NCompass Live: What To Read?


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Looking for some good books to read? Join us for a discussion of interesting books we've read and hear some ideas for doing Readers' Advisory in your library.

NCompass Live - September 16, 2009

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  • Topic today is RA resources and there are numerous ones available.

    But first I’ll start by talking a bit about what readers’ advisory is.
  • RA can be one-on-one in the stacks or it can involve a preemptive move to target a broader group.

    Involves knowing books and what is in your collection.
  • Saricks—long-time proponent of good readers’ advisory; has written a lot about it

    First book—good introductory resource--focuses on how to do RA, reading and thinking about books; talking with/interviewing patrons; booktalking

    A lot of common sense things but also things we need to be reminded of sometimes

    We are going to look briefly at what suggesting books to patrons entails.
  • Suggestions—not recommendations
    Appeals—what to listen for----4-10 depending on who you read in RA
    GLPPS by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
    Genre—could also be considered gentle read—has bit of mystery, romance, humor, no foul language, sex scenes; author looking for a storyline for a new book receives a letter from a man who found her name in a book; in correspondence discovers he is part of a group of people who started a literary group to escape punishment for breaking curfew in Nazi-occupied Guernsey, learns how they survived the war and continue to help each other in the aftermath
    Setting—Guernsey is an island in the English Channel
    Format—some journal entries with telegrams thrown in, tells a complete story
    Character—plucky, quirky heroine, get picture of characters from the viewpoint of various other characters
    Pace—not fast paced
    Tone—yes, bad things happened, but they are survivors; happy endings!!
    Are they reading to learn or to escape?

    What to suggest—depends on your collection, ILL possibilities:
    Letters, English connection, author—84 Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
    Letters, slow paced--Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith
    Aftermath of WWII, slower paced—A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
    Book groups—Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi; They Did It with Love by Kate Morgenroth
    Historical fiction ,light with quirky characters—Carola Dunn (Daisy Dalrymple), Rhys Bowen (Lady Georgina series)
    Gentle reads, eccentric characters—Jan Karon
  • Work smarter, not harder

    If RA is in high demand by your patrons, prepare!

    Displays—Think about books more than creating a fancy display
    Popular book/author in high demand—If you like this, try one of these
    Or if long waiting list for book—While you wait for X, try one of these
    If have some good older books not circulating, come up with a theme to promote, especially if they fit a demand from patrons

    Personal knowledge---work together with other staff and patrons to come up with suggestions
  • Aren’t familiar with all genres? Don’t have time to read a lot of books?

    Other titles at the Commission: Joyce Saricks’ Guide to Genre Fiction; ALA Readers’ Advisory Series--The Mystery Readers’ Advisory, Genreflecting, What Do I read Next?

    Book reviews—Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist—have summaries and usually mention appealing characteristics

    In addition to print resources---
  • Julie and Susan will highlight features of some of these resources that you might want to consider using
  • NCompass Live: What To Read?

    1. 1. Susan Knisely Julie Pinnell Devra Dragos NCompass Live – September 16, 2009
    2. 2. Do questions like these strike terror in your heart? Resources for Readers’ Advisory ◦ Professional sources ◦ Social networking sources ◦ Personal knowledge
    3. 3.  Booktalking in the stacks  Marketing books to readers
    4. 4. Joyce Saricks, Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library (retired) •Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library •The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction •Booklist column •Presentations
    5. 5. Characteristics/Appeals Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society o Genre/Plot o Setting o Format o Characters o Pace o Tone o Historical fiction o Post-WWII England o Mostly letters o Eccentric o Quick read o Upbeat overall  What do you like to read? / What did you like best about the book? / What don’t you like?
    6. 6. Work Smarter •Author lists •Annotated booklists •Bookmarks •Displays From Joyce G. Sarick’s Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library, 3rd ed.
    7. 7.  Fee databases ◦ Books in Print / Fiction Connection ◦ WorldCat ◦ NoveList  Web sites  Listservs/blogs
    8. 8. Susan Knisely Julie Pinnell Devra Dragos 800-307-2665