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Friday, July 7, 2017

7 Useful RA Websites via 5 Minute Librarian and How to Use This Site For Staff Training Overall

Click here to access the full post
One of my favorite places on the web for quick, no nonsense, and extremely useful advice on being a public librarian is the site 5 Minute Librarian.

You should head over to the site and look at everything they publish-- seriously it all helpful, but today in particular, Jess has this post on 7 Useful RA Websites.

Today’s post is a perfect example of why I love this site [and it is not just because today’s post has an RA focus]. Not only do they give you lists, the women behind this site also explain the how and why of the lists they are giving you. So they tell you to use, for example, NoveList, but they also tell you how it can help you even if you don’t have a subscription.

Here’s a preview:
Many library catalogs are connected to Goodreads, LibraryThing or NoveList to provide additional information and recommendations. If your catalog does not, check your surrounding library networks to see if they offer this service. When doing RA, use their catalog instead to utilize these useful tools! (For example, C/W MARS is connected to NoveList, so below each title is the list of books in the series and recommendations based on titles, authors, and other series. You can't click on the title for more info without an account to NoveList, but you'll get a good start. They also include what awards the book has won and full text reviews.)
You can do this same thing by accessing my home library’s catalog. You do not need a login to get the information.  Click here and then click on the first record. Wait a moment and the NoveList info will load.

5 Minute Librarian stands behind their mission. Click here today and you will learn, very quickly, some extremely useful information about how to better help your leisure readers, but click tomorrow and you will learn something else. Click anytime and peruse the backlist of useful posts organized by broad topics.

Seriously, this is one of those sites you should keep bookmarked for your staff. You can even assign people a post, encourage them to read it, practice what it says, and then have them turn around and teach it to the rest of the staff. This is a great team building and staff training exercise. The posts are easy to follow and pay off in tangible outcomes. Anyone can learn something new from this site, but it is when we empower staff to learn something new AND pass it on to co-workers that we engage everyone in learning. When everyone is engaged in improving their service to patrons, the entire library and the community reaps the benefits.

Give it a try.

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