Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library: Third Edition

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"Do you have anything else like this?"

In public libraries, reference librarians are often called on to make recommendations to readers, sometimes in genres that they don't personally read. Learning how to frame a discussion and articulate the appeal of a book, author, or genre marks the essence of a successful readers' advisor.

Readers' advisory is defined as, "patron-oriented library service for adult leisure readers," according to Saricks, a noted expert on the subject. In the completely revised third edition of Readers' Advisory Service for Public Libraries, Saricks updates this critically acclaimed how-to guide, making it more helpful than ever. As reference librarians seek support in guiding adult readers, they've come to trust this authoritative resource.

It has been expanded and improved with:

  • Easy ways to create "read alike" lists, identifying what else is "like" a favorite book
  • Practical guidelines for conducting the advisory interview so it's a comfortable exchange
  • Confidence-boosting tactics for drawing on reviews to make recommendations
  • Methods for incorporating nonfiction into the discussion
  • More resources and online tools

Using the proven strategies in this newly updated, back-to-basics overview, librarians providing readers' advisory services will find the answers they need to help customers make appropriate choices.

List of Figures vii
Preface ix
Acknowledgments xi
1 A History and Introduction 1
2 Reference Sources 14
3 Articulating a Book's Appeal 40
4 The Readers' Advisory Interview 74
5 Background for Readers' Advisors 104
6 Promoting and Marketing Readers' Advisory
Collections and Services 136
7 Training 161

1 Popular Fiction List 181
2 Popular Nonfiction List 185
3 Sure Bets 188
4 A NoveList Author Readalike 191
Bibliography 195
Author Index 199

Subject Index 201

Joyce G. Saricks

From 1977 until her retirement in 2004, Joyce Saricks worked at the Downers Grove Public Library and developed and directed the readers’ advisory department which involved working with fiction readers and books. She is the author of three books: Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library, The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, and Read On: Audiobooks. In her retirement she taught Readers’ Advisory at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, served as Audio Editor for Booklist, and consulted for Ebsco’s NoveList. She has presented workshops on readers' advisory for public libraries and library systems across the US and abroad and has spoken at state, regional, and national library conferences. She won the Public Librarian Association’s Allie Beth Martin Award in 1989, was named Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America in 2000, and won the Reference and User Services Association’s Margaret Monroe Award in 2011.