Becky Spratford, readers' advisory specialist and founder of RA for All, presenting at “How to Stay in Top Genre Shape.”

Staying in Top Genre Shape

August 24, 2017

Thirty librarians from across the Chicago area gathered with Booklist editors at the Harold Washington branch of Chicago Public Library August 22 to answer those questions and more at “How to Stay in Top Genre Shape.” At the workshop, led by Booklist RA specialist and founder of RA for All Becky Spratford, attendees learned about the process … Continue reading Staying in Top Genre Shape


Jessica Andrews (as The Force Awakens' Rey) reads The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu, as recommended by the librarians at Emerald City Comicon's Pop-Up Library.

Bringing the Library to the Comic Con

March 7, 2017

Staffed by more than 35 volunteers from 12 library systems around the country, the ECCC Pop-Up Library brought together children’s librarians, teen librarians, academic librarians, and adult services librarians for the common purpose of bringing the library outside its physical space and into a new realm. The Pop-Up Library, open during exhibit hours, offered reading recommendations, research … Continue reading Bringing the Library to the Comic Con


1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness.

Mental Health First Aid

March 1, 2017

Though many library staffers receive physical first aid and CPR training as part of their jobs, mental health first aid training happens far less often. For libraries, however, mental health training can defuse tense situations, provide needed resources, and most importantly, help patrons through crises. Such training is meant “to raise awareness and break down … Continue reading Mental Health First Aid


Kimberly Lopez, readers’ services assistant, and Polli Kenn, readers’ services coordinator, of Lawrence (Kans.) Public Library’s Book Squad.Photos: Heather Kearns

Recommended Reading

September 1, 2016

“We were the first library to explore this really structured form for readers’ advisory,” says Special Projects Director Barry Trott of the “Looking for a Good Book?” program that launched in 2003 and now receives up to 10–15 requests per month. “It makes us feel like [Netflix is] on the right track,” he laughs. The … Continue reading Recommended Reading


"Harnessing Research and Data to Advance Readers' Advisory Services" panel

Improving Readers’ Advisory with Data and Research

June 25, 2016

When you hear the phrase “readers’ advisory,” do you think of the single librarian recommending books to the individual user in the library? The three presenters at “Harnessing Research and Data to Advance Readers’ Advisory Services,” a program sponsored by the Reference and User Services Association at the American Library Association’s 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition, challenged attendees to start thinking about readers’ advisory in a more holistic, aggregate, and data-informed way so that they could better serve their communities.


Ernie Cox

Tween Read-Alouds

March 1, 2016

This scene was one that would make any librarian feel warm and fuzzy. However, with a few swipes and punches of a smartphone, the verdict was in: “not for your grade level.” Mom was doing what schools, and often what libraries as proxies, have trained her to do—think about books in terms of levels. Reading … Continue reading Tween Read-Alouds


Karen Muller

Understanding Diversity

September 21, 2015

Even if we would like, we cannot know every book in our collection; nor is it likely that we will know the reading interests of every patron. How then do we advise those looking for reading suggestions? Crash Course in Readers’ Advisory, by Cynthia Orr, reviews the basics of readers’ advisory services, starting with a … Continue reading Understanding Diversity


MakerBot PrintShop

Apps for That

June 22, 2015

Search Axis with Boopsie Boopsie, a mobile platform-as-a-service provider for more than 4,000 libraries worldwide, has joined forces with digital content, print book, and entertainment product distributor Baker & Taylor to simplify searching for and finding a library’s e-content. The Boopsie mobile app is now integrated with Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 digital media library. … Continue reading Apps for That


Karen Muller

A Celebration of Reading

May 18, 2015

The Mother of All Booklists: The 500 Most Recommended Nonfiction Reads for Ages 3 to 103, by William Patrick Martin, is basically a crowdsourced book list. The author gathered 155 authoritative and influential lists of award-winning books and recommended reading lists from a spectrum of organizations, including parenting groups, state commissions on libraries, libraries, library … Continue reading A Celebration of Reading