COUPON CODE!

Get $5 off your pre-order of THE READER'S ADVISORY GUIDE TO HORROR THIRD EDITION. Click here and enter RAGH21 at checkout. Works with your ALA Member Discount also.

RA FOR ALL...THE ROAD SHOW!

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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Best Books 2021: Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books and Insert Your Library Here

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2021" series you can use the best lists tag

Yesterday, I mentioned how I do not post every single best list here, rather I focus on those that will help you the most. Well today I have an example of a list you can both use to help patrons AND to inspire you to make a similar list for your library.

Library generated best lists are one of your best end of year tools, especially when you use the largest library near your physical location as a guide. Why? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Library generated best lists reflect the opinions of actual staff and readers. What did staff most enjoy and what was popular? It is not just critical acclaim or sales data. Remember bestselling mainstays like Daniel Silva, Louise Penny, and Colson Whitehead were extremely popular in libraries well before they became household names. Library workers and patrons often know what is popular and good long before the rest of the world catches up.
  2. Library generated best lists take into consideration all ages of readers because they serve all ages of readers.
  3. Library generated best lists always have genre choices because library workers know patrons love genre-- especially Romance and Crime Fiction.
  4. Library generated best lists ALWAYS consider local or regional authors which is why I advocate for you to prioritize using the best list from the library in the largest city closest to you [in the same state if possible]. 
  5. Library generated best lists are not commercial in anyway. There are no publishers submitting books to their sites. No one is buying ads to be include. There are no links to encourage those using the list to buy the titles. 

I could go on, but you get the point.

Click here to enter the site.
I am very lucky that my local large library system is the Chicago Public Library [there is a great branch 5 miles from my house, 2 turns to get there!] whose annual BEST OF THE BEST BOOKS is one of the best library generated best lists available anywhere. You all should use it.

From the BEST OF THE BEST landing page:

Chicago Public Library recommends the Best of the Best, our selections of the very best books published in 2021. Every year, our librarians evaluate the year’s new books and select the very best for Chicagoans — making these the only booklists for Chicago, by Chicago. Happy reading!
The list goes on the have books for Adults, Teens, Kids [down to birth] and this amazingly easy backlist access right at the bottom of the main page:

Past Best of the Best Selections

Everyone everywhere can and should use this resource to help patrons, but I also want you to use this list as an inspiration to create your own best of the best. As CPL says about their lists [above], "making these the only booklists for Chicago, by Chicago. "

Yes, your library is not as large as CPL, but you easily can do a version for your community by your community. And you most definitely should NOT go at it alone. Get the entire staff involved.

Now I know you are thinking: "Becky, I am so overworked already. I do not have time to organize this."

Ahh, but you don't have to do much. Also, you should not try to emulate CPL, but rather make it your own. And I would suggest NOT limiting to titles that came out in 2021 or you will have less buy in.

Here is how you begin to create your "Favorite Reads of 2021" list at your library for your patrons.

Send out an email to all staff and ask them a few leading questions to make this process easy. I suggest using both of these:

  • What is the most fun you had reading a book this year?
  • What book surprised you the most this year?
Again make it clear that these items do NOT have to have a 2021 copyright nor do the titles have to come from the area in which the person works, and furthermore, they do not need to limit themselves to one or two-- let people go at it with their passion. Don't gate-keep the responses. Use them all no matter what your personal opinion about the "quality" of the title included happens to be.

The goal here is the have as many staff members participating as possible. The only rule is that it has to be something that you have in your collection. This also serves as a reminder to staff and patrons that "BEST" does not have an expiration date.

Also these questions work very well because they invoke an immediate emotional response. I know because I use them in my presentations as we begin as a way to get people in the correct frame of mind for the training I am about to provide. 

When you ask someone to name a "best" anything, they overthink it. Asking for most fun and or biggest surprise allows for a wider variety of responses, ones that are more personal and less self conscious.

Send out that all staff email this week and ask people to reply in the next week and watch the responses roll in. Your library's best list made by your community for your community will build itself. Gather all the responses and build a physical display, hopefully one that offers titles from across your collection in one place [so not just the youth books in the youth section, for example]. Add hyperlinks to the catalog and make a list for the website and social media. Print one out for patrons to take. Go one step further and put said print out [with call numbers] in every book on the hold shelf. 

Not only will everyone on staff who chooses to participate have fun, but it is a wonderful team building exercise as you will all learn something new about each other through an activity that is directly tied to your brand-- Books.

