How can you keep up with genres or formats you don’t know well? And what about when a patron asks for a recommendation? Here are some great resources (like award lists, recommendation tools, and reviews) to help you build your collection and help patrons find their next read!
The Readers’ Advisory Interview
What do you do when a patron asks for a recommendation? Readers Advisory (RA) is helping leisure readers find their next favorite book (and asking the right questions to get there)!
RA can be active (a conversation with a patron) or passive (a display or booklist), and can include suggestions for and related to non-print materials, such as audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and even video games.
The readers’ advisory interview involves engaging the patron in a conversation that elicits a board set of information about their reading interests and habits. Examples of a couple phrases that may be helpful to use are:
“Tell me about a book you read that you really enjoyed.”
“Tell me the story of the last book you enjoyed.”
The key to successful readers’ advisory services is to have a commitment to serving readers in the library. A responsive attitude and maintaining a neutral stance on the “quality” of an individual’s reading habits will encourage good readers’ advisory interviews. Be aware of popular titles and hot topics, and understand that there are many tools to help you along the way.
The following resources are great for collection development and for readers advisory.
** Highly recommended resource.
Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America.
Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books, recordings, and digital media.
Interface search for Children’s, Middle & Junior High, and Senior High Core Collections that includes reliable guides for collection development and maintenance, curriculum support, readers’ advisory and general reference.
Children’s fiction recommendation resource with read-alikes, discussion guides, reading lists, and more.
Booklists created by members of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association celebrating the Black experience and the Black community.
The best book reviews, readers’ advisory, and collection development guidance from the experts at the American Library Association.
PERMALINK to all issues and articles in BadgerLink.
Search and browse bibliographies of over 50,000 bestselling fiction authors, with the latest books and series information. Great for adult series readers.
Type an author’s name into the map to find other similar authors.
The Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English.
The objectives of the LitMap Project include:
• Promoting Wisconsin authors in a searchable website format;
• Helping Wisconsin localities to recognize their native authors, novelists, poets, journalists, and essayists;
• Celebrating the NCTE centennial by participating in one of their suggested affiliate activities;
• Promoting our Wisconsin affiliate by featuring prominent links to and recognition of WCTE on the literary map website;
• Providing school districts both in Wisconsin and abroad with easy to access information and links to Wisconsin authors.
A project of the IFLS and Wisconsin Valley Library Systems, Starred Reviews provide an excerpt of the reviews that have been deemed worthy of stars by these publications: Booklist (BL), Kirkus (KIR), Publishers Weekly (PW), and School Library Journal (SLJ). There may be some duplication from month to month, as we don’t always catch which titles were featured in other, earlier publications.
We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.
An excellent resource for teachers and librarians in Wisconsin. Films, First Nations booklists by age, maps, games, timelines, and more.
The mission of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press supports that of the Wisconsin Historical Society: to collect, preserve, and share stories about Wisconsin’s past.
The Wisconsin Historical Society published its first book, Volume I of the Wisconsin Historical Collections, in 1855.
The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually selects outstanding books for youth by Wisconsin-connected authors and awards the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, Outstanding Books of the Year, and Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators.
WorldCat.org lets you search the collections of libraries in your community and thousands more around the world. WorldCat grows every day thanks to the efforts of librarians and other information professionals.
Some Common Acronyms Identified
AILA=American Indian Library Association
ALA=American Library Association
ALSC=Association for Library Service to Children
APALA=Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association
ARSL=Association for Rural & Small Libraries
BCALA=Black Caucus American Library Association
CALA=Chinese American Librarians Association
CCBC=Cooperative Children’s Book Center (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
DPI=Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
JCLC=Joint Council of Librarians of Color
NCTE=National Council of Teachers of English
PLA=Public Library Association
REFORMA=The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking
WLA=Wisconsin Library Association
WRLS=Winding Rivers Library System
YALSA=Young Adult Library Services Association
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