Tag Archives: ra resources

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

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

 

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

 

The Challenge of Reading Challenges

Our library celebrates its 150th birthday this year, and as a gift to the community we created a book of 150 reading challenges, which replaced the Adult Summer Reading club we have done in previous years. Our intention was to create a marketing piece for the library that would showcase our collections and share our enthusiasm with everyone who uses the library.  Erin Watkins, our Manager of Programs and Community Development, was instrumental in getting this off the ground.  Thanks, Erin!

This is what we discovered while putting the booklet together:

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Many hands make light work. We had staff from multiple areas of the library contribute ideas for the challenges, but we had one person compile them. This allowed for diverse interests, collection areas and material types, which we hoped would appeal to a broader range of our community. The challenges were meant to encompass all aspects of our library’s collection in as many formats as possible to inspire people to move beyond their tried and true reading, viewing, and listening habits. Literacy is not just about books, and having the challenges touch on multiple formats will give people a chance to explore areas of the library that they may have previously ignored or been uninterested in. Having staff from all over the library contribute really helped set the groundwork for the challenges. Having one staff member compile the results was a way to ensure we kept to task and made it to our goal of 150 challenges – one for each year the library has been in existence.

Enthusiasm helps! Staff enthusiasm for a project like this helps us all see how diverse our colleagues and their interests are, which makes the workplace a fun place to be. It also means that we are better able to use that knowledge in a readers’ advisory situation because if we don’t share the reading interests of the patron in front of us, we can certainly find someone who does.

More heads are better than one. Collaborative work meant that wrangling 150 challenges into a semblance of order so they could be put into a booklet was much more effective. It also established a way for us to riff off each other’s ideas and build on each other’s work. One of the most exciting aspects of this format meant we could move beyond the familiar territory of the Adult Summer Reading club booklist and offer book bingo, a crossword puzzle, and a drawing challenge as well.

We have built in social media components in terms of a section of the challenge being called “Share” where we encourage community members to share their challenges with us on social media, and we have already had some really fun contributions for community members.

NWPL Instagram

If you are thinking of doing something similar at your library, don’t hesitate! Not only will it reinvigorate your passion for connecting with library users, but it will empower you to learn even more about the collection in your own library and inspire your own reading/viewing/listening habits. We can’t wait for the conversations we’re going to have with our library users: in the stacks, at the desk, on social media – all about what we love to watch, read, and listen to. It’s going to be a great summer!

What are your plans for adult summer reading inspiration at your library? Comment below so we can all be inspired!

Shelley Wilson-Roberts is the Public Services Librarian II at the New Westminster Public Library.

Teen Book Finder App

The other night, I had an RA dream. Not a nightmare, exactly, but I woke up vaguely frazzled. yalsa app 4In my dream I was at a library job interview, and I had to booktalk two books that the interview panel gave me. I had 5 minutes to get my thoughts together. No problem, I thought. But then some of my co-workers distracted me with random chatter about their weekends, and then I couldn’t find the books. I knew what they were, but I started to panic and couldn’t think of their titles. Once awake, I believe they were, A Wrinkle In Time and Harry Potter (#1). Some leftover angst from a grade 5 tour I once gave in the 90’s, perhaps.

No point to this tale, really, but I came across an app that might have been useful in my dream. YALSA’s Teen Book Finder!

 

 

 

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Kind of a cute little tool, it organizes all of the past YALSA award winners, as well as Booklist’s teen choices with a variety of sorts, including year and genre. It also has a map function where it can supposedly find the closest library that owns the title you choose. However, I tried A Thousand Splendid Suns while in Port Coquitlam, and it gave me VPL (Central) as the only public library in the lower mainland, plus some college libraries. Perhaps this feature works better in the US.

It’s available for iOS and was recently released for android.

I came across another intriguing RA app in the works, the Librarian Book Recommendation App from the In the Stacks folks.

In the Stacks

If you’ve got any handy RA apps to recommend, please post!

Readers’ Advisory from a Newbie Keener

ra_1Academic Theory vs. the Real World

The BCLA What R U Reading blog is meant to be a Readers’ Advisory toolkit for librarians. With this in mind, I wanted to take the opportunity to write as a recent MLIS graduate about how I do RA and what tools I use. My hope is that this post is helpful for library students, other new graduates, and even those who have been out of library school for a while. As a keen reader, it is interesting to reflect on what guides my reading and my RA.

