See: Duncan Smith “Readers Advisory as a Transformative Act” Toronto Library Association 2011Standard RA interview tends to be:REACTIVE “Have you got…<book title>?” Check Resources, provide responseLESS COMMON – but MORE fruitfulSUGGESTIVE Suggest additional titles patron might enjoyANTICIPATORY Suggest patron sign up for genre newsletter based on bookCONTRIBUTORY Encourage patron to rate on blog or goodreads or social networkingPARTICIPATORY Ask is patron is interested in joining (genre) book clubSTART the conversation USING INTERACTIONS AS A SALES PITCHINSTIGATE and EXTEND the RA Conversation
Definition: Printed card or other sign attached to a storeshelf to call buyers attention to a particular product displayed in that shelf. Also called "shelf screamer."Recommend www.shelfwiz.comWhy? The “Flip-up” style. Doesn’t impede shelvers. Easy access to items, easily changed, comes with inserts and templates.Use for: Recommendations, Read-Alikes, Coming Soon alerts. Incorporate QR codes linking to your Fiction pages.Other ideas? www.shelftalkers.com
Library users are often overwhelmed trying to choose from the huge selection of books. Merchandising and displaying the library's collection in inventive ways is essential to get maximum use out of the materials. Ask colleagues for temporary loan of any props. Pinterest has great inspiration boards for ideas.
Easy to populate with colorful reviews, articles, lists , community book events etc.Pages from:Book Section "Entertainment Weekly"Book Recommendations from People WeeklyArticles or reviews from USA Today BooksCopies of items from BookpageLiterary happenings in your areaLibrary literary programs of note
Don't have the $$ to spend on digital screens? But a small digital frame for very little money to display your message in a more slick manner.
Benefits: Gets patrons over the threshhold and into your department.Sparks an interest in authors and titles in a series - creates a reading gap that the Library can fill by stimulating interestMark the books with your own contact details and social media information - use the free books to promote additional patron contact.
Consider stickering the spines (or insides) – if you have space. Very helpful. Our use a shelftalker. Ask shelvers to shelve in sequence.
Banner style end panels. Reinventing end panels: Banners for genre fiction, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Detective, etc
Try (space allowing) to randomly incorporate Face-Out Books within the fiction. Draws the eye better. Target uses good face out display strategy on shelves, more so than B&N.
IPAD Kiosk at RA desk to browse through possibilities on your Readers site (or any specified page).Kiosk apps make browsing more ipad friendly :- try Kiosk Pro
Target do a great job of pointing their readers in new directions.
NEW PRACTICE - FORM BASED RAAvailability of a reading preference form(online and in hard copy) instead of always face to face discussion.FORM BASED RA THEORY:Face to face discussion between reader and librarian may work under ideal conditions, but there needs to be a rethinking of how readers services are offered in libraries. General disconnect between the THEORY of RA Service and how it goes in practice.SOLUTION:Form Based RA SOURCES:"Improving the Model for Interactive Reader’s Advisory Service“ by Neil Hollands, Reference and User Services Quarterly 2006 "Expanding the RA Conversation" by Joyce Sarick, Booklist, October 2012"Take the RA Talk Online" by Neal Wyatt, Library Journal, February 2008Trendsetters, and example: Williamsburg Regional LibraryADVANTAGESReaders can fill them out at their leisure, and staff members have the time and resources to search out a range of suggestions
Using stickers to point readers in the direction of their next book – at the end of one they have just finished.
USE YOUR HOLD BOOKS for PUBLICITYClip in books In either bookmark or brochure format. Coming soon, news, etc All books on hold/to be picked up.Author Program?Put flyer for the program INSIDE the authors books on your shelves.
Colorful. Inexpensive from Vistaprint. Come up with a cute slogan and a graphic for rear of card. Include social media contacts as well as a QR Code for the department website/or at least library.
Use sign up forms to solicit information from your reading program patrons to inspire interest in additional areas. Get emails and use them for promotional purposes!
Annotated book inserts allow for a more accessible snapshot of the book content.Check out this insert developed by “Russ” of the Homewood Library.
Your website is the perfect place to offer reading, listening and viewing suggestions to library users who are sitting in front of their computers at any hour of the day or night. There are quite a few fantastic library websites out there and out time here is short today so I will just highlight a few sites that this panel thought were outstanding.Slide: Centerreach library facebook page
Printed finding aids in the library
Offer finding aids on your website to readers who are using your library 24/7
Boulder Public Library has a great one stop shop for readers.Here is what you see when you push that button. I love this page. It has everything your readers need presented in a very clear and concise manner. You not only find website materials prepared by the staff but you can also search the catalog, consult Novelist, and chat or e-mail a librarian. This is a great one stop shop for your patrons. Everything on this page is so inviting your patrons can’t help but spend lots of time exploring your resources.
Skokie Public Library Fast Match is the online equivalent of finding a book on a display table. Automatically matches readers with staff book reviews.
Charlotte Mecklenberg Library’s Reader’s club offers book lists with many interesting features.
Hennepin County encourages readers to develop booklists to share.
Rocky River Public Library’s Reading Room has a unique search tool to connect readers and books.
We salute libraries with patron-friendly websites.
New ideas for book discussion groups.
Genre fiction book discussion grougs
Film discussion programs
Audiobook discussion group.
