Category Archives: RA Tools

RA Roundup

Here are some cool RA-related things happening in libraries and other book-ish related topics. If you’d like to contribute anything your library is doing or something you stumble upon, send an email to raig.active[at]gmail.com or leave a comment.  Happy reading!

Adult Summer Reading Challenges in the Lower Mainland

Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Walk on the Wide Side Summer Adult Reading Club

FVRL’s Summer Adult Reading Club kicked off earlier this week by encouraging a reading challenge similar to the annual children’s one. Patrons can pick up their reading record at their local branch and start their summer reading with a chance to win fantastic prizes!

North Vancouver District Public Library’s Adult and Teen Summer Reading Club

NVDPL wants its patrons to Read Across Canada this summer in honour of celebrating Canada’s 150. Patrons can pick up a BINGO card at any of the branches and start reading across Canada. Once a BINGO line is complete, patrons can enter their cards to win prizes.

Teens have a chance to read across North Vancouver by completing various challenges and a chance to win amazing prizes. Check out the beautiful hand drawn map here.

Port Moody Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Club

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Taking a note from the kids’ Summer Reading Club, Port Moody is also getting its adult readers to take a walk on the wild side through a “wild” themed BINGO card challenge. Readers have summer to fill up their cards and be able to win fantastic prizes. Patrons are also encouraged to share their reads throughout the summer with #wildreads on the library’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Lastly, the library is also trying to boost its sign ups for both the children’s and adult SRCs by holding an epic water balloon fight on Saturday, July 8th, 2017.

Richmond Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Challenge

Richmond PL is holding its Adult Summer Reading Challenge (from June 7-August 31) by encouraging its users to complete a BINGO card with a variety of reading prompts/recommendations. Once a BINGO card is completed, patrons have a chance to enter win an eReader and other great prizes.

Vancouver Public Library’s National Aboriginal Day Reading Circle Booklist

In honour of its National Aboriginal Day Reading Circle event on June 17, 2018, VPL curated a specialized booklist along with Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence Jules Koostachin. The list features a wealth of compelling titles by a variety of Aboriginal writers including Maria Campbell, Tracey Lindberg, Lee Maracle, Eden Robinson, and more.

Toronto Public Library’s Monthly Readalikes Booklists

Every month the Toronto Public Library creates a readalikes booklist for books/movies with buzz or genres. For instance, in the month of June, the library created a booklist for Shara Lapena’s The Couple Next Door

San Francisco Public Library’s Pride 2017 Book Recommendations

Need books and ideas to help building Pride displays for your library? Check out SFPL’s Pride 2017 booklist for LGBTQ fiction titles published in the last year.

BookRiot’s List of Upcoming Inclusive Mystery Titles

While the mystery genre tends to be dominated by white, male authors, Jamie Canaves at BookRiot compiled a phenomenal list of some upcoming mystery titles by a diverse set of authors who write inclusive characters and themes. As always, we need diverse books.

 


Stephanie Hong is an auxiliary Library Technician for Surrey Libraries and Vancouver Public Library

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Reading Trumps Ignorance

Reading can often open our minds to the experiences of others in ways that our individual lived experience cannot. After the most recent election in the United States many libraries and readers have united to recommend books that can help  counter voices of prejudice and ignorance. #Resist.

Here is a selection of links to inform and inspire:

ICYMI:  Libraries Across Borders List – Books that Trump will never read – but you should
https://bclaconnect.ca/perspectives/2017/01/31/lac/

 

11 Books to Helps Us Make it Through a Trump Presidency
http://bookriot.com/2016/11/21/11-books-help-us-make-trump-presidency/

Donald Trump is afraid of Books
https://bookriot.com/2017/02/08/donald-trump-is-afraid-of-books/

Libraries Resist: A round-up of Tolerance, Social Justice and Resistance in US Libraries

http://bookriot.com/2017/02/10/libraries-resist-round-tolerance-social-justice-resistance-us-libraries/
San Francisco Public Library’s We Love Diverse Books program:

http://sfpl.org/releases/2017/01/06/san-francisco-public-library-celebrates-diversity-in-literature-we-love-diverse-books-january-2017-programs/
And: http://sfpl.org/pdf/book-and-materials/welovediversebooks.pdf

But, what about fake news, you ask? Try these:

How to spot fake news:
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/dec/18/what-is-fake-news-pizzagate

A Policy Proposal for driving out fake news and promoting better sources of journalism:
http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/february-2017/de-institutionalization-fake-news-and-the-crisis-of-journalism/
Has your library used any of these ideas or similar to create displays, book lists or other RA activities?  Tell us in the comments.

