I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information including RA for All's EDI Statement.

Friday, August 11, 2017

RA for All Roadshow Goes to Coal City

As summer reading programs begin to end, my schedule of live events starts to ramp back up. To see where I have been recently and where I am going soon, click here.

Today, I will be at Coal City [IL] High School speaking to a group of 150+ library workers from all over that area. This is a multi-type, regional library training. I am excited not only to work with some of my area colleagues, but I also am excited for these library workers to all get to meet and mingle with each other.

I want to thank Coal City [IL]Public Library District Director, Jolene Franciskovich for inviting me, but I also want to applaud her for getting so many people together. The learning will be enhanced because we will have so many different people together, plus they can use this meeting as a spring board toward even more collaboration. And collaboration between libraries, especially when multiple public and school ones work together, is always a boon to patron service. More hands= less work for each person, and a higher output of service. A nice side effect is that it also keeps staff engaged and happy. So bravo Jolene. I hope others use this post as an example to try to get their own regional training scheduled [whether or not you hire me to lead it]

Now for the specifics and links for today’s presentation.

9-10:30 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.

10 Minute Break
10:40-11:40am: 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.

5 Minute Break
11:45-12:50: RA Rethink: The Displays Edition: Becky Spratford brings the display portion of her popular “RA Rethink” series to you. In this presentation Becky will show you how to “rethink” your displays to make them more engaging for patrons without increasing your workload; in fact, she will help you to create better displays in half the time. While Becky will provide many examples and suggestions, this training will be highly interactive. Participation is expected with the goal of you leaving the session with a few display ideas all set and ready to be put out immediately. This talk will also include-- 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.

12:50-1: Questions and Wrap Up

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