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Social Catalogues and Readers' Advisory Services - Building trust, promoting community and enhancing RA services outside the physical library
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Social Catalogues and Readers' Advisory Services - Building trust, promoting community and enhancing RA services outside the physical library


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  • 1. Social Catalogues and Readers’ Advisory Services: Building trust, promoting community and enhancing RA services outside the physical branch Laurel Tarulli Collection Access Librarian Halifax Public Libraries [email_address]
  • 2. What Happened?
    • How did a cataloguer become so interested in RA services?
      • Member of RA team
      • NoveList Consultant
      • Why do we only offer RA services in person at the physical branch?
      • Ideas, ideas...
      • Collaboration – a give and take relationship
      • The library catalogue is where the books are, and has the ability to pull everything together
  • 3. 6 Faulty Assumptions of the Traditional RA Model
    • Readers will initiate an RA interview or want to participate in one
    • RAs will be able to answer RA questions successfully, even if it isn’t their area of expertise
    • Short or long, the RA interview will provide enough information to make successful reading suggestions
  • 4. 6 Faulty Assumptions of the Traditional RA Model cont...
    • Despite time limitations, staffing shortages or inexperience, a quality RA interview is possible
    • Existing RA tools are easy to use in a face-to-face RA interview
    • Face-to-face RA encounters are well documented so that follow-up can occur
            • Hollands, Neil. Improving the model for interactive readers’ advisory service. Reference & User Services Quarterly. March 22, 2006.
  • 5. New Challenges to RA Services
    • Patrons who don’t want to share their reading experience in person
      • Embarrassment
      • View staff as negative authority figures
      • Feeling of disenfranchisement
      • Feeling of being “outside” of the process (a need to share their experience with peers)
    • Patrons who are homebound and/or remote users
    • The changing nature of a “personal” service and the public’s view of access to all services electronically
  • 6. Accessing our RA services
    • Physical library
    • Expectations of remote access to services
      • Variety of access points to services – “Gateways”
        • Mobile devices, Friends, Chat, Social networking sites
      • Relative autonomy to do it themselves
      • Simple, immediate access
      • Anytime, anywhere
      • Same level of service
      • Sharing with friends
  • 7. Why focus on the catalogue?
      • It centers around the collection – where the books are!
      • Opportunity for increased collaboration and sharing of expertise
      • An element of trust already exists
      • Catalogues can reach readers in their homes, on the bus, in the airport or on vacation!
      • Features allow for interaction, sharing and an understanding of our community’s reading interests
      • Features promote sharing the reading experience
  • 8. Social Catalogues and RA services
    • Card catalogue Electronic inventory Interactive patron and RA driven discovery space
      • Ex. AquaBrowser, Encore, SOPAC and many more!
    • New way of connecting readers to books
      • Interaction and collaboration with community to create RA services for everyone
    • Provides answers to questions like:
      • What are our community’s reading preferences?
      • What types of books are they recommending to friends?
  • 9. Social catalogues are NOT social networking sites
    • Better term: “Collaborative” catalogue? “Community” catalogue?
    • An extension of the experience readers have in the physical branch
    • Collecting statistics and reviewing user-generated information helps us create documentation on books and appeals that we can use to enhance RA services in our libraries
    • Provides community’s perspective on appeal elements to bestselling books and authors
  • 10. Enhancing RA services with social catalogues
    • The data we can collect is similar to listening to readers’ conversations in parks, on the bus or in the hair salon
    • Allows us to identify books that are popular within the community and provides a glimpse into our readers’ use of descriptions and their relations between books
    • Folksonomies = Desire lines that reflect the needs and interest of the community
  • 11. RAs + Cataloguers = Great RA service!
    • Embedding reading lists and recommended titles in the catalogue
    • RSS feeds
    • Personalized, annotated summaries within the bibliographic record created by Readers’ Services team that addresses appeals and read-a-likes
    • Local genres, subject headings and appeals terminology as access points
    • Linking, linking, linking
    • Live RA chat
  • 12. Example of linkable RA lists in the library catalogue Facets draw from content within bibliographic records. RA reading lists or appeal terminology can be included in searchable facets .
  • 13. Sharing and contributing
  • 14. Seamless integration with library website Streaming book covers Featured lists
  • 15. Reaching out to readers through the catalogue to enhance RA services
    • “ The entire point of RA is to reach readers...”
    • “… fostering connections and discussions about items in our collections can be enhanced and adapted by social technology. [These] tools play to the strengths of RA work and can deepen and broaden the interaction, introduce new ways of connecting books to other items, and enable librarians to enlist the entire community of readers in the collaborative creation of RA services for everyone.”
    • Wyatt, Neal, “2.0 for Readers,” Library Journal 132, no. 18 (November 1, 2007): 31
  • 16. Vendors also view the catalogue as an RA tool
    • Enriched content
      • LibraryThing
      • Amazon
      • Serial Solutions
      • NoveList
  • 17. Salt Lake County Library Services
  • 18. RA in the catalogue NoveList Select Every time you click a title--you can get more content and more suggestions.
  • 19. Social Catalogues and RA Services
    • Enhances collaboration between cataloguing and readers’ services
    • Our collections and readers’ services are based on our readers’ wants and interests
    • Encourages an online community of readers
    • RA moves out of the physical library and brings it to the reader
    • Encourages users to share reading ideas and experiences with the library and each other
  • 20. Thank you!
    • Laurel Tarulli
    • Collection Access Librarian
    • Halifax Public Libraries
    • [email_address]
    • (902)869-4427
    • The Cataloguing Librarian Blog
  • 21. Sources and References
    • Hollands, Neil. “Improving the model for interactive readers’ advisory service.” Reference & User Services Quarterly (March 22, 2006)
    • Spiteri, Louise. “The Structure and form of folksonomy tags: the road to the public library.” Information Technology and Libraries (2007)
    • Tarulli, Laurel. “A Budding relationship: romance between readers’ services and the catalogue.” Readers’ Advisor News/Libraries Unlimited (June 2009)
    • Tarulli, Laurel. “Social catalogues: enriching content that enhances RA services.” Readers’ Advisory: RA in a Day . Atlantic Provinces Library Association Annual Conference. Halifax, Nova Scotia (2009)
    • Wyatt, Neal. “2.0 for Readers.” Library Journal 132, no. 18 (November 1, 2007) : 31