First, I have been assigned my first 3 reviews for Booklist. So you will be seeing more of what I think there coming soon. If you want to know what books they are, check out my widget in the right gutter. The not yet released books are the ones I am reviewing (except for Fates and Furies, that one was already reviewed, but I still wanted to read it). What do I think? You will have to wait for the magazine to find that out.
I have also finalized a series of monthly RA related classes from September through December with RAILS. All will be free to RAILS member library staff. I have also given permission for everything to be recorded in case you cannot make it.
Here are the class descriptions. More details will begin appearing on the RAILS CE site soon:
Re-Charge Your Book Club: Webinar, 9/14/15 at 10amReader’s advisor Becky Spratford has been leading book clubs for over 14 years and has seen it all. In this webcast she will share her tips and tricks for success. All book groups go through their ups and downs, but re-energizing your group is not as hard as it may seem. Becky will walk you through how to confidently identify and utilize the best resources for leading a book discussion, pick books that will engender the best conversations, lead a more interactive discussion even with the most jaded of groups. Let her show you how to take control, shake things up, and rediscover why you started the group in the first place.
Book Discussion for Book Discussion Leaders: In-person, 10/6/15 at 2pmLeading a book discussion group is one of the most personally and professionally rewarding things we do at work; however, it is an extremely challenging job too. No one understands this better than Becky Spratford who has been leading book discussions groups for over 14 years. Join her, and a room full of your book discussion colleagues, as we discuss the creepy, historical novel, THE WINTER PEOPLE by Jennifer McMahon. This program will give you the chance to sit back and enjoy being a discussion participant while also offering a forum for sharing questions and practical solutions to the problems and concerns of book group leaders. This training pairs nicely with Re-Charge Your Book Club being presented in September, but it is not a requirement that you attend both sessions.
Demystifying Genre: How To Help Every Type of Reader: Webinar, 11/9/15 at 10amNothing is scarier than trying to help a fan of a genre you yourself don’t enjoy. You want to help that, for example, Romance reader find the perfect book, but you are having trouble knowing where to begin because...eek!... you don’t read Romance. You are afraid they will find out you are a fraud. How can YOU possibly help THEM?!? Never fear, in this program, Readers’ Advisory expert, Becky Spratford, will teach you how to keep your genre knowledge up to date, explain the biggest trends in genre fiction, and share her time tested tricks for working with genre readers. You will leave this webinar with the confidence and skill to help fans of every genre, regardless of whether you have ever read a book in that genre. And that will leave a trail of happy patrons in your wake.
RA for All: The School Library Edition: Webinar, 12/1/15 at 4pmInternational Readers’ Advisory expert Becky Spratford has spent over 15 years serving leisure readers aged 13 and up through local public libraries; however, over the last 7 years she also has volunteered with her local elementary school experimenting with the implementation of public library RA technics in a school library setting. Join Becky for this 90 minute webinar where she shares her successes (and even a few failures), discussing how you can maximize your opportunities for promoting leisure reading. Sometimes it takes an “outside the box” approach to help our students develop a love of reading, but together we can help children feel the life-changing power of finding the perfect “fun” book-- a power that can turn them into life-long readers and learners. And isn’t that why we go into this profession in the first place?
And my last announcement is also an advertisement. I am in the process of creating a brand new, fun and interactive 8 hour in-service day program that will be great for all levels of RA at your public library. I will be doing it for the first time at the City of Camarillo Public Library [CA] in August.
But if you want to get in on this crowd pleasing and extremely useful public library staff training you need to contact me now. My Fall is already filling up, but I am taking bookings from mid-September through May of 2016 right now. Believe it or not, I have one May program already in the works. Contact me for prices.
The best news if that all of this is just a start. There are still exciting things that have not been completely finalized yet. And like the information I have shared above, all of my plans are geared toward allowing me to reach as many of you as possible.
All of you out there working in the trenches with readers deserve the best RA training possible all year long (not just those of you lucky enough to go to conferences). The better your training, the more confident you are, but more importantly, the happier your patrons are.
This is why I left my library job because there is a need out there for someone to provide RA training in a fun and useful manner. So, as one of the country’s RA experts, I stopped complaining that there was no good training, and decided to take it upon myself to provide it. I realize not everyone can make the leap that I did, but for me it was a fortuitous coming together of timing and desire. [I have had the desire to do this for awhile, but until recently, the timing was wrong.]
So this is only the beginning. My goal by next Fall is to have reached as many of you as possible. But I need your help to make this happen. Contact me and we can figure something out. Or contact your library system and have them contact me. I have worked with IL, MA, and ME on multiple months contracts to improve the RA skills of their states' library workers in an efficient way. [Remember, I am also a Public Library Trustee, so I totally get the cost issues.]
And if nothing else, this blog will be here to help you, always.
Now get out there and help someone to find their next good read.