Today I am jumping back into work after 12 days off. During those 12 days we did a lot, visited family and friends, got all 6 cousins together over multiple days, watched Ms 17 figure out where she wants to apply [early] for college, spent time at the beach, went on boardwalk rides, took multiple ferry trips, and just spent a lot of quality time together as a family without distractions.
While I was completely off work, I did do 2 casual RA conversations with family and 1 straight up professional session with my Aunt where which involved making a list of titles to get at the library and a trip to the stack of paperbacks in the house where a specific title was pulled off the shelf [after I book talked 4 of them], started, and after I was on my way, confirmation was received that it was "a perfect match."
Today also marks the start of my busiest training season. In fact, before my plane took off for home last night, I got an email reminding me that I have a hotel reservation Sunday night. I have spent my first morning back going over the presentations and meetings I have coming up in the next 2 weeks, reaching out to my contacts, and organizing my slides, speaking notes, and agendas for each.
Just about every single one of my appearances involves a discussion about how to overcome the biggest reading fears we and our patron have. I always talk about how to connect with yourself as a reader in order to better understand your patrons as readers, and much of that has to do with understanding your own anxieties and the easy to remove mental roadblocks that stand in our way.
Thus, I was in the perfect frame of mind for Kelly Jensen's post on Book Riot today, "How to Overcome Your Biggest Reading Fears."
Kelly uses her knowledge as a librarian, editor, and professional reader and combines it with her experience as a Yoga teacher and life coach and applies it all to the most common reading fears. Let me tell you this is a must read article both for yourself and to help you to understand your patrons better.
The fears she lists, along with ways to think about and address them are spot on. These are issues I have heard from both library workers across the country and from patrons over and over [and over] again. I get emails from library workers about some of these issues, asking me for help. My friends reach out to me, often with shame because they know what I do for a living, to express these anxieties. I have helped hundreds of people with many of these issues.
So please go read "How to Overcome Your Biggest Reading Fears." Even if you think you have a handle on all of your fears and anxiety [but spoiler, you probably don't because even I struggle with many of these], I know you will definitely encounter patrons with any or all of these over time [I know because I have]. Kelly's thoughts on why readers have these fears and how to rethink them in order to properly address them, will help you to serve your patrons better. You will be able to at least understand how they are seeing things and be able to help them with more empathy, which will only lead to better reading matches.
And isn't that the point of everything we do.
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