Direct (One-to-One) Activities

This section catalogs “direct” readers’ advisory activities. These activities involve a direct, one-on-one encounter between a librarian or library staff member and a reader. The encounter can be face-to-face, on the phone, via email or chat, or through a form, either online or in print. In all of these cases, the result of the encounter is that the reader takes away specific reading suggestions based on his or her reading interests. The focus here is on the suggestions.


Conversations and Recommendations

DESCRIPTION: Library staff members engage a reader in conversation to determine reading tastes, history and mood. The conversation often begins by asking the reader to name a book they have enjoyed recently and why. The conversation may then delve into greater detail about the importance of appeal factors such as story/plot, language, characters, and setting for the reader. 

EXAMPLES:

  • Engaging readers through both deliberate and casual impromptu conversations at service points in the library and through “roving” readers’ advisory

  • Organized outreach events in the community

  • Informal/incidental conversations in the community

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:


Form-Based Suggestions

DESCRIPTION: The library designs a form to collect information about the reader’s interests. The form may be available in hard copy or submitted online and will usually ask for some basic information such as reading history, genre interests, format preferences. The library may ask readers to rate the importance of appeal factors such as plot, language, characters, and setting. Some libraries also collect demographic information about the users of the form. The form is then evaluated by library staff members who provide specific reading recommendations for that reader.

EXAMPLES:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Social Media Readers’ Advisory

DESCRIPTION: Library staff members provide personalized reading recommendations on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Although these interactions are one-on-one—a reader asks a question and gets an individualized response—the public nature of social media makes them visible to a large audience and other community members often chime in. Activities may follow a special theme or format. Librarians use services such as NetGalley and Edelweiss to find and share news about forthcoming titles with readers. Some libraries have regular social media “office hours” for readers’ advisory.

EXAMPLES:

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: