On Friday, I will facilitate a discussion about nonfiction readers' advisory and the role of the Internet at the Unconference before the American Library Association Conference in Chicago. If you are going to attend, here are some questions and statements to consider. Even if you will not be here, weigh in anyway with some comments.
Roles of the Internet in Nonfiction Readers' Advisory
· Tool for Assisting Face-to-Face Client
· Instruction Media for Readers' Advisory Librarian
· The Librarian's Rival for Readers' Advisory
· The Librarian's Platform for Readers' Advisory
· Is there a difference between fiction and nonfiction readers' advisory resources online?
· Are online RA resources easy to use with face-to-face readers?
· In an online world, who are our clients?
· Is the Internet better for indirect readers' advisory?
· Can we enlist our population of readers?
Web Sites and Services with Readers' Advisory Applications
· NoveList Plus
· Reader's Advisor Online
· Barnes and Noble
· Google Books
· chat and text
Nonfiction Readers' Advisory Observations
NoveList Plus has records for 47,157 adult nonfiction titles as of June 6, 2009. 108,604 adult fiction.
NoveList has genre based Recommended Reads: biography and memoir; business writing; current events and politics; food writing; history; humor; nature writing; religion and spirituality; travel writing; true crime.
To find read-a-likes, NoveList searches subjects and broad categories, not appeal factors. If library catalogs were more powerful, they could do as well.
Reader's Advisor Online collects the content of Libraries Unlimited books, few of which are nonfiction.
Reader's Advisory Online Blog and Early Word have lots of nonfiction alerts.
Shelfari genre groups vary in level of response to discussions. Some have growing memberships and active administrators. Some groups seem to duplicate already existing groups.
Librarians Who LibraryThing is the service's most populous group.
LibraryThing groups seem to respond to original discussion queries but rarely comment on the responses.
LibraryThing title records include member ratings. Could they be more reliable than Amazon ratings which can be manipulated by authors and publishers?
Twitter does not seem designed for RA, but users still broadcast requests for book help. Do librarians go to the readers? Is there a good way to harvest these tweets?
NPR Books, New York Times Book Review and Washington Post Book World podcasts lean toward nonfiction.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Public Library does a good job of getting readers to share reviews.
BookLetters and NextReads include customizable emails for nonfiction genre.