Redefining Readers' Advisory in 2011
Course Instructor: Francisca Goldsmith
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
Tuesday April 12, 2011 – Monday May 9, 2011
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community and Infopeople Partners, $150 for all others.
- Are you ready to take your library's readers' advisory services to the cutting edge?
- Does your community include adults who are seeking suggestions for listening or viewing experiences, as well as for what to read next?
- Does your collection offer music, movies, audiobooks, and e-books that offer features and aspects of appeal that aren't available in the traditional print publication of the same material?
- Do you want to encourage and support peer-to-peer readers' advisory while highlighting the library as THE reading place?
Library users, and others in your community who might not yet see the library as a good source of reading, listening and viewing advice, are becoming increasingly format agnostic. Many are finding relevant tips about good titles, performances and customizable publishing, such as e-books, in resources your library can help them to discover and manage. And you can help the library to be recognized as a great gathering point—both physically and virtually—of insightful and exciting suggestions for the post modern reader's next great find.
State of the art advisory service doesn't necessarily need more staff and a bigger materials budget. Instead, it requires the smart use of free tools and motivated and trained staff to facilitate access to multi-format advisory expertise. In this intermediate level Redefining Readers' Advisory in 2011, front line staff who feel comfortable and capable in readers' advisory fundamentals, as well managers responsible for advisory services, will find ways to stretch the library's role as great guides in all formats, utilize peer-to-peer advisory networks, and accord advisory work with appropriate recognition of its rank among your library's service priorities.
Course Description: In this four-week online course, you will
- Explore advisory work with materials in all formats: music, e-books, comics, audiobooks and film, as well as traditional books
- Identify where and how to develop and support peer-to-peer advisory relationships locally and online, through agency collaboration, social media, and staff development
- Review priorities in your materials budget, balancing them against the level of advisory work your community expects the library to facilitate
- Create assessment and evaluation tools to help align your advisory service to community needs and wants
The instructor will provide resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately. During the course, you will be reading course material, and responding to written and discussion assignments. Throughout this course, you will be required to use Twitter and FaceBook. Instructions for registering with Twitter, which can be accessed via the internet on any computer as well as through any smartphone model, will be provided in the first week of the course; you do not need to have a FaceBook account as we will be accessing public pages.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Week 1: Beyond Reading Suggestions: Library Advisory Service in 2011
- Best practices of library readers' advisory work in the 21st century
- Interviewing techniques with listeners and viewers
- Content and delivery systems of leisure reading, viewing and listening
- New methods for providing book talks and other reading promotions
- Week 2: Collaborating for Results
- Collaboration vs. partnership
- Identifying library's role in advising about media types present in the collection
- Developing tailored recommendations for individual community members
- Working with community experts
- Expanding the community to social networks
- Relevance of blogs, Twitter feeds, FaceBook pages, and rss to advisory services
- Using Twitter as a readers' advisor
- Week 3: Ordering Priorities to Best Serve Your Community
- Prioritizing advisory work in your library's mission
- Matching collection budgets to priority level
- Locating review and collection development resources for multimedia (by type)
- Determining when to select popular materials without traditional vetting
- Evaluating resources beyond your library's
- Week 4: Keeping Up and Building Your Service
- Forming leisure opportunities for staff advisory development
- Identifying advisory leaders
- Seeking ongoing input from community experts
- Writing and launching a formal training plan
- Developing an advisory service evaluation tool
- Assessing future development needs to be addressed
Pre-workshop assignment: Before registering for this course, make sure that you have access to a computer where you are permitted to use social networking media, including FaceBook.
Time required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend two hours per week, for a total of eight course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various assignment options and discussion forums. We will try to schedule one online meeting during the course. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone from the library community with an interest in advisory work beyond the traditional fundamentals, and especially active advisory staff and those in the library who design and prioritize advisory work, including managers and trustees.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.
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