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

Joyce G. Saricks worked as coordinator of the Literature and Audio Services Department at the Downers Grove Public Library from 1983 to 2004. In addition to authoring Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library (3rd ed., ALA, 2005), she has written numerous articles on readers' advisory, presented workshops on that topic for public libraries and library systems, and spoken at state, regional, and national library conferences. In 1989 she won the Public Library Association's Allie Beth Martin Award, and in 2000 she was named Librarian of the Year by the Romance Writers of America. Currently she serves as read-alike coordinator (and author) for EBSCO's NoveList and columnist and audio reviewer for Booklist. She also teaches readers' advisory at Dominican University's School of Library and Information Science (Illinois).