Going Hybrid: Readers Advisory at the Circulation Desk

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Going Hybrid: Readers Advisory at the Circulation Desk

  1. 1. By Michelle Brown and Amy Hartman, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library
  2. 2. What is Reader’s Advisory? <ul><li>“ Library staff providing suggestions and guidance in finding interesting materials for readers in the library.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why do RA at the Circ Desk? <ul><li>Circ = Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A few minutes can mean a lot in the long run. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adds variety to your work. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Self help” = detachment : Gives a library connection to patrons who have no other contact with library staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Key for effective circ RA is </li></ul><ul><li>FLEXIBILITY </li></ul><ul><li>Do what works for your agency. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Effective readers' advisory <ul><li>Listen as readers discuss the books they enjoy, *or don't enjoy* </li></ul><ul><ul><li>focus in on common threads for the reader, and check to be sure you’re understanding them correctly. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Suggest” rather than “Recommend” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Always provide “an out” (no “hurt feelings”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ If this doesn’t work out, come on back and we’ll see what else we can find for you.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-fiction, fiction, movies, music – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>if it’s in your collection, sell it! </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. RA ideas at the circ desk <ul><li>Return carts are your friends! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pay attention to returns – pile up the interesting-looking titles that will catch the eye for circ area displays. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Think about what’s on the hold shelf </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If a popular author has a new(ish) title out, and someone is checking out an older title, check to see if they want to place a reserve. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If there are a lot of African American fiction titles being held, place other Af.-Am. titles on display, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Judge a book by its cover <ul><li>VS. </li></ul><ul><li>If it looks similar to one they’ve read and liked, chances are good you have another hit. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Paranormal thrillers
  8. 13. Displays <ul><li>Don’t expect everything to go out – while circ is primary goal, the point is to get people to associate the library with seeing interesting things. </li></ul><ul><li>If a book doesn’t circ or get looked at in a few days, change it out for something fresh. </li></ul>
  9. 14. Displays, continued. . . <ul><li>Share responsibility for displays – multiple contributors make for interesting selections. </li></ul><ul><li>Put patron suggestions on display – create little “GREAT READS suggested by fellow readers” slips and slide ‘em in a returned book someone is raving about. Let patrons know their input counts. </li></ul>
  10. 15. Themed Displays <ul><li>Looking for themed display ideas? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chase’s Calendar of Events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.brownielocks.com/month2.html </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tie into season: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summer Beach Reading </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>April Showers and May Flowers (spring gardening) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Season’s Readings (holiday themed) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read if you Dare (Halloween, horror novels, thrillers) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feelin’ crafty </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose broadly, appeal to men, women, kids, seniors, readers, movie watchers, music listeners. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 17. Example Display Themes <ul><li>“ Drain Your Vein” or “Take a Bite” – Vampire fiction </li></ul>
  12. 18. Signs <ul><li>If there is a theme, try to communicate it somehow. </li></ul><ul><li>Help to focus attention on the display, might catch eye and make folks take a closer look. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be very simple. </li></ul><ul><li>Can just be a picture. </li></ul><ul><li>Use of props </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sunglasses and towel for “Beach Reads” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Halloween mask for </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Scary Stories” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Snowman for “Holiday Reads” </li></ul></ul>
  13. 19. <ul><li>Another example sign. We got this one off the web . . . </li></ul>
  14. 20. “ If you like. . .” lists <ul><li>Keep bookmark-sized read-alikes lists for the popular authors and genres, and slide them into fiction and non-fiction books as they are checked out. </li></ul><ul><li>Science fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Chick Lit </li></ul><ul><li>“ That’s a Laugh!” </li></ul><ul><li>Feelin’ crafty? </li></ul><ul><li>. . . by the numbers </li></ul><ul><li>New and edgy </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen King </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Higgins Clark </li></ul><ul><li>Vampire fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Legal thrillers </li></ul><ul><li>Sword and Sorcery </li></ul><ul><li>Popular history </li></ul>
  15. 21. Use staff reading strengths <ul><li>Everyone is an expert on something. </li></ul><ul><li>Know who to refer readers to if they have questions . Who is the big mystery reader? Science fiction? Romance? History? Cooking? </li></ul><ul><li>Use all staff – custodians, pages and volunteers have great reading ideas too. </li></ul>
  16. 22. Q and A . . . <ul><li>What do you think? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you already do? </li></ul><ul><li>What ideas can you try out? </li></ul>

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