May 1, 2020
Lucy M. Lockley is the 2020 winner of the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award for her positive contributions to the profession and her library. Lucy serves as Lead Collection Development Librarian at the St. Charles City-County Library (MO). SCCLD is a 12-branch suburban system that serves a (growing) population of 395,245 and is just on the other side of the Missouri River from St. Louis.
Lucy is affectionately known to her colleagues and family as the RAT Queen — and that's for Readers' Advisory Training. For 12 years, Lucy ran genre trainings in which everyone would read the same book, then meet and have a discussion. Everyone would then read a second title different from everyone else but within the same genre, and then get together again to give book talks.
She's now part of the Library University team training — which offers all kinds of training for the staff of St. Charles. Lucy, of course, covers Readers' Advisory and coteaches an intro to RA class, which deals with active and passive RA, genres (what's the difference between sci-fi and fantasy?), reader groups (kids, teens, adults), how to use NoveList (and everyone gets a copy of The Secret Language of Books).
"You want to listen to them, and you're listening for appeal factors. You're listening for clues which, in essence, are appeal factors. You pay attention to what they're saying and why it is they like the book because You may like it, and they may like it, but you both may like for totally different reasons, and you need to pay attention to that."
In these new and uncertain times when libraries find themselves serving patrons from afar, Lucy and her team have been finding new ways to serve up reading recommendations (and she reminded me that necessity is the mother of invention).
"Our library staff have been amazing in coming up with (new) ways for us to reach out to our customers with virtual classes, book discussions, etc. We're even doing virtual RA via the library's Facebook page (Yipee!) and just opened up our online RA 'We recommend' form to the public; it had been on hold until our new website was available but no longer! So ... two of my long time RA wishes have finally come true! Imagine a [virtual fist pump!] here."
Other socially distant efforts at SCCCLD include St. Charles Reads, an inaugural reading event to bring the community together, for which they are reading How to Bake Everything by Mark Bittman (You can follow along with #SCCReads). Additionally, you can check out, "What should I read? LIVE!" on Facebook. So far, Lucy and the team have held two virtual RA session on Facebook. The next session will happen in May, so keep your eyes out, and pop in and say hi (and congratulations!) to Lucy!
Check out how some other libraries are doing form-based readers advisory here.
Lucy Lockley is currently reading The Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry and listening to Slayer by Kiersten White.