And your community gets it's own fancy best list just like the citizens of the big cities get.

Don't forget, by doing this list this year that means next year, when you do it again, you have just doubled your options of "best" books.

Thanks again to CPL for making one of the best "Best" books list of the year once again. Use it to help readers and as an inspiration to make your own version.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Best Books 2021: NPR's Books We Love

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2021" series you can use the best lists tag

I took last week off, so much of the beginning of this week will be to alert you to the major Best Books list that came out over the holiday week. However, before we get to today's post, I want to remind you that I do not post every best list. There are other resources that do that [like this one, which will get its own post soon]. What I focus on are the lists that are most useful to you, the library worker, as you help match readers with books, in real time, whether in person or virtual.

And that reminder is the perfect transition to one of my favorite and most useful lists, and it is one that got a minor face-lift this year-- NPR Books' Books We Love, formerly known as the Book Concierge. 

Click here to enter the site
From the about page:

Books We Love is NPR’s annual, interactive, year-end reading guide. (You might have known us as the Book Concierge, but this year we got a makeover! We’ve changed our name and adopted a warm and welcoming new look.) What hasn’t changed is the annual bounty of hand-picked books. Mix and match tags such as Book Club Ideas, Biography & Memoir or Eye-Opening Reads to filter results and find the book that’s perfect for you or someone you love.

 I love this list for a few reasons. The first is the filters. Listed in the left gutter of the page in natural language with recognizable categories such as "Biography & Memoir," "Mysteries & Thrillers," or "Young Adult," but also including more intuitive, reader focused categories like "Eye-Opening Reads," It's All Geek To Me," and "The Dark Side," and even choices based on length, this is an excellent portal to "best" books that allows any reader [or library worker] to created highly specific and expertly tailored suggestions.

Second, it is fun to use.

Third,  every former incarnation of this list is easily accessible with a single click from the top of this year's list meaning you have over 2,800 customizable suggestions for literally any reader, no matter how picky, at your fingertips. 

FourthBooks We Love is a great go-to resource all year long because of the breadth and variety of titles included and the ease of backlist access. Users get to steer the ship to find their own suggestion amongst a universe of pre-approved titles. Then they can be as picky as they want, choosing their own filters to narrow it down. And since these lists are VERY broad in terms of the types of books that are included each year, the results are very useful. And they stand up over the test of time. 

Visit the NPR Book Books We Love portal now and have fun using it for yourself or your patrons, but don't forget about it all year long. It is a wonderful  resource and, after years in existence, the compound interest of titles makes it even more useful. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go place a hold on a titles I found by choosing "Historical Fiction," "Seriously Great Writing," and "The Dark Side." It's The Trees by Percival Everett, a novel I had not even heard of before using this resource. I am very excited.

If it helped me to be surprised with an unknown title, imagine the doors it can open for you and your patrons. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

7 Super RA Ideas Anyone Can Do via NoveList and an RA for All Announcement

RA for All is going on vacation after today until November 29th. So I wanted to leave you with something of a general nature, something you can use to explore multiple RA Service based ideas over the next week, and it is from NoveList-- 7 Super RA Ideas [That Anyone Can Do].

Below I have reposted the headers to pique your interest and make you realize this post is worth a click through.

Also, this NoveList post is a great introduction to a new series/archive that I am going to spend December working on-- A Greatest Hits of RA for All Archive.

I will be sunsetting the Call to Action page and replacing it with a post that archives some of my most popular and foundational posts-- including some of those Call to Action posts. 

I have had dozens of requests in the last few months to offer a portal to the "greatest hits" of RA for All for managers to share with their staff. While much of that is encapsulated in my 10 Rules of Basic RA Service page, not all is there. I will also annotate the link list so that it can be used as a purposeful training tool.

While I will get that archive up and running before the end of the year, I will also probably spend part of January highlighting it and some of my most popular and enduring posts to help you get the new year off to a great start.

But to keep you out of trouble over the next week....I mean to offer you training content, here are 7 excellent ideas. Try some at your library:


One thing we message about a lot at NoveList is that anyone can do readers’ advisory and that there are good ideas to be found outside, on the internet, in your library, on TV – basically almost anywhere. Here are some of the easiest we’ve seen in webinars, on social media, and in other conversations with library staff from around the world – all perfect for when you feel out of ideas.