Blind Date with a Book

If your library hasn’t tried a “Blind Date with a Book” display yet, put it on your radar for next year.  With a bit of planning and organization it’s a great way to inject a bit of whimsy into your displays.

The New Westminster Public Library has run a Blind Date with a Book for a few years now, and it’s great to hear patrons get enthusiastic when they see the display go up again.  We make sure we have signage that tells the public what to do (the first year a few people thought we were giving out presents and wanted to keep the books!) and use distinctive wrapping paper that catches the eye. We don’t limit ourselves to books – DVDs, audiobooks, and CDs have all made it in at one time or another.

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We write brief descriptions of the book and print them on labels that we stick to the front, and photocopy the barcode and attach this too, so the surprise isn’t ruined by having to unwrap the book at checkout.

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Once the display is up, we schedule social media posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and enjoy filling up the displays and getting feedback. Admittedly people don’t always like their blind date book, but taking a chance is part of the fun! This is a great way to get people to read out of their comfort zone. Staff across the library also enjoy having input as to what gets recommended, and everyone loves the challenge of writing a brief teaser description for the materials on display.

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How does your library run a blind date with a book display? What clever ways have you found to entice readers to pick up something unfamiliar?

 

Bodice Rippers & All Other Good Things

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As a relative newbie to the genre of romance, I thank the universe daily for the website Smart Bitches, Trashy Books (SB-TB). Co-founded by Sarah Wendell in 2005, the site is a vibrant community hub for veteran and novice romance readers alike. As an organization, they strive to:

  • Connect romance fans to the books they want to read — and even more books after that.
  • Connect romance fans to each other — no romance fan should be lonely!
  • Most importantly, we welcome everyone with a high level of irreverent, silly, and smart discussions about all the topics romance fans enjoy.

From my experience, SB-TB achieves these goals and then some. Of particular note is their blog, which functions as a crowdsourced RA platform where readers can post queries about obscure books and series they’re trying to locate. Users are exceptionally helpful with their feedback. For example, a recent post entitled “looking for a Harlequin about a librarian hero and a mute veteran” received 23 enthusiastic responses. SB-TB also posts regular book reviews that highlight new releases, and produces a fun podcast where Sarah Wendell chats with authors, librarians and readers about all things romance.

As a librarian, I use SB-TB as a wonderful tool to keep me up-to-date on the romance genre. If you haven’t checked out the website yet, please do! They’ll welcome you with open arms.

P.S.
I first stumbled across SB-TB while listening to an excellent episode of the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour called “The Romance Novel Special.” To my delight Sarah Wendell was among the guests, and her enthusiasm for the romance genre was infectious. If you listen to the episode, her encyclopedic knowledge of romance titles will astound you. She truly is a readers’ advisory ninja!

Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian working at Vancouver Public Library.

Book Movement and organizing your book club

logoI was perusing the Adult Reading Round Table website, “a group dedicated to developing readers’ advisory skills and promoting reading for pleasure through public libraries in the Chicago area,” which I learned about in a webinar a few months ago. While reading about their leadership recommendations for book club leaders, I discovered a link to the website Book Movement. This website is a resource for book club groups–covering 35,000 book clubs across the United States and what books they recommend and why. In addition to learning about book club options and receiving weekly book club picks, you can track your club’s RSVPs and send out automatic reminders and reading guides via automatic emails. Although I have not joined this resource yet (more emails!?), I am following them on Facebook and would be curious to hear from anyone who participates in their services. Have you used www.bookmovement.com?

–Meghan S, 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