Readers Advisory Activity – Trends Based Reflection

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    • #1328
      Tracey Allen

      What are the trends in Readers’ Advisory?

      Readers’ Advisory (RA) has predominately been aimed at fiction readers in public libraries.  The current trends in RA are towards the use of Web 2.0 tools and the need for a library-wide RA service in both public and academic libraries. The current trends will also affect the requirements for effective RA Librarians.

      There has been an increase in the idea of integrated advisory, which includes music, film and games.  Integrated advisory though should include all collections as this will ensure all users’ have access to RA services.  Non-fiction RA is now expanding as those who prefer to read non-fiction are not only reading for information but also for pleasure. This should encourage academic librarians that deal mainly with non-fiction resources that RA can and should be part of the library service.  A comment by Barry Trott in Laurel Tarulli’s blog that I loved was “We really do ourselves, the profession, and our users a disservice when we isolate RA work into one department or set of librarians or staff. We should aim for an organization-wide culture of RA, and the folks in cataloguing, circulation, etc. need to be part of that”.

      The current trend in a decreasing budget environment is to hire library assistants instead of professional librarians to provide RA services.  This seems like a mistake as qualified/professional librarians have been trained in providing these services and in the current technological trends. “Library and Information Science (LIS) courses should prepare future librarians for successful evidence-based reading advocacy”.  Though training can help improve an individual librarians RA skills, collaboration is needed among library staff to provide better RA to users.

      In the current Web 2.0 environment there is access to countless lists and guides for RA.  Websites such as Goodreads and Amazon are providing peer-to-peer RA which includes input from librarians, writers, translators, educators and readers.  There has also been a steady increase in the use of social media in RA.  The social media platforms include Twitter, Facebook and Blogs.  This has brought about an increase in the self-directed RA by users both within and outside of the library.

      The future potential of RA will be enhanced by the next-generation catalogue and the use of user-generated information. Tarulli & Spiteri state that “in essence, next-generation catalogues are about ideas, function, and possibilities rather than a specific format by which it is accessed”.  This catalogue would allow for user-generated RA in the form of tags, reviews and reading lists. Though this next-generation catalogue is still just an idea, I believe that it won’t take long before we are using it or perhaps developing it ourselves.

      In conclusion for RA services to be efficient they need to remain up-to-date with the reading trends of users and with the technological environment.  Future librarians should be not only undertaking training, but also seeking to create new ways to advise readers.

      • This topic was modified 8 years, 7 months ago by Tracey Allen. Reason: Adding Tags, Changed a hyperlink
    • #1421

      I really enjoyed your reflection Tracey as I thought you summed up the current trends in RA very well. I particularly liked the description of next generation catalogues – is there anywhere that user-generated content cannot go if it can be included in a library’s otherwise sacred catalogue??? Laurel Tarulli’s blog was very interesting in that regard. Otherwise, RA seems to me to be one of those important areas where users can engage with library staff, develop their reading tastes and collaborate over building a preferences base. Building trust with another person can be an inspiring and enriching experience and it seems to me that RA is ideally placed to provide this kind of positive experience. And surely that’s a win-win situation.

    • #1424
      Ruth McConchie

      Great reflection Tracey! Barry Trott’s comment is applicable to many cultural/ education organisations, isolation is problematic and collaboration is beneficial on a number of levels, not just readers advisory. The next generation catalogue sounds excellent and after seeing Alice Steiner’s Fashion Libguide in IFN617 I think that the Libguide is ripe for collaboration too!

    • #1508
      Stacey Larner

      Integrated advisory kind of overwhelms me. It’s so hard to keep on top of all the latest books, imagine having to keep track of music and games and films too!? Although I suppose having a specialist in each area would help!

    • #1802
      Kate McKelliget

      Great post! I really like the idea of next generation catalogue! I don’t believe it will be too long until it is standard. Just the other day I was on the Oxford Dictionary’s we dictionary and I noticed that any member of the public could add a reply about this definition and start and discussion about it. Coincidentally, I was searching ‘Web 2.0’!

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