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The Year of the RA Makeover

Post by Duncan Smith
Posted March 09, 2015 in Readers' Advisory News

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2015 is shaping up to be The Year of the RA Makeover, and here at NoveList, that's what we're all about.

In a recent webinar, we talked about some of the many libraries that are focusing their attention on updating and refreshing one of the most fundamental library services: readers' advisory. The conversation flowed from the WHY these libraries are focusing on RA right now; to the HOW they got staff buy-in; to the WHERE they are in their RA makeover journey.

Robin Nesbitt of the Columbus Metropolitan Library talked about how their RA goal is for patrons to see library staff as *the* go-to resource for reading suggestions. As she said in the webcast, "Hey, let's just talk books!"

When the conversation turned to getting staff buy-in, the Twitter chat really took off. Listeners had a lot to say on this subject! Becky Spratford of the Berwyn Public Library said, "When staff are more confident in their abilities, they want to help more…and all staff has a part in successful RA."

All of the panelists had some excellent ideas and inspiration for any librarian out there, no matter where they are in their RA journey.

As Jackie Parker of the Sno-Isle library system said, "Build from within…leverage the strengths you already have -- your staff! Patrons want to connect…and then you can take it from there." Readers' advisory isn't just about the books; as one Twitter user commented, "I believe that books are the gateway for most patrons into other services. When you start conversations, good things happen."

If you missed the webinar, you can still view the archived version, as well as get access to all the resources mentioned during the webcast.