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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RA Service Assessment: Step 2-- Assess Your Staff and Patrons

A few weeks back I wrote the first in what is a planned series of posts on assessing your RA services to leisure readers.

In that first post, I wrote abut assessing your own reader profile.

Today, I want to talk to you about step two of the assessment process, a step I have worked with NoveList to start implementing.

In Step 2 we are asking you to assess your patrons and their needs and weigh that against your staff and their strengths and weaknesses.

You can use this link to access NoveList's survey which leads you through this 5 minute assessment process. And I am serious about the 5 minutes.  You do not need to over think it. Just go with your gut. The survey has been through a few drafts and has been test driven by librarians all over the country.

The great news about this step of the assessment plan is that I have a video where I am part of a team who walks you through interrupting the information you receive from the survey and putting it into action steps.

As it was posted today in Booklist Online' Corner Shelf Newsletter:

Whether you have a dedicated readers'-advisory staff or not, you may find that your library experiences some of the same woes common to many libraries. How do you best capture the attention of your patrons? Is your staff up to speed on books and authors? We've got the cure for your RA blues. The August 2015 session of "RA Conversations," "Readers' Advisory Prescription," featured Rebecca Vnuk, NoveList's Duncan Smith, and librarian blogger Becky Spratford discussing recent research regarding public library patrons and their reading habits. The trio then talks about applying what libraries can learn from the "NoveList RA Diagnosis," and, using a real-life library patient, dispenses practical advice and solutions to common readers'-advisory ailments. You can view the session right here
Watch the video [also embedded below] where Duncan explains the process and research behind the creation of this assessment, followed by me breaking down a specific library's results, showing you how to quickly improve your RA Service by simply merging what you know about your patrons with what you know about the staff that will be helping them.

Now, truth be told, if you take the survey, you will realize that there are still more steps to come.  Ah, do not fear, I have you covered. I have 2 more steps in the works and more to come after that. In fact, I have created a new easy access archive of all of the RA Service Assessment posts here.

If you have questions after completing the survey and watching me explain how to use your results in the video, feel free to contact me. But until then, give it a try.

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