    1. Create timely, seasonal displays.
    2. Share what staff are reading.
    3. Sticky note RA.
    4. What your neighbor is reading display.
    5. The Island of Forgotten Books. 
    6. Stalk the readers
    7. Participate in social media conversations.
Click through to read the full article. Seriously, it is excellent and easily replicable. These are great ideas that you can do from any place in the Library's organizational chart. 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

RA for All Virtual Appearance: Illinois Heartland Library System Member Day

 

Today I am attending and appearing at the IHLS Member Day 2021.

Illinois Heartland Library System is one of 3 systems in IL. Chicago Public is its own system, RAILS [for which I am on the Board of Directors currently] is basically the northern half, and IHLS has all the rest.

And I stress that last point....all the rest. It is a lot of area to cover, but today, they are all gathering online for a great day of learning and it is FREE. From the website:

Member Day 2021: Celebrating Libraries, Building Partnerships

November 18, 2021 

A virtual day of professional development, networking, and inspiration for library leaders, staff, and trustees of IHLS's member libraries

Open and FREE to all staff of IHLS libraries thanks in part to our generous sponsors!

Member Day is Illinois Heartland Library System's biggest continuing education and networking event of the year! IHLS Member Day started as an annual day of member appreciation and has developed into a full one-day conference chock-full of learning opportunities and Professional Development Hours. It has also been designed to provide a large-scale networking opportunity for all IHLS membership, both with system staff and with each other.

I was honored to be asked to present during this event. This entire day of learning is available to every single person who works at an IHLS library for no cost. They just need to be a library staff member. Talk about inclusive continuing education opportunities. Well done! And since it is virtual and recorded, everyone can participate when they are able to. Double well done!

Fo ray part, I am taking the goal of the day to INSPIRE, so I am presenting my Secrets of Stellar Readers' Advisory Service program. This program is a greatest hits of how to provide interactive RA from any library, by any staff member. 

If you only have enough time for me to be somewhere for 45-60 minutes, this program gets you the most useable content.

You can all access the slides at this link or by clicking on the screen shot of the first slide below.

Click here to access the slides 


See some of you later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Best Books 2021: Goodreads Choice Awards

This post is part of my year end "Attack of the Best Lists" coverage. To see every post in my "Best Books 2021" series you can use the best lists tag. 

Click here to enter the Best Books Portal 

Each year Goodreads does their version of a "Best Books" list in a variety of categories. The editors create the categories and provide a long list of titles for users to vote on, in multiple rounds. [In the past they have allowed write-ins during the first round, but not this year.]

You can click here to see the Best Books 2021 homepage.

Currently, we are in the first round. Here is the voting schedule:

VOTING SCHEDULE

Opening RoundNov. 16 - 28
Final RoundNov. 30 - Dec. 5
Winners AnnouncedDec. 9

I am posting that schedule just so you know it, but for your purposes this opening round is THE BEST round because it has the largest number of titles in the running for "best," meaning that you have the most options for displays and suggestions.

While their categories aren't exhaustive [especially in YA and MG] there are more categories than your average best books list, and many of the titles are a bit more midlist, meaning they might be on your shelves right now.

Readers love this Best Books page because they get to make the list. Their votes pick the winners. Not critics telling them what is best, but readers getting to let their opinions win. For better or worse, in your opinion, this creates conversation and excitement around books, and that is exactly our goal in providing RA Service-- creating conversations. 

As a suggestion and display tool, this Best Books portal is a great resource. 

I also love that the portal has easy access to every year of Best Books homepages right in the left gutter. You cannot miss it. This is key because the last 2-5 years of best book nominees are your go-to suggestion tool at this time of year. Why? Because these are sure bet, proven titles that your patrons would not find without you. They are still "best;" they don't lose that distinction when the calendar flips to a new year. Also, they are probably on your shelf right now. 

Real talk time. This resource is not perfect. I know that. No resource is perfect if we are being honest. But as one of the only reader driven best lists [not expert or critic driven], the Goodreads Best Books 2021 is unique and useful in real time. 

It is also participatory. Readers get to vote. Don't count that part out. They are excited about having a say. Feed off of this excitement and use the portal in your year end wrap ups.  

And whether you have an account or not, you can access all of it, including reader reviews, and use it all to help patrons. 

So you can be salty about everything that this Best List leaves out, or you can embrace what we have and use it to create conversations around books at your library. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

NPR Books Editor Petra Mayer

Sometimes friendships from college disappear forever and you never think about people who spent hours upon hours with in a basement for three years, and then there are happy coincidences like the one Petra Mayer and I got to live.

From 1993-96 I knew Petra Mayer through my work at WAMH, the AmherstCollege radio station. We were both highly involved in management and radio was our number one activity outside of classes. While Petra was a year ahead of me, she was the Chief Engineer and I worked my may up from Sports Director to Program Director. At one point we held 2 of the top 3 management positions running a 24 hour a day radio station [and we both had the pagers we had to carry 24/7 to prove it....ahhh the 90s].  

Here is a photo from, I think, Winter 1995 of the WAMH Executive Board. Petra is in the bottom left corner and 19yr old me is next to her. [Thanks to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Adam, for sending this to me via email over the weekend].


I am not exaggerating about the number of hours we spent together, in that basement station. I can still picture her hovering over some of our equipment, trying to keep it working just a little longer, sitting in meetings giving our reports, and yes, rushing to the station at 2 am because something happened with the first year running the middle of the night shift and we got paged to run over there ASAP. 

Petra graduated the year before me. I knew she decided to stay with radio because I was still considering it too [although a summer internship at a commercial station made me reconsider], but after a few years, I moved into a different field and we lost touch. 

I remember when the NPR Books job opened. They were advertising for an editor of their books coverage, someone who would make their website more dynamic and responsive to readers, someone who could help blend their presence online with the radio coverage. As a NPR supporter, I was hopeful they would pick someone good, someone who would make NPR books less stuffy. And then I heard the name Petra Mayer and my heart was happy. 

While we never had the chance to work together directly, we did touch base multiple times while she held this job, especially when they did Horror for the Summer Reads and over the work of our mutual friend Gabino Iglesias. Petra was one of the first people to hire Gabino as a literary critic. [For the record, I asked her to figure out how she could get NPR to let him read some of his reviews on air, and while she agreed he should, she also said all she could do was suggest it.]

Petra died suddenly over the weekend. While people I knew in college have died, no one I spent so much time with, no one I knew so intimately, and no one I respected as much has. The fact that our paths crossed so directly in the years after college always made me smile. I had even told my daughter-- an Amherst student, WAMH DJ, and podcast director for the college newspaper-- that after the holidays she should talk to Petra about what it is like to work at NPR. 

If you have enjoyed the Book Conceirge, any of NPR Books' serious consideration of genre books, the diversification of their print reviewers, or just ever use their excellent website, you can thank Petra.

She will be missed by so many-- those that knew her, worked with her, and loved her, yes, but so many others had no idea who she was, but appreciated her work on a regular basis. 

That's the point of this post I guess. To remind you all that our favorite resources are still directed by people, people who may be mostly behind the scenes, but they are there. And some of them are extraordinary.

Monday, November 15, 2021

LibraryReads: December 2021

    It's LibraryReads day and that means four things here on RA for All

  1. I post the list and tag it “Library Reads” so that you can easily pull up every single list with one click.
  2. I can remind you that even though the newest list is always fun to see, it is the older lists where you can find AWESOME, sure bet suggestions for patrons that will be on your shelf to actually hand to them right now. The best thing about LibraryReads is the compound interest it is earning. We now have hundreds and hundreds of titles worth suggesting right at our fingertips through this archive OR the sortable master list allowing you to mix and match however you want.
  3. You have no excuse not to hand sell any LibraryReads titles because there is a book talk right there in the list in the form of the annotation one of your colleagues wrote for you. All you have to say to your patron is, “such and such library worker in blank state thought this was a great read,” and then you read what he or she said.
  4. Every upcoming book now has at least 1 readalike that is available to hand out RIGHT NOW. Book talk the upcoming book, place a hold for it, and then hand out that readalike title for while they wait. If they need more titles before their hold comes in, use the readalike title to identify more readalike titles. And then keep repeating. Seriously, it is that easy to have happy, satisfied readers.
So get out there and suggest a good read to someone today. I don’t care what list or resource you use to find the suggestion, just start suggesting books.

Please remember to click here for everything you need to know about how to participate. Click here to see a database of eligible diverse titles sorted by month.

And finally, here is LibraryReads' extremely helpful Resources page.

Now let's get to that list.... 

  

Announcing the November 2021 LibraryReads List!

