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, December 9, 2016

RA for All Roadshow Visits the Kokomo-Howard County [IN] Public Library for an All Staff Development Day

Yesterday I was also at the KHCPL, but I was speaking to library workers who lead book clubs from KHCPL and the surrounding area.  It was a meeting of the book discussion leader minds.

Today, the entire KHCPL system is closed for staff development [as this screen shot I took off their website clearly says].

I will be presenting the Keynote and two break out sessions for KHCPL today.  Below you can find the schedule and the links to all of the slides.

Before I get to that though, I just wanted to mention that today marks my final programs of the year.  Thanks to everyone who had me out to their library or meeting in 2016 and also thanks to all of you who have already booked me for 2017.

Soon, I will have a year end post about how my first full year as a professional trainer went, along with information about the most useful and popular programs. In the meantime, to see where I have been, where I am going, and the types of programs I provide please go to my Recent and Upcoming Presentations page.

But we still have today. Here is the schedule and slides...
  • 10:30-Noon Keynote/Training for ALL KHCPL Staff
    • 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.
  • 1-1:50 Breakout Session #1
    • Demystifying Genre: How To Help Every Type of Reader: Nothing is scarier than trying to help a fan of a genre you yourself don’t enjoy. You want to help that, for example, Romance reader find the perfect book, but you are having trouble knowing where to begin because...eek!... you don’t read Romance. You are afraid they will find out you are a fraud. How can YOU possibly help THEM?!? Never fear, in this program, Readers’ Advisory expert, Becky Spratford, will teach you how to keep your genre knowledge up to date, explain the biggest trends in genre fiction, and share her time tested tricks for working with genre readers. You will leave this webinar with the confidence and skill to help fans of every genre, regardless of whether you have ever read a book in that genre. And that will leave a trail of happy patrons in your wake.
  • December 9, 2-2:50 Breakout Session #2
    • Booktalking: Harnessing the Power of Sharing Books with PatronsBooktalking 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.
    • SLIDES


Anonymous said...


May I ask a difficulty (and off-topic) question? At a discussion of Me Before You, a member started talking about her inability to read a book about a person in a wheelchair because it reminded her of her husband leaving her. I want to be supportive but I was quite embarrassed. I think your idea about having a contract (in this case, to agree to read the book); are there any specific, tactful words I can say to end remarks like this or tactful words I can use to discourage them in the future. I want to be supportive but keep things from getting derailed ..
Thanks --

Becky said...

Great question. In this case I would step in immediately and acknowledge that a good writer can draw us in and find something in our lives to relate to the book always. But if we get too caught up in our hyper personal response the discussion will not be for everyone.

Thank her for sharing and then steer the conversation to more a more general topic. But you can springboard off of her super personal response if you want by asking others if the book made them also have a more visceral response than they expected.

In general when things get embarrassingly personal it is best to validate that person quickly and steer the conversation to more general territory.

I hope this helps.