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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

New South Wales RA Advisory Group and Evaluating RA Service

I talk about ARRT a lot here on the blog, but that is because I am on the Steering Committee and I want to make sure the work we are doing helps as many of you as possible.

But I also know that ARRT is not the only RA networking group out there. In fact, there is one RA networking group who I have worked with in the past who do amazing work, but I would bet that many of you don’t know about since they are in Australia!

It’s the New South Wales Readers Advisory Group and they have created a wonderful wiki:
This wiki is to provide resources, ideas, and tips for public library staff to use as part of their readers advisory services. It is managed by the New South Wales Readers Advisory Group, however, people from libraries elsewhere are welcome to join.This wiki is about promoting the enjoyment of reading and our library collections.
Using this site they post the videos and slides from their seminars (full disclosure, I was a speaker once; find me), they have this useful RA training page with links to a wide range of materials, and the information about their Read Watch Play program, which was one of the first of it’s kind.  Click through to see more on all of these topics. I promise you, there is at least one [if not 12] new thing you will learn to improve your service to readers with a visit to this site.

But the newest part of the wiki is something I am very excited about. A member of the group, Melanie Mutch contacted me earlier this year as she was developing a set of standards for evaluating RA service.

This is a question I get all of the time-- how do we evaluate if our RA Service is working or not? It is a very tricky question and, honestly, one we will all have to start answering soon. We put staff, money, time, and training into growing and enhancing our service to readers, but are we doing a good job? Should we continue as we have been or do we need to shift our tactics?

I hope together, we can all start diving into the issue of evaluation in 2017, but to get us started as we think about this important and necessary topic, here is the direct link to the page Melanie created with the basics on Evaluating Readers Advisory. And here is a link to a presentation, handouts, and notes Melanie put together. I would like to publicly thank her for allowing me to share them with all of you.

If you have ideas about evaluating your RA Service, please contact me. I would love to share them here on the blog.

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