The Downers Grove Public Library sends out a weekly email with lists of new materials, highlights of upcoming programs, and notes about library tools and services. In this week's email is a link to the library's collection of Author Read-A-Likes. DGPL's readers' advisory staff reads a lot of popular fiction and creates many lists to help connect its readers with books they will enjoy while they wait for the books they are requesting.
Currently the library has 48 read-a-like lists, including Nevada Barr, Helen Fielding, Jan Karon, and Carl Hiassen. For really popular authors, like Janet Evanovich and James Patterson, they have two lists.
I like that the staff has varied the headlines on the lists:
If You Enjoy Mary Higgins Clark's Novel's of Suspense, Try One of These ...
While You Are Waiting for the Latest Alexander McCall Smith Book ...
While You Are Waiting for Rosamunde Pilcher's Newest Novel ...
Any librarian can make good use of these lists while doing readers' advisory. Bookmark the web page or put the link into your del.icio.us account. Go to it when you have a reader requesting a book with a waiting list. Tell your reader that you don't want them to go home empty-handed and say "My friends at the Downers Grove Library think you would enjoy ..."
You can also use the lists for book selection. The DGPL Readers' Advisory staff have a good grasp on the current popular fiction market and can help you double-check that you have the authors the public wants.
Finally, subscribe to the DGPL email. I use the nonfiction list to identify new how-to books. You can also see all the new fiction going into the DGPL collection.
Downers Grove is putting out a lot of good information. You should use it.