Twitter Chat Champ: RA

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    • #1585
      Stephanie Venturato

      Really interesting topic and TwitterChat, it was great to hear so much passion about RA, it comforts me to know that it’s still a priority for Librarians. As Jo Bealzy and others pointed out, it’s more than just finding a good read, RA promotes the collection, encourages literacy and build a relationship with the library, creating a sense of community.


      It’s interesting hearing about RA from a library perspective coming from a book store background. As a bookseller, recommendation’s are pretty much what I do all day everyday so I can sympathise with acquiring this skill. And it does take skill, as the twitterchat highlighted, asking good questions, listening to the response, having a good overall knowledge of the collection and paying constant attention to what’s out there, it’s alot. I think you could argue that because money changes hand for the book that booksellers can’t be objective but I think the basic principles should apply. If you’re giving out bad recommendations or selling someone something they don’t need, people aren’t stupid, they won’t like it and won’t come back. I think this basic principle is important to libraries too, its about making a honest connection, whilst also realising you need to sell you collection and increase circulation


      As a passionate reader I was really interested in whether people thought you needed to be voracious reader to be could be a good readers advisor. The general consensus seems to no, though there were quite a few yes’s and maybes. To be honest I’m a bit on the fence, I don’t think I would trust anyone who wasn’t a reader though I do think it’s possible to make good recommendations in subject areas you aren’t a expert in. As Rae pointed out, you really have to remain objective so it’s not necessarily recommending booking you love, its also about having a good general book knowledge. As I mentioned in the chat, it would be good to have people that specialise in particular areas for those particularly voracious readers. This would be especially pertinent in area’s like children’s literature where the users needs can really require specialist knowledge.


      And finally I loved the idea of bibliotherapy, to me reading has always been so much more than enjoyment, it’s about personal growth, you’re seeing different perspectives, learning new things, I mean the amount of my knowledge that has come from general leisure reading is insane. Bookclubs are I think really creative examples of RA, my local library has a theme each month like crime or prize winners and people bring along their own book to talk about, it not just a interaction between librarian and client but also between users. In the chat I noticed a lot of people craved that connection, where reading becomes a communal experience, I’ve certainly felt that need when you finish a book to rave to someone about it, that’s why we invented goodreads so people could do that 24/7. I guess that can be one of the major draw cards of good RA is that it creates that dialogue and fulfills that need to connect with a good old fashioned bookchat!

    • #2312
      Chris Sonneveld

      Hi Steph

      Thanks for a really interesting post. I have never been a huge reader but I still see a great deal of value in reading and as you’ve said ‘Personal Growth’ is extremely important, something that everyone should discover for themselves through whatever medium they find most enjoyable. Before our Twitter chat on RAs I was unaware that they even existed Maybe if I had taken advantage of them when I was younger I may have found books that were enjoyable as opposed to those that sounded good from the blurb on the back and I stop reading half way through. However, I don’t think it’s too late to start reading so I think I’ll track down an RA and see how I go.

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