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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Magazine RA

In the past I have posted about providing readers' advisory service to people who enjoy long-format magazine articles.  Click here for access to those posts.

Helping these readers is difficult because of the dearth of resources, but we have to keep trying because as I saw last week in this post on Book Riot, with the popularity of tablets, the magazine format is thriving.

I can see this in my own reading.  I am a big fan of The New Yorker and have been a regular reader and subscriber for over 15 years.  Before 2011, I would only be able to read them before bed or on vacation, but now with my iPad, I get access to the tablet edition. I am able to find a lot more time to catch up on older issues.  I generally carry 1 paper issue with me in case I have some time to read, but when I have my iPad, I have access to every issue.

The study linked to in Book Riot talks about the increase in readership for all magazines with tablet editions.  More readers means more questions at the RA desk.  This is something we need to think about.

Right now, my only resource to help find readalikes for magazine essay readers is here.  Thankfully, many of these longer essays are turned into books, so we can use traditional RA tools to find readalikes.  Another place I like to point readers is to The Best American Writing series which has many nonfiction essay options, most of which were originally published in magazines in the first place.

What do you do to help these patrons?  Are you seeing more of an interest in the magazine essay at your library? I would say ours has always been a small percentage of our nonfiction RA questions, but I have yet to notice an upswing.  However, in the RA world it is all about anticipating our patrons' needs before they even know to ask.  So let's get ready!

3 comments:

Donna said...

I'm a fan of Atlantic Monthly and enjoy the long articles, but I've never had anyone ask me for a read-alike. Best Non-required Reading sounds like a match to me.

Sarah Elsewhere said...

I read this post on a Wednesday, and then first thing Friday I get this question. Thank you!

Becky said...

You are welcome Sarah. I am glad I could help.