The Ballerinas: A Novel 

by Rachel Kapelke-Dale

St. Martin's Press


“Delphine is returning to Paris to choreograph her own ballet. Here she meets up with her lifelong friends and fellow dancers Margaux and Lindsay. This absorbing and thrilling character-driven novel explores the world of ballet and its mysteries

and secrets. Give to fans of Luster, Trust Exercise, and My Dark Vanessa.”


—Terri Smith, Cornelia Library, Mt. Airy, GA 

NoveList read-alike: The Turn-Out by Megan Abbott

And now the rest of the list:


Beasts of a Little Land: A Novel 

by Juhea Kim

Ecco

“Hauntingly tragic and beautifully tender, the story of Jade Ahn is interwoven with the fate of Korea in the early 20th century. Jade is apprenticed to a courtesan at a young age, and her friendships there form an unbreakable bond that leads them through multiple tragedies and loves. Recommended for fans of Min Jin Lee and Amy Tan.”

—Joy Matteson, Downers Grove Public Library, Downers Grove, IL 
NoveList read-alike: If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim

Bright Burning Things: A Novel 

by Lisa Harding

HarperVia

“A searing portrait of addiction and recovery, told in the voice of Sonya, a former actress, raging alcoholic, and mother to four-year-old Tommy. When she almost sets the house on fire, her father forces her to rehab, if not for her sake, then for Tommy's. Sonya travels the difficult road to reintegrate into society and reclaim her beloved son. For fans of Shuggie Bain and All Fall Down. ”

—Lisa Burris, Bear Public Library, Bear, DE
NoveList read-alike: Catch Us When We Fall by Juliette Fay

The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel 

by Sosuke Natsukawa

HarperVia

“A used bookstore, a grieving teen with an appreciation of reading, and a talking cat! What more could you ask of a fantasy? Throw in a mission to free lost and damaged books and a bit of readers' advisory, and you have a thoughtful exploration of the truths behind the pleasures of reading. For fans of author Roselle Lim and The Little Paris Bookshop.”

—Lucy Lockley, St. Charles City-County Library, St. Peters, MO 
NoveList read-alike: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi


A History of Wild Places: A Novel 

by Shea Ernshaw

Atria Books

“Travis has a gift: when he touches something, he experiences the memories associated with it. His path to find a missing author leads him to a remote commune. Then he too disappears. When one of the residents of that commune finds his truck years later, he realizes that the darkness they fled may already be in Pastoral. For fans of Saint X and The Girls.”

—Deborah Smith, Weber County Library, Roy, UT 
NoveList read-alike: Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

 

The Love Con 

by Seressia Glass

Berkley Jove

“Engineer Kenya is a finalist on the reality show Cosplay or No Way, but to win she needs pal Cam to pretend he’s her boyfriend. This is a fun friends-to- lovers, fake dating romance that will best suit folks into cosplay, cons, or geeky pursuits. For fans of Jen Deluca and Sara Desai.”

—Alezandra Troiani, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA 
NoveList read-alike: Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

Murder Under Her Skin: A Pentecost and Parker Mystery

By Stephen Spotswood

Doubleday

“These fun throwback hard- boiled mysteries feature two female sleuths in the post- war 1940s--Lillian Pentecost, an unorthodox Brooklyn detective, and her unlikely partner, circus runaway Will Parker. Their second case involves a murder at Will’s former circus, and is perfect for readers of Rex Stout and Agatha Christie.”

—Patti Cheney, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ
NoveList read-alike: Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood


My Darling Husband: A Novel 

by Kimberly Belle

Park Row

“Atlanta restaurateur Cam Lasky seemingly has it all, until a fire at his eatery and a terrifying home invasion threaten to destroy all he holds dear. With multiple perspectives adding to the mystery, this is another clever, fast-paced thriller from Belle. For readers of Lisa Gardner and Chevy Stevens.”

—Jayme Oldham, Highland Park Public Library, Highland Park, IL 
NoveList read-alike: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

The Replacement Wife

By Darby Kane

William Morrow Paperbacks

"Elisa's best friend, fiancée to her brother-in-law Josh, has disappeared and no one else seems worried. Elisa is suspicious of Josh, especially since he already has one dead wife. Will anyone believe her before it’s too late? For readers of The Girl on the Train and other unreliable-narrator thrillers.”

