Readers’ Advisory or How to Get the Books Out the Door! Presentation at Kamloops Library Thompson-Nicola Regional District (2015-11-09).
Created by Tim McMillan.

Readers’ Advisory for the rest of us: Presentation at the 2015 BCLA Conference (2015-05-21).
Created by Caroline Crowe, Jorge Cárdenas, and Tim McMillan.

Session Description: On behalf of the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group, this session advocates for a renewed emphasis on reading recommendations and presents innovative approaches offered at the Vancouver Public Library. While libraries are still known for books, our role as a trusted resource for reading recommendations faces intense competition from digital and physical retail. A wealth of recent survey data indicates that while the public rates the library highly as a valuable institution, we are not being recognized as a place to discover great reads. Of further concern is that the recommendation sources that dominate the market are limited in their ability to reach socially and economically excluded communities. Librarians can improve on services provided by social networks, media, booksellers and recommendation engines. We can synthesize an array of readers’ advisory tools to benefit a specific individual or respond to a local community need. We can neutralize commercial biases of booksellers; combine all engines to increase the power of their recommendations; and utilise our existing community connections to expand readers’ advisory to a much larger segment of our population. By using flexible and proactive techniques for connecting individuals and their communities to their next read, we can retain one of the core missions of the public library. The session concludes with an overview of alternative recommendation services recently launched by the Vancouver Public Library that reach reading communities left behind by big retail.