitoring. These are the skills and strategies that fluent readers often have. For instance, fluent readers are strategic and selective in their reading, and can make inferences, set goals, and monitor their comprehension. They often have background knowledge to assist them, and can summarize and reflect on their reading. Importantly, they expect to understand.

Meanwhile, struggling readers often read the entire text start to finish, rather than skimming or scanning. They may have more limited vocabulary or struggle with decoding sentences. They may have trouble connecting ideas, or reflecting on what they’re reading. They often lack background knowledge, and may not read widely or often.

It is important to remember that there are multiple and varied reasons for reading difficulty, including affects of aging, poor vision, physical or emotional stress, and learning disabilities, to name only a few.

In the interactive workshop, Diana and Joan asked us to work in small groups to analyze some books to attempt to find a fit between reader and text. Elements of the text that we can consider in terms of literacy levels include: the number and complexity of sentences, the number of words per sentence, multi-syllable words, presence of abstract words or idioms, presence of visual cues and sight words, and layout and organization of the page. Additionally, a personal story or narrative can connect a reader to a text.

It also helps us to know the reader’s familiarity with a topic, their background knowledge, their interest in the topic, reading skill levels, and comprehension strategies. Finding out some of these elements can help us match them with an appropriate text.

Finally, don’t hesitate to ask readers direct questions about their reading levels and comprehension skills. While there can be stigmas associated to literacy levels, we should work towards trying to shed these attitudes as most readers are approaching librarians because they want our support and guidance.

Coming up soon: reports on the inaugural BCLA RA in a Day BookSlam; our perennial favourite Speed Dating Through the Genres; and a keynote from Dr. Brenna Clarke Gray of Douglas College and Book Riot.