Appendix B: additional examples

Direct (One-to-One) Readers’ Advisory Activities

Conversations and Recommendations

  • Library staff initiate friendly conversation about a current book that they have read or comment on an interesting book that a patron is checking out. These conversations often lead to informal book recommendations which sometimes lead to purchase suggestions from patrons. Patrons get to know certain library staff members’ reading tastes and seek them out for reading recommendations.

  • Denver Public Library staff “rove” public areas, refilling displays and answering questions, allowing for spontaneous book conversations and readers’ advisory opportunities.

  • Cook Memorial Public Library District has a “Book Expert” booth at its community farmers’ market that is stocked with recommended reading lists and selected books available for checkout. Patrons receive a list of suggested titles, customized to their interests. 

  • Many librarians are “book people” who provide readers’ advisory casually all the time. 

Form-Based Suggestions

Social Media Readers’ Advisory

Indirect (One-to-Many) Readers’ Advisory Activities

Recommended Books or Reading Lists


  • Many libraries have special displays of in demand titles, often in a prominent location and stocked with multiple copies. These displays go by names such as “Featured Title,” “Lucky Day” or “Most Wanted.”

  • Most libraries have a new book area with materials published in the last 6-9 months. These books are usually shelved in a way that allows for face-out displaying of under-the-radar titles or debut authors.

  • Most libraries have a dedicated display unit or shelf for staff picks. To further the personal connection, a display may feature pictures of staff alongside the books they have picked. In some libraries, readers can offer their own review on blank forms and place in a drop box in the display.

  • Librarians promote books through themed book displays created around national observances, authors, book awards, social issues, international and national events, consumer education, wellness and health, seasonal interest and event/program support.

  • Because browsing stacks of books can be intimidating for many readers, librarians use the shelves as an avenue to promote individual titles. Many libraries use both shelves and end caps to offer shelf talkers. These can take the form of a review of a title, topical reader suggestions that promote other parts of the collection or read-alikes for a book that is currently checked out. Beyond shelf talkers, some libraries create visually interesting tags that are placed within specific books or specific areas depending on the theme.  

Social Media Book Talks

Social Media Virtual Displays

Reading Groups or Book Clubs


Readers’ Advisory Podcasts

Community Reading Challenges

Catalog Interventions