Laura began speaking about Staff RA groups. She introduced the panelists. Laura said she likes historical fiction. Louise likes mystery and her favorite book is “Bridget Jones’ Diary.” Beth said her favorite book is “Stones for the River.” She also likes Cary Grant movies. Pat said she likes The Thorn Birds. Louise said her favorite book is “Running with Scissors” and “Prince of Tides.”
In Readers’ Advisory, it doesn’t matter if it’s TV, books or movies. They did this as an interview style.
Jackie: They started their RA program in 2012-13. She uses “what is the red flag?” For some people, language can be the red flag. They have everyone read the same big and then select from the next sub genre. They use tools like Novelist and read-alikes.
Beth said her staff attended some training and her staff met 5 days throughout the year. They really focused on Romance. They talked about the appeal factors, speed reading and writing annotations. They would practice doing RA and working on these tools. They also did teambuilding within the departments.
One said everyone in her department does RA. They meet once a month, and it’s part of their Reference meeting. They do Beach Reads every year, which they film for their cable access studio.
Pat said she joined her staff RA group because it changed the dynamic within their staff. They are compartmentalized. They started looking at each other differently. They realized that some people had expertise in areas, especially those who didn’t always speak up at staff meetings.
Louise said for them it boosted morale. They tend to recommend three books to one another. Knowing another staff person’s specialty can be very helpful. Sometimes it helps us understand what we like to read and why.
Laura asked the group to sources they use either to increase their own skill set or to help patrons.
- Author websites
- http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/ for mysteries
Laura asked what they do for the public:
- Fireside chats with patrons
- RAQ - brief form for people and they will give patrons a few recommendations within X days’ time. They work on this as a group. If they have a suggestion overflow, they save the responses. They can also save suggestions if patrons come back with the same question. This allows staff to take their time with it.
- RA at the desk
- Going out to nursing homes
- Watch the movie (only) or talk about the author
- Darien Library does a Staff Reads blog - they write a little blurb or list it in a blog post.
Then they opened up the discussion for questions.
Someone asked about annotations. In the book? Or a skill set and a way to do book talks?
- Notes, publisher, pages (some people don’t want a long book), characters, quick pace or slow pace