Date(s) - 02/04/2020
9:30 am - 3:30 pm
Bruton Memorial Library
Readers Advisory belongs in every library, no matter its budget. The implementation of this vital service is the responsibility of every staff member– from pages to directors, from those behind the scenes to the ones on the front lines. This program will remove the mystery behind providing great RA service. Using her “Ten Rules of Basic RA Service” as a guide, Becky Spratford will use your own love of your favorite books to show you how to help any patron find their next great read. It’s not as hard as you think. But more importantly, you will learn why a staff that can harness the power of sharing a great read will become a stronger team and improve service to all patrons, especially the hardest to reach ones.
This 2 hour version of Becky’s signature program will include extended interactive Booktalking exercises
Demystifying Genre: Nothing is scarier than trying to help a fan of a genre you yourself don’t enjoy. You want to help that, for example, Romance reader find the perfect book, but you are having trouble knowing where to begin because…eek!… you don’t read Romance. You are afraid they will find out you are a fraud. How can YOU possibly help THEM?!? Never fear, in this program, Readers’ Advisory expert, Becky Spratford, will teach you the basic appeals of the major genres, give you the inside track on what a fan of that genre is most drawn to, and provide you with talking points to get your genres readers to tell you what they want. This program focuses on providing you with a diverse and inclusive list of up to date authors with at least 40% of the example titles representing own voices. You will leave this session with the confidence and skill to help fans of every genre, regardless of whether or not you have ever read a book in that genre yourself. And that will leave a trail of happy patrons in your wake.
#OwnVoices for All Readers: Incorporating EDI Values into Readers’ Advisory Service: Providing robust readers’ advisory service that values equity, diversity and inclusion principles is essential to all library service. Join Readers’ Advisory specialist Becky Spratford as she provides the information you need to diversify your suggestions, identify resources, and include more staff input in order to confidently promote and place more #OwnVoices titles into adult patrons’ hands. You’ll come away with an understanding for how easy it to incorporate EDI values into your normal RA practices. All you need is a little nudge in the right direction.
Q&A: Not only will Becky take questions during this time, but she has a few of her own that she wants to throw out to the group in light of what we have learned today.
Example questions Becky uses for this exercise include but are not limited to:
Why is it important to read diversely?
What book do you wish you could read again for the first time?
What is your favorite resource to find a book to read for yourself?
What book[s] have you found to be “sure bets” with library patrons?
Priority seating will be given to TBLC Members.
Biography ~ Becky Spratford
Becky Spratford is a Readers’ Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and content for Library Journal. Becky is also known for her work with horror readers as the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012] and is currently hard at work on the 3rd Edition. She is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual Librarians’ Day. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement: RA for All’s programs are crafted and delivered to encourage all library staff to use leisure reading as a way to connect with the community, with a particular focus on reaching the underserved, and promoting “own voices” authors. Throughout all of my training sessions we will explore ways in which library staff can provide services, collections, and programming that puts EDI concerns at the forefront. Examples include but are not limited to, delivering the same information in different formats, advice on how to diversify your displays, and ways to include more staff voices in basic