—Chris Markley, Kingsport Public Library, Kingsport, TN 
NoveList read-alike: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

True Crime Story: A Novel 

by Joseph Knox

Sourcebooks Landmark

“What happened to Zoe Nolan? She walked out of her dorm room and hasn’t been seen since. Knox weaves together interviews, emails, and police reports into an immersive missing persons case that will leave readers gasping for breath up until the last page. For fans of The Word Is Murder and the Six Stories series.”

—Carol Ann Tack, Merrick Library, Merrick, NY
NoveList read-alike: Chasing the Boogeyman by Richard Chizmar



The LibraryReads Hall of Fame designation honors authors who have had multiple titles appear on the monthly LibraryReads list since 2013. When their third title places on the list via library staff votes, the author moves into our Hall of Fame.


Click here to access the Hall of Fame Archive with annotations and readalikes

 

The Midnight Hour 

by Elly Griffiths

Mariner Books


Friday, November 12, 2021

Resource Alert: Book Newsletters

Regular readers of this blog know that I love to identify outside the box resources for us to use to help patrons. And I especially like resources that are directed at the reader. 

Today I have a category that fits that bill-- Book Newsletters. Back in February, Book Riot had this list 20 book newsletters that had me contemplating the newsletter as a resource.

What I enjoy about this list is that the newsletters themselves are have a different focus, covering fiction, nonfiction, and various formats. And most importantly, there were many I had never heard of. Yes, some are from authors and a few are Book Riot newsletters, but many were eye opening in their creativity.

My favorite example-- Books on GIF. A book review newsletter told completely with GIFS. Talk about outside the box.

These newsletters can be used by you to get new ideas for a VERY wide range of readers, to make displays, and to think of new ways to reach different readers. But they can also be put on your website, on the page where have your resource to help readers already listed. Let them know what is out there and provide the links for them to sign up for themselves. You can even do a series of social media posts highlighting different newsletters.

Think outside the box, both in the resources you consult to help readers, but also in how you pass resources on to your patrons. Showing them a wide array of resources that they can use to help themselves is excellent RA Service. It shows them that you care about helping them. It also prioritizes the RA Relationship over the RA Transaction, which is at the heart of my brand of RA Service. 

We want to be the conduit for conversations around leisure reading in our communities. The number of books we actually match with readers is NOT important. Rather, what is most important is cultivating relationships around books and reading at the library. Providing your patrons with lists of book newsletters they may enjoy, especially when they come from somewhere other than the library, is excellent and thoughtful service to your readers. Whether you can directly connect it to a check out or not, you can definitely use it to connect patrons with your library and its services. 

Have a great weekend. 

Back Monday with the December LibraryReads list!

Thursday, November 11, 2021

RA for All Virtual Roadshow Visits Lower Merion [PA] Library System

Today I am visiting the Lower Merion Libraries in PA, near Philly, to provide the afternoon sessions for their staff day. They have about 70 employees who will be participating in different ways-- in person in the same room, in small groups around the same computer, and even alone from home.

I am sharing these details because I think it is great that they are making an effort to allow for safety as they gather for learning. One of the things I talk about in my general RA training [which they are getting] is that when push came to shove and our buildings were closed, we all had to figure out how to meet, work, and serve patrons in a virtual environment and now, we can never go back to the time when we said this was not possible.

It is nice to see a library living in this new world, one that I argue is better for both staff and patrons. But back to today's schedule. 

I will be appearing virtually for 2 afternoon sessions geared toward all staff.

First, the 90 minute, highly interactive general RA training-- Flip the Script and Think Like a Reader. This program is the most fun you can have while still learning and bonding as a team. Seriously. I am not bragging, it is true. Why? Because for 3/4 of this program every staff member is focusing on themselves as readers. And all of us library workers know that while others think all we do is read, we rarely have a chance to read at work, let alone focus on what we like to read and why. But in this program, that is where we begin, with yourself as a reader. From there I bring you to working together and serving patrons better.

This program has slides but most of it is simply a recreation of my permanent Ten Rules of Basic RA Service page which you can find here.

After a 15 minute break, I will be presenting my Actively Anti-Racist Service to Leisure Readers program. This is without Robin Bradford [reminder, she is only available 1x a month], but I do as much as I can to give some of her information [with credit to her] in this program. 

I am excited to interact with Lower Merion Library System today, to help them bond as a team, and to pass on the joy of service to leisure readers through the local public library.

I am currently booking 2022 training programs both virtual and in-person. Click here to contact me, or here to see my recent and upcoming clients and programs