Thanks to a collaboration between Alissa Williams, the Director of Morton Public Library and a grant from RAILS, I am spending all morning at Pekin Public Library. Alissa and I worked to put together a program that will freshen up skills for the area library workers who are most responsible for RA Service. This is going to be a highly interactive training where I not only work with the people in front of me, but also, I am giving them skills and tips to bring back to train their staff.
After I leave at lunchtime, this group is going to keep working-- brainstorming ideas and collaboration opportunities so that they can keep helping each other to serve their leisure readers better. I can’t wait to see what they are able to come up with in the coming months. Oh, but I am getting ahead of myself. Here is the plan for today with links:
August 18, 2016 from 9am-Noon at the Pekin Public Library:
9-10:50 am: RA for All: Readers Advisory belongs in every library, no matter its budget. The implementation of this vital service is the responsibility of every staff member-- from pages to directors, from those behind the scenes to the ones on the front lines. This program will remove the mystery behind providing great RA service. Using her “Ten Rules of Basic RA Service” as a guide, Becky Spratford will use your own love of your favorite books to show you how to help any patron find their next great read. It's not as hard as you think. But more importantly, you will learn why a staff that can harness the power of sharing a great read will become a stronger team and improve service to all patrons. Program follows Becky’s 10 Rules of Basic RA Service
10 Minute Break
11-11:40am: Booktalking: Harnessing the Power of Sharing Books with Patrons: Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons each and every day at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do each and every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to teach. Booktalking is more of an art than a skill, but with the right guidance and some practice, it can go a long way toward engaging your patrons and re-energizing your staff. Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind delivering great book talks, giving you tips and tricks you can begin using right away to hone your own skills. Rediscover the power and joy that comes from sharing books with patrons. SLIDES
11:40-Noon: Wrap Up: Creating Your Own Reader Profile and Brainstorming Session: Becky will help you take what you have learned to craft your own personal reader profile and start you on your first RA journey-- suggesting a good book to a fellow staff member. Becky will also get you started talking to each other about how you can all work together to share the load. Link to form and description of exercise.