E-book discussion groups
Story time for adults
Quarterly discussions for longer books
Special topic book discussion groups
Non-English discussion groups
Discussions outside the library
Discuss military book at American Legion Hall
Walk and talk book club
Reach out to local book clubs
Register local book groups
The Art of War, attributed to General Sun Tzu, notes, “…appear where you are not expected.” The General was referring to meeting your enemies and, some days, it may feel that your patrons are your enemies.We need to remember that Readers’ Advisory Services must extend beyond the physical confines of our desk. We need to go where we can reach not only our regular patrons, but also our potential patrons as well.
A Pew Research Center report indicated that 84% of parents say libraries are important because libraries help promote the love of reading and books as well as offer programs for children. But how many of those parents use the library for their own purposes?We set up this display of popular reading materials for adults near our Children’s Programming Room. It was a last minute decision to take a picture of this and I ran back to my office to get a camera to take this picture and, by the time I returned, three of the books on the display had already been taken.
Setting up a display or demonstration in your lobby guarantees that you can catch patrons as they enter, even if might never set foot in your department. This photo is from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, promoting their ebook collection.Prize wheels are a guaranteed attention-getter and a great way to get the public to approach your desk because everyone wants the opportunity to win something and it’s a convenient way to use up prizes from past reading programs.Set up only requires a table and a laptop. Include a poster stand that will draw people’s attention. Individual traffic times may vary, but typically, your premium hours are afterschool on weekdays, Friday evenings and your weekend hours.A word of caution – don’t purchase a cheaper model just to save money. You will get a lot of use and you want a wheel that will stand up to constant use because I can guarantee that you will use this over and over again. Sharing the cost with other departments will help keep your costs down.
Every year, the village of Schaumburg hosts SeptemberFest over the Labor Day weekend, where attendance can average around a quarter million visitors. As part of this three-day event, Monday is designated as their “Not for Profit Day” - a day for non-profits to set up information booths. To make sure your Readers Advisory Desk has equal time with Reference and Children’s Services, all you need is to have a volunteer work the booth for a few hours.Using the same prize wheel that we use in our Lobby visits, we have often had lines of 40 people or more.
Do your patrons bypass the desk and head straight to your Public Access computers? Why not use that space to advertise upcoming programs or services?Kate will talk more about QR codes, but every piece of printed material advertising library programs or promotion of the collection should include a QR code to bring patrons back to your website for more information.These screen savers are something for which you will have to bring in your IT staff to work out the specifics, but promo slides can be unique to your department. A month after we installed these on our OPACs, our Reference Department did the same.
Many libraries offer “Book a Librarian” or one-on-one sessions on a variety of topics, so utilize the same concept for Readers’ Advisory. We’ve been booking appointments for one-on-one training for the various ebook platforms, but we are also willing to go outside of the library to present book talks or to make presentations to outside book groups or our local Senior Centers.
Many libraries subscribe to BookPage, a monthly newsletter that we put out for our patrons. Over the past year or so, we’ve created a monthly calendar that helps promote upcoming programs, with other dates filled in with literary trivia. These calendars are posted in and around our department, but to guarantee that it ends up in the hands of the patrons, we staple it onto the first page of BookPage – ensuring that at least 150 people each month will know about our upcoming programs.
We’re accustomed to offering author programs and Nancy has mentioned how to expand your book discussion offerings, but once more unto the breach, dear friends:Some of the “book based” programming we’ve been offering recently are expansions of typical book talks. Some of these have included:Wuthering Bites – which provided inspiration for book club recipes and tastings with related booksTis the Season – the best of seasonal reading (with cookies)Culinary Fiction – best of food fiction with food inspired by the books (not including chocolate pie from The Help).Fifty Shades of Racy Reading – providing “hot” alternative read-alikes, serving chocolate and sparkling apple juice substituting for champagneAround the World in 80 Reads – patrons travel the world with books inspired by the destination stopsYou may have noticed a running theme of food in some of these programs. With apologies to W. P. Kinsella, “If you feed them, they will come.” When you have a program, make sure that any books mentioned or related to the program are prominently displayed nearby.Beyond these programs, we have also advanced beyond our commandA “crime scene” program presented by two Chicago police-officers-turned authorsA book valuation program similar to Antiques Roadshow“Book Notes,” a musical program of songs inspired by literatureThese programs may bring in patrons who are not your typical readers, but it provides the opportunity to show them what you can offer.
Program success is never guaranteed, but as Winston Churchill said, “failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Yes, I have given a program where one person – or once, when no one – showed up. Maybe it was the time the program was given, maybe you were competing with the last game of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Don’t let that discourage you from trying something new.
From the Pikes Peak Library District
Oak Park Public Library’s Idea Box
Leading Readers to Water:
Guerrilla Marketing for RA
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Credit" "Russ" Librarian,
Weapons of Mass Instruction title slide
was the head of Britain’s Secret Service
so you know her Liz Carlyle spy stories
reflect the insider’s view
Start with At Risk.
A bad day for scandal
The Barbary dogs
Can’t Never Tell
Couple gunned down,
news at ten
Death comes silently
F Carl, J
Lee McKinley works in
her aunt’s chocolate
shop in a beach resort in
Michigan. The books
are filled with tasty
chocolate trivia. Start
with The Cholocate Cat
F Penny, L
Inspector Gamache and
his team keep the peace
in Quebec. Their first
case is Still Life. Penny
is frequently called the
new Agatha Christie.
From Your Library…