Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Readers' Advisory Issue of Public Libraries

I was excited to receive the January/February 2010 issue of Public Libraries several weeks ago for obvious reasons. My book Real Lives Revealed is positively reviewed on page 54 (of 56), right after a review of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, 2nd Edition by Joyce Saricks. I am grateful that Ronald Burdick of Cleveland Public Library mentioned my history of the genre of biography with timeline and my appendixes on award-winning biographies, top biographers, and biographies in series. Thank you.

The whole issue of Public Libraries devoted to readers' advisory is full of useful information and ideas. Turn to the very back. Starting on page 55, Vicki Nesting's describes online products to help librarians with readers' advisory. Vicki points out a number of subscription services and free resources to help innovative librarians select and promote books for their clients. Karen Kleckner and Rebecca Vnuk also identify many online resources in their piece on pages 15-18 of the Perspectives Section.

If you are new to booktalking or want to rethink what your library is doing, turn to page 42 for "Booktalk Boot Camp" by Chapple Langemack. She gives a detailed account of how to do it with many examples and suggestions. You'll want to try it yourself after reading her piece.

With a lot of our libraries suffering book budget woes, the absolutely core authors lists for mystery, fantasy, humor, horror, and womens fiction on pages 36-37 are timely. The intent for the lists is help for on the spot readers' advisory librarians who are not strong on all genres, but libraries with gaps in their collections may use them for getting some sure-to-please titles with their scarce dollars.

I personally enjoy reading classic fiction, so I was interested in Brad Hooper's article "Selling the Classics" on pages 26-33. One of his main points is to market them as good reading, not as lofty literature. I was please to see I had read eight of the ten books Brad describes. I should try Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson and The Collected Stories of Isaac Babel.

The whole issue is worth at least skimming. Thumbs up to the editors for this special issue.

1 comment:

Citizen Reader said...

I'd love to be able to read this issue, but I can't access it anywhere. I can't afford ALA dues or a subscription, and ALA and PLA, although they evidently believe in the freedom and availability of information elsewhere, do not have it posted online anywhere (or even a TOC!). Yes, I know they're trying, with, but they're an issue behind.

I would get it from my library, but it's for staff only, and for some reason it's not indexed in any of the very expensive periodical databases my library pays for. VERY disappointing--especially in an age when more people are freelancing, working part-time, and in more non-traditional library settings.