I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Becky’s RA Training Tips For a Great 2015: Part 4 of 4-- Spend Time With Colleagues

To wrap up this beginning of the year pep talk meant to get you excited about increasing and enhancing your RA skills, I have the most social idea of the week-- Spend Time With Your Colleagues. Yes, I am telling you to hang out with your library friends while getting paid for it!

The posts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, although all good continuing education tips are mostly solitary activities.  You can learn a lot on your own, but you ALWAYS learn more by taking your solid base of knowledge and pooling it with the knowledge of others.

Find time to get together with like minded folks and talk about books, RA, and working with patrons together.

Readers of this blog know that I am on the Steering Committee for the Adult Reading Round Table, the oldest organized group of RA librarians in the country. I know I am lucky to live in the Chicago area so that I can be a part of it, but just because you don't live near me doesn't mean you can't meet up with colleagues too.

Most library systems or consortia have networking groups that get together on a variety of topics. Click here to see the breadth of offerings by my library system. Why not start one for those of you who work with leisure readers?  You can even begin your meetings by trying out one of the training tips from this week of posts and talk about your experiences, challenges, and successes together.

If you cannot get together physically with other librarians, start a regional listserv. Or join the well established community on Fiction-L and participate in the rich discussions that have been going on there for years. Fiction-L has a fantastic archive too.

But if these ideas are unworkable for your situation, meetings like the BPL's Book Lover's Club are a great option.  From our website:
 On the last Tuesday of odd numbered months the Book Lovers Club meets atOlive or Twist ( 6906 Windsor Ave, Berwyn) at 7pm.  We don’t discuss one book, but lots of titles! Participants come each month to talk about what they have read and loved, then mingle and chat with other book lovers. This eclectic martini bar offers a refreshing backdrop to thoughtful literary conversations.
It’s social networking for book lovers, but the old fashioned way…in person.
I love the community of book talking we have created with the Book Lover's Club.  We are all sharing our favorite reads and talking about books, authors, readalikes, and even publishing trends. These meetings are fun, useful, and professionally fulfilling for me.

No matter how you decide to engage with and share ideas with fellow RA librarians and/or book lovers from any walk of life, it is a key part of becoming better at serving leisure readers. In a vacuum you can only learn so much. Pooled together, our knowledge, ideas, and experiences can enrich our patrons' lives, connect more people with the perfect book, and pass on a lifelong love of reading.

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