Week 5 Trends Reflection – Readers' Advisory and The trend towards social media.

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    • #1294
      hanan albishri

      Readers Advisory is generally defined as services offered by experience public librarian that specializes in the reading requirements of public library patrons (Dalevko et al, 2007, p.5). It is quite intriguing to know that Readers advisory have been around since 1876; yet, majority of us know little or nothing about them till couple of years ago.

      Reader advisory has gone through different phases since its inception. Since the public library is a practical demonstration of the social belief and certainty in the importance of universal education; readers’ advisory was formulated as a platform to polish the reading pattern of adult through coordinated reading in a form of adult education (Crowley et al, 2005, p.5) .

      Readers Advisory suffered huge setback during the World War II as it was perceived that any trained librarian could carry out the service effectively. However readers’ advisory has experienced positive change in fortune lately, I think this is connected to the fact that librarians rebranded the services offered and now have personal contact with patrons; also, Readers advisors are now advising and suggesting books unlike during and after the World War II when book was suggested only to patrons.

      Twenty-five years after the second RA renaissance, there is a new trend orchestrated by technology through the advent of social media.  Some Library hasn’t key into this wonderful platforms. Is the advent of social media a curse or blessing to readers advisory? Without mincing words; I would say social media present reader advisers perfect opportunity to offer better services worldwide.

      Due to world-wide outreach and massive acceptability, social media offers wide appeal factor to readers worldwide. I think improving social networks based RA services is really critical towards the continuous advancement of RA services and RA professionals must take advantage of the huge numbers of subscribers on social networks (Rebecca, 2007). Given the observable phenomenon that many readers flock to book-sharing social media sites such as Goodreads, Shelfari and  LibraryThing, it is vital for librarians to pay attention to how these readers are interacting and communicating with each other (Henrietta et al, 2014).

      The advantage offered by social network platforms includes:

      • Social network platform enlarges Reades Advisory discussion and links the collection and readers to each other in original, flexible, and idiosyncratic ways.
      • It allows for reader-to-reader (R-R) conversations flashed and sparked by interest, passion, whimsy, and personal knowledge.
      • It makes greater use of librarian proficiency as well, contribution to another way to interact and offer suggestions. This larger and more fluid practical conversation is in turn improved by the sociability of the tools that support it, and the result is an on-going discourse that continually grows and adapts.

      With so much advantages associated with having professional Readers advisory on social media, there is no surprise with the growing interface between online library and social media readers’ advisors in North America.

      Regardless of what most people think, Social media readers’ advisory is a new and growing area of public library services and it is imperative for librarians all over the world to explore these platforms and see how social network can improve services and build better relationship with their patrons.


      1. Dilevko, Juris; Magowan, Candice (2007), Readers’ Advisory Service in North American Public Libraries, 1870–2005, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-7864-2925-7
      2. Crowley, Bill (2005), “Rediscovering the History of Readers Advisory Service”, Public Libraries 44 (1): 38
      3. Rebecca Howard, MLIS; Lacira raphel, M.A (2010), Re-thinking readers Advisory, Online Journal.
      4. Henrietta Thorton-verma; Meradith Shcwatz (2014), The state of Readers Advisory, Online Article
    • #1368
      Katherine Lee

      Hi Hanan. Great trends reflection! I liked your focus on social media. I was wondering if you think, though, that social media has meant that there has been a decline in the need for RA within libraries? Anyone can engage in RA now using social media like GoodReads, so perhaps more people will look outside the library for recommendations about what to read?

    • #1416
      hanan albishri

      Hello Katherine …Thanks for the kind words, really appreciated.
      Yes the advent of social media has reduced the need for RA services within Libraries since most readers now prefer to read on social networks and share ideas with other readers (Not professional RA). I think this new trend might be a plus to the profession if properly utilized and streamlined. And I also think more should be done to increase the numbers of regulated online library which might help to increase the presence of professional readers’ adviser on social media.

      more and more people are looking outside the library to search for what to read due to the conveniences that comes with reading online and social media in particular.

    • #1525
      Caitlin .

      Hi Hanan,

      I enjoyed your post and agree that social media can be a positive influence on RA and transform the experience of users. I am not sure though that it has decreased the need for RA out of Libraries although it has created a dual role of in person and online. The proliferation of nor professional services and vast amounts of information can provide an opportunity for Libraries to implement best practice RA which assists more users to interact and engage with the written world in all forms. A platform for innovation and creativity.


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