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, June 7, 2019

Come See Me Moderate "Give Them What They Want: Reader-Focused Collection Development" at ALA Annual

We are getting close to ALA Annual in DC and I have some news for everyone reading this. I am moderating a panel for the RUSA CODES RA Research and Trends Committee. And....it is also going to be one of the panels that will be officially audio recorded by ALA and made available to all. This mean, every single one of you can attend virtually [at some point after the event at least].

First, here is the basic info:
Give Them What They Want: Reader-Focused Collection Development

Saturday, June 222:30 PM - 3:30 PM Location: Washington Convention Center, 143A 

Readers are flocking to library’s leisure collections. To make smart collection choices, we must look further than circulation statistics and learn what our entire community desires. Our presenters are using methods suitable at libraries of any size to incorporate patron wishes into collection development, making readers integral to the whole process. 
From complex patron-driven acquisitions plans at large library systems, to bite-size surveys at the smallest libraries, to prioritizing patron requests, to canny materials displays, all of these librarians are finding innovative ways to put what readers want front and center, and to ferret out even the hardest-to-discover reading desires.
This panel is a continuation of the Email Convo our committee had back at the end of April. You can click here to read the notes from that conversation. [Thanks to co-chair Magan Szwarek for getting those put together.]

We are very excited to continue the conversation in DC.  Here is the inside scoop [since I am the moderator] not only on the panelists [which obviously you can see on the website for the conference] but also on what they are going to specifically address.

I have asked each panelist to talk about how they put the reader first in their work at their libraries and within the context of their speciality. We have worked very hard to have an inclusive group who work across the full spectrum of public libraries.

First, will be our tag team of Polli Kenn, Readers' Services Coordinator and William Ottens Cataloging & Collection Development Coordinator both from Lawrence Public Library [KS]. Polli and William are from a mid-sized, single branch library. Their departments work very closely to make make sure that patrons' get what they want. Since many libraries have separation between the public who serve the readers and those who order the materials, we have asked them to talk about how their work informs the work of the other department and then how that work becomes a collection that serves their public.

Second, we have Jennifer Rothschild, Collection Engagement Librarian, Arlington Public Library [VA]. Jennie comes from a large, multi-branch library system. She is going to talk about floating collections and how they put the reader first. Jennie has experience in Children's and Adult collection development also.

Third, immediately following Jennie we have a representative from our smallest library, Rebecca Bartlett, the Collection Services Manager at the La Grange Public Library [IL] which serves just over 15,000 people in the suburbs outside of Chicago. Despite the small size of her library, Rebecca has become a national expert in crafting collection development plans that put the reader first. She will talk about her process and how everyone can do it, no matter the size of their library.

And finally, Annabelle Mortensen, the Access Services Manager at Skokie Public Library [IL], will be speaking about how Skokie consciously crafts diverse and inclusive collections and how their patrons love it.

Each presenter will have 10 minutes for their topic, but then we have taken the 2 biggest issues that came out of the email convo, which are not being explicitly covered above, and I currently have the committee working on answers. Those issues are:
  1. Clearly the thing people want to know about the most from our last email convo is adding independent presses and self published titles [especially with no professional reviews]. Also e-only and audible only. How do we handle these less traditional items? 
  2. What about the collection needs of people who don’t routinely use the library -- do we think they might come if we had more resources to meet their needs? Any suggestions for strategies to find what these needs might be? 
This plan also leaves time for audience questions, so if you have some and will be there, please ask. But only questions please; I will not allow comments about what you do at your library in this Q & A section of the panel. However, we will all be available after to have those conversations. Also, if you are not going to make it to ALA, please leave a question in the comments here and I will get to them if we can. Since it is being recorded, you will be able to hear your question and answer. 

If I cannot get to every question, I will bring them up with the entire committee, we will craft a response for you, and I will post it on the blog with the recording, which by the way could take a bit of time as history has shown.

Finally, the committee, RUSA CODES Readers' Advisory Research and Trends is looking for new members. My term is coming to an end and I am not re-upping due to other work commitments [like writing a new edition of the horror book], but if you are interested in volunteering for this committee, or any other RUSA CODES committees, click here for details.

It's a wonderful committee that meets virtually once a month. And I can tell you that while I am moderating this panel, we all worked on this program together. In fact, I am the back-up moderator because our first moderator isn't coming to ALA Annual. There will be a few other committee members in the audience helping me out. Please come say hi to us after.

No comments: