A good offense is your best defense. We want all staff to feel part of this service, and paraprofessionals rarely get training in this service.
Reader’s Advisory is a conversation. We suggest and don’t recommend. It’s not about our list, but their needs.
We always should sugget more than one title.
It’s a judgment-free zone. We need to keep our opinions to ourselves. There is no right answer, because this isn’t reference.
Questions to Get You Started:
Tell me about the a book you enjoyed
Tell me about a book you hated
Who are your favorite atuhors?
What kind of book are you in the mood for? Do you like books with ___or do you prefer ___?
Tell me about a TV show or movide you enjoyed…
You also need to consider: Pacing, Mood, Genre, Format
Also important is to know what you know...and what you don’t know, too! One woman talked about how she didn’t read romance, but her co-worker did. It’s important to know who knows what on your staff. We love reading, so it's important to find out who knows what they know.
How to Read a Book in 5 Minutes: (great for front desk staff)
Jacket Blurbs (who wrote these? This can tell you about quality)
Font Size (how much white space? Is it physically readable?)
Read a few pages (read the first chapter if you can)
Identify appeal characteristics (does it capture your audience? Fast paced or leisurely paced?)
Writing style (is it lush or with short sentences?)
How to Listen to a Book in 5 Minutes?:
Length (some are over 20 hours)
Listen to a few tracks
Identify appeal characteristics
Extras: Sound affects? Music?
@ Your Fingertips:
- Printable tips of popular authors at the front desk
- Also Writing As (AKA)
- Best bets or Top 5 Go-To Books
- Using the Catalog to Your Advantage (make sure your staff know what is not obvious, including the nuances of your OPAC)
Websites and Resources for Training: (easy to Google)
Based on the Book
Juvenile Sequels and Series (great for kids/teens who don't want to wait)
Booklist Online (archives its book reviews by author and title)
Lit Lovers (great for book group members and they can get discussion guides)
Fiction-L Booklists (very specific, look by setting, character, etc. Worth subscribing!)
Which Book (website where you can use sliders for appeal factors. Slow or fast-paced, etc. Gives an ideas of fun books to read. Very fun!)
Books that were popular a few years ago, might not be. It's difficult, but keep notes of things you are seeing. Journals, social media, other staff, and book recommendation databases (NoveList) are great resources.
Pen and Paper (old fashion, but still popular
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