The Chicago Reader is Chicago's largest free weekly newspaper, nationally recognized as a leader in the alternative press. Since 1971, the Reader has served as Chicago's political conscience, cultural guide, and music authority. With a highly targeted-circulation of 90,000 and a consistent return rate of less than 2%, the Chicago Reader is the city's most essential alternative media resource. Known for its in-depth coverage of Chicago politics and culture, the Reader explores and exposes news, events and issues that affect city living. The paper has won numerous journalistic awards and honors, both local and national, and is well-known as a showcase for Chicago's most talented writers, critics, photographers, and illustrators. With a readership of 450,000 and some of the industry's lowest advertising rates, the Chicago Reader is one of the largest and most successful alternative weeklies in the country.Thankfully, the BPL is close enough to Chicago that we get weekly delivery of The Reader every Thursday. We have patrons who make a special trip to get their weekly copy from our lobby stand. Some weeks, I am grabbing one of the last copies when I come in Friday mornings.
Well, today is the best Thursday of the year for readers’ advisors because this week marks the annual release of The Reader’s Fiction Issue! Click here to read the three winning “coming of age” stories.
I am pointing this out today both to showcase some new fiction voices, but also to remind all of you, no matter where you live, there is probably an alternative paper or magazine near you that is publishing new fiction, focusing on your local book scene, or doing something reading related.
Are you aware of them? Do you offer their publications at your library? Could you contact them to do some programming together? Bring authors in? Bring editors in to talk about the local arts scene? What could you be doing together?
Get out there and find out who is covering book news in your area and insert yourself into their conversations because you are the local book expert. [Click here for my presentation on that topic.]
In the meantime, you can read The Reader’s Fiction Issue.