Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Fresh Approach to Reader's Advisory

Nancy Pearl presented a fresh approach to Reader's Advisory to many of us in this afternoon's session. She shared that we all enter books through four different doorways; story, character, setting, and language.

Important points to remember when doing RA:

  • "It's not about you!"
  • You don't have to have loved a book or even read it to suggest it to a patron. In fact it's okay if you hated the book.
  • Ask patron to tell you about a book that they liked. In 30-45 seconds you can determine what doorway (story, character, setting, or language) the patron entered through.
  • Give the patron three books. One that is very similar, one that is closely related, and finally one that is a bit of a stretch; from a different section of the library even. They shoud share the same doorway.
  • Remember that mood can affect patron preferences. Ask "What are you in the mood for today?"

The other point that Nancy brought home to me today was that while the newly published books get the prime real estate, "a new book is any book that the patron hasn't read."

Personally, I find that I enter books most often through the character and language doorways. Sometimes when I haven't read fiction in a while a good story can grab me too. One of my recent favorites was Life of Pi by Yann Martel (character).

What doorway do you enter books through most often? What have been some of your recent favorites? Post in the comments.

Catherine McMullen, Bozeman Public Library,

No comments: