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Monday, August 17, 2015

New Book Suggestion Podcast from Book Riot As a Unique RA Training Resource

Get Booked is a brand new podcast from Book Riot and it is perfect for all of you who provide RA service.  Here is their description of what they are going to do:
"We’ve got a new podcast coming your way! Get Booked will be a biweekly write-in show for personalized book recommendations, whether they’re for you, your great Aunt Sally, or anyone else in your life! Want to know what to read to fill the Harry Potter void? We’re here for you. Need a bookish gift for your dad? On it. Want a list of excellent romance novels for your book club? I’ve got your back. I’ll be hosting the show, and each week I’ll have a new guest host to help me."Click through to the Book Riot site here to listen to episode 0. You can also send in your request for a book recommendation with a form on that same page.

Normally I am not impressed by non-librarian book recommendation sites, but this is Book Riot. They have former librarians working for them. They understand the concept and principles of suggesting books to readers from our perspective.

But I am taking the time to write a blog post about this new podcast for reasons beyond simply letting you know it exists [which is a good enough reason].  I also want to point out the training opportunities this podcast will provide.

Here is your chance to listen to someone else work with a reader.  You can learn by listening to how they take a reader's preferences and turn them into suggestions.  Episode 0 already showcases how the same request can lead to 2 different suggestions. 

I often praise the benefits of using Goodreads or Amazon reviews [especially the 1 and 5 star reviews] as a way to see actual reader comments and learn why someone may love or hate a book, but up until now, there has not been a way to listen to RA questions being answered. We can all learn a lot by observing others working with readers.

In fact, this is a major flaw in all RA training.  I spend all of this time giving you tips and advice on how to help your readers, but very few of you can actually observe me helping a reader.  A lot of what I am trying to show you is only learned by watching me [or another RA expert] in action. Well, here is a chance to fill in this training gap right now! I for one am very excited about the training implications here.

I have an idea. After helping a patron, why not also submit his or her inquiry (with his or her permission) to the Get Booked site? Then you could see what other suggestions Book Riot comes up with.

So, I would like to encourage all of you to subscribe and listen. You really owe it to your patrons.  I am also going to look into ways that I can work this kind of training into my presentations too.  We need more opportunities and examples of people providing RA in response to an actual question; more opportunities to observe each other in action; more opportunities to improve our services to leisure readers.

1 comment:

megan said...

This was fun! And I think the fact that the two hosts came up with such completely different responses (and both great picks!) gives us all a lesson that bears repeating. There are no right answers. Come armed with some tasty titles, listen to the patron and you'll find something that sticks.