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Librarians know all about recommending "good" books, right?

  • Can you suggest some mystery writers who have Asian American detectives in their books?
  • Do you have any really funny novels for teenagers?
  • Which novels can I read to learn about being a hidden child during the Holocaust?
  • What would be a good book for me to read while I'm waiting for my hold on a copy of the latest Oprah Book Club selection?

While it's certainly true that readers visit the library in person and online seeking recommendations of great books, read-alikes, book club possibilities, and other literary choices, it's a fact that reader's advisory questions are among those most feared and often poorly handled by many librarians. Reader's advisory work requires good reference interviewing skills and familiarity with a broad range of tools to identify available new and older books. The Internet—including personal, professional, and commercial websites, free and subscription databases, electronic lists, and your library's website—is a powerful tool for helping the librarian help the reader to find the book that best suits an immediate interest and need.

Workshop Description: This half-day hands-on workshop teaches participants to recognize a reader's advisory question, exposes them to the variety of reader's advisory tools available free online, and reveals secrets for figuring out what readers are going to want to read next.

Highlights: Using discussion, a bookmark file, exercises, and a packet of handouts, the workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Commercial websites and free databases
  • Genre-specific sites
  • Reader-driven peer advice
  • Library/librarian-created sites
  • Expert guidance to read-alikes
  • Advice for special reader populations
  • Resources provided by other experts
  • Academic sites
  • Professional organization discussion groups
  • Popular local reading generators [Oprah, The New York Times, or ?]
  • Authors and celebrities
  • Reading groups

Workshop Instructor: Francisca Goldsmith