Sunday, March 28, 2010
READERS’ ADVISORY TOOLS Challenges
After reading numerous articles, listening and participating in classroom discussions, reading the blogs from classmates and doing the book annotations I have come to learn that readers’ advisory tools are essential to the success of finding a “good book” for our libraries’ patrons. One of the most difficult challenges a librarian faces is finding a “good book” quickly at the reference desk. However, using the following readers’ advisory tools enables us to find the right book at the right time based on the moods of our patrons. Readers’ advisory tools come in many forms: electronically, online commercial databases, websites, and blogs. Another form is print resources: book reviews, articles, specialized reference works, and readers’ advisory books. These resources compile lists of titles and authors, along with lists that describe the appeal factors, summarized plot lines, and suggestions for other similar titles and authors. In addition, there is an often overlooked resource, which is to make use of the knowledge of colleagues. Learning to use the above tools effectively will give us the confidence they need to recommend books based on the needs of patrons’ moods or interests. These tools are beneficial regardless of one’s library size, which is why it is important to share any readers’ advisory tools with colleagues and to have a core collection of readers’ advisory books at the reference desk.