Tools of the Trade: Aids to Help Find the “Right Book”


Try as we might, there is no avoiding the times when we draw a complete blank when asked to suggest a book. Thankfully, there are numerous resources available to provide us with a nudge in the right direction. The first, and most abundant resource, are our co-workers. With the collective literary knowledge at hand, book lists can be created, displays made and conversations had that can enhance the RA experience for the inquiring patron.

Inspiration can also come from print and online sources. Below are a sampling of both formats (youth and adult-focused) along with a list of genre/topic-specific blogs.


Fichtelberg, S., & Volz, B. D. (2010). Primary genreflecting: A guide to picture books and easy readers. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.           

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

Lima, C. W., & Lima, J. A. (2006). A to zoo : Subject access to children’s picture books. Libraries Unlimited.

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.           

Pearl, N. (2005). Book lust: Recommended reading for every mood, moment, and reason. Seattle, WA: Sasquatch.           

Sheridan, G. (2015). Check these out. Avon, MA: Adams Media.           

Wyatt, N. (2007). The readers’ advisory guide to nonfiction. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.           

Online (General Topic):

Genre/Topic-Specific Blogs: