The Panorama Project organized the open membership Readers’ Advisory Impact Committee (RAIC) to research, document and analyze the wide variety of Readers’ Advisory title and author recommendation activities provided by public libraries and librarians. The committee currently has over 40 volunteer librarians and industry professionals.
The committee is investigating all forms of library book, genre, series, and author recommendations and merchandising services/activities. These include programs and activities that take place inside public libraries and other community meeting places, and those that happen online. The RAIC is documenting and researching both direct (one-to-one) and indirect (one-to-many) Readers’ Advisory activities.
Once compiled, the committee will measure and analyze the impact library Readers’ Advisory activities have on title/author discovery, brand development, and book sales.
The committee’s goals are:
Research and document the various Readers’ Advisory activities undertaken by public libraries—inside the library, online, and in the surrounding community.
Research and document examples of collaborative book/author promotions and events undertaken by public libraries and local retailers.
Research and document tools used—and tools that could be used—to measure the efficacy of direct and indirect Readers’ Advisory activities.
Develop ideas/best practices for sharing Readers’ Advisory book lists (such as a Readers’ Advisory focused website), measuring the efficacy of the promotions (including sample spreadsheets, web-based data gathering tools, etc.), and aggregating the findings into a publishable report.
The committee published the first version of its Directory of Readers’ Advisory Activities in January 2019. The group will be conducting further research on the use and efficacy of the activities cataloged and will publish additional findings throughout the year.
The RAIC is facilitated by:
Bill Kelly - Bill Kelly is the Adult Programming Manager for Cuyahoga County Public Library. Bill has served as Chair of the American Library Association (ALA) Notable Books Council, a jurist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, and as a judge for The Story Prize. Bill has served as a member of the ALA Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee and co-founded, along with Nancy Pearl, CCPL’s Reconnect with Reading initiative, created to design readers’ advisory services and provide training for staff. He is co-founder of Cleveland Book Week. Bill has presented programs nationally on Readers’ Advisory and is the 2013 recipient of the Allie Beth Martin Award, given to a librarian who has demonstrated extraordinary range and depth of knowledge about books and distinguished ability to share that knowledge.
Cindy Orr - Cindy Orr has a Master’s in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University, and more than 30 years of management experience in medium and large public libraries, as well as several years as a consultant for libraries of all sizes. Her last full-time position was as Collection Manager at Cleveland Public Library. Cindy has taught Readers’ Advisory Service for the Kent State Library of Science master’s program since 2001, and has written two books on the subject of Readers’ Advisory service. She is the former chair of the American Library Association (ALA) RUSA Readers’ Advisory Research and Trends Committee, and was awarded ALA’s Margaret E. Monroe Award for Adult Services in 2004. She has consulted and worked part-time for OverDrive for several years in the Public Library Division’s content department with other librarians who prepare carts and lists to aid customers with selection and curation of their OverDrive digital content.
Magan Szwarek - Magan Szwarek is the Director of Reference Services at the Schaumburg, Illinois Township District Library. A lover of audiobooks and a dedicated readers' advisor, Magan co-chairs the American Library Association RUSA CODES RA Research & Trends Committee, is a member of the Booklist Magazine Advisory Board, and is a former Steering Committee member of the Chicago-based Adult Reading Round Table.