For my own interest, and hopefully yours, (and because I burnt out on theory at library school), this post will be more practical than theoretical and hopefully useful. Posting as a recent grad has allowed me to reflect on the differences between academic theory and what was taught in library school and real world, on the job RA.

Engage!

One thing that I noticed right away on the job, is that RA is much more complex, interesting, and relational than they tell you in library school. But this is only true if you are willing to engage in conversations, relationships, and a variety of materials, genres, and formats. In discussing my blog post topic with some librarians from a few different library systems, the overall feeling amongst them seemed to be that their work off-desk is so time and energy consuming that they do not often have enough time to invest in RA. This includes both doing RA with patrons and having the time to stay current with RA resources and trends.

There are many tips that are worth mentioning and the following are only a few recommendations. Make your reading pool deep and wide, and ask for recommendations from patrons and other staff who you know read avidly and widely. Check your library’s (and even other libraries) website for new titles, especially if you are at a branch where you are only seeing materials intended for your branch and the collection is fixed rather than floating. Pay attention to current media that may influence reading patterns and trends, (ex. The Great Gatsby & The Hunger Games being released on film) try to anticipate what patrons interests will be and find read-a-likes/watch-a-likes/listen-a-likes. Pay attention to holds lists, Fastreads, and what is circulating highly in your system.

“Can you recommend a good book on…?”

Take special notice of the genres that you gravitate away from and make an extra effort to read a selection of those titles (especially popular ones). This will help you to avoid some biases when doing RA (which patrons ALWAYS pick up on). Work to understand the appeal factors of each genre: pacing, characterization, story line, and frame.

Really listen to patrons RA questions and do not assume that because they read one genre, they will or will not enjoy others. Ask patrons what the last book they have read is and what they thought of it? Or what was the last book that they really enjoyed? Another tactic that I use is to ask patrons what their favourite books is/favourite genre/top 5 favourite titles. The most effective practice that I use currently is to browse the shelves with patrons or grab a few items off of the shelf and ask their thoughts/opinions. I find this really effective in making the process active, engaging, casual, and conversational.

Online Resources

Online resources are readily available and (generally) free. It’s a matter of finding the online resources that appeal to you and that are useful, current, and reputable. The following are some that I have found helpful.

• Awards, Prizes, Notable Lists

o The Pulitzer Prizes http://www.pulitzer.org/
o New York Times Bestseller Lists http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html
o The Man Booker Prize – Literary fiction http://www.themanbookerprize.com/

• Related to Genres:

o Barry Awards from Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine http://www.deadlypleasures.com/barry.html
o Bram Stoker Awards – Horror http://www.horror.org/stokers.htm
o Romance Writers of American – Honor Roll http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=624
o The Hugo Awards – for Science Fiction http://www.thehugoawards.org/

• Book Clubs/Reading Groups/Discussion

o Book Club Resource – http://www.book-clubs-resource.com/
o Harper Collins Reading Groups – http://www.harpercollins.com/Readers/readingGroups.aspx
o Oprah’s Book Club http://www.oprah.com/book_club.html

• Listservs – subscribe daily or weekly

o Fiction_L
o NoveList
o Nextreads

• Blogs

o The Reader’s Advisor Online
o Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
o Comics Worth Reading
o Harlequin

• Websites

o Booklist
o The Horn Book
o Library Journal
o Oprah Magazine
o Overbooked
o Publisher’s Weekly
o Quill & Quire
o School Library Journal
o What Should I Read Next
o Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

• Social Networking

o Goodreads
o Shelfari
o Facebook – Books I Read App
o Twitter

Readers’ Advisory is a complex and fascinating aspect of librarianship that is in constant flux, now more than ever. It is exciting and challenging to consider how we are currently practicing RA and how we will continue to expand and improve RA services to support our library users.

Sarah Isbister, Public Services Librarian, GVPL

Blog: https://whatareyoureadingblog.com/
Webpage: http://www.bcla.bc.ca/ra/default.aspx
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BclaRaInterestGroup