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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Becky’s Go-To Best List Archives and My Plea To Use Them More Than Once a Year

Back at the beginning of the month, I presented a webinar for PLA entitled "Sure Bet Bests: Matching Readers With Their “Best”Read.”[link goes to slides].

In the webinar, I talked at length about how my wrap up of the “best”books of the year was going to be different from everyone else’s.

Here are screen shots of slides 3 and 4 to make that point quickly:

Slide access with photo credits
As you can see, I was making a very specific point about using best lists in a different way than we normally do.

While that webinar was to challenge you to continue serving readers with their “best”read all year long, I do not want anyone to think that I do not see the value in compiling as many “best" lists as possible as each year comes to a close. Quite the contrary, I love looking at huge indexes of best lists just as much as all of you.

In fact, is when you look at as many best lists as possible, in one place, that you get to see a truer picture of what is the best. The wider the view, the more voices that are included, the more realistic and useful the outcome.

And, when you can look at not only the current year’s lists, but past ones too, especially the 4-5 most recent years, you do your patrons an even bigger service because now they have access to even more options.

But where to go to easily mine this data, quickly, while an impatient patron is standing in front of you looking for their “best”read, one that is on the shelf and can be taken home to read right now?

As I mentioned in the slide above, my 2 favorite places where many best books lists are indexed are:
Both are wide in scope and have easy and clear access to past year’s lists from the current list. Please treat them each as one more tool in your belt as you help readers....now and six months from now.

If I can teach you one thing in 2016, I hope it is that best books are not something you only read in December.

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