“Might I Suggest…?” Tips for Effective R.A. Encounters


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“How YOU doin’?”

Some are born to RA, some achieve RA greatness, and some have RA thrust upon them.

Everyone knows that one person who seems to recall every book they’ve ever read and retain an almost photographic memory of all their readings. For the rest of us, a little more instruction might be involved. Short of taking a comprehensive readers’ advisory course, the next best way to improve skills is to consult those who have found RA greatness and are eager to provide tips.

Below are a few of the resources that I found helpful in my research (and in my job as a Youth Service Associate). Because some RA techniques are able to translate from child to adult, I have included resources that cover, not only children, but young adult and adult-focused readers’ advisory as well.

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Youth-focused RA (Ages 0-14):

Austin, T. (2014, August). Readers’ advisory for children: It’s all about attitude. Retrieved from https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/readers-advisory-for-children-its-all-about-attitude

Kaser, G. (2015, January 26). Ten things a children’s librarian needs to know. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2015/01/ten-things-a-childrens-librarian-needs-to-know/ 

Reader’s advisory for youth. (2017). Retrieved from https://youthserviceslibrarianship.wikispaces.com/Reader%27s+Advisory+for+Youth

Readers advisory: Kids: Babies (0-2). (2015, April 16). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UG0slufwbB4           

Readers advisory: Kids: Toddlers: 2-3 year olds. (2015, May 11). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTZMdfo13EI                          

Stewart, K. (2014, April). 10 readers’ advisory tips for storytime. Retrieved from https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/201403-10-readers-advisory-tips-for-storytime     

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Young Adult-focused RA:

Barbakoff, A. (2014, September). Readers’ advisory to teens: An adult services librarian’s guide. Retrieved from https://www.ebscohost.com/novelist/novelist-special/readers-advisory-to-teens 

Herald, D. T. (2011). Teen genreflecting 3: A guide to reading interests. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Hogan, P. (2011, June 22). Tips for young adult readers’ advisory. Retrieved from http://www.alaeditions.org/blog/163/tips-young-adult-readers-advisory           

General/Adult-focused RA:

Chelton, M. K. (2003, November 1). Readers’ advisory 101. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2003/11/ljarchives/readers-advisory-101/#_ 

Howard, R., & Raphael, L. (2013, November 12). Your next great read. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/11/library-services/your-next-great-read/          

Miller, E., Petersen, M., & Richardson, L. (2017, April 16). Book lust with Nancy Pearl: The readers’ advisory interview. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCHdsRanVhE    

Moyer, J. E., & Stover, K. M. (Eds.). (2010). The readers’ advisory handbook. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Orr, C., & Herald, D. T. (Eds.). (2013). Genreflecting: A guide to popular reading interests (7th ed., Libraries unlimited genreflecting advisory series). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.           

Readers’ advisory interview – Minnesota opportunities for reference excellence (MORE). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/more/part-4-reader-s-advisory/readers-advisory-interview  

Saricks, J. G. (2005). Readers’ advisory service in the public library. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.                    

Vnuk, R. (2013, May 9). Jack of all trades readers’ advisory: How to learn a little about a lot. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/05/jack-of-all-trades-readers-advisory-how-to-learn-a-little-about-a-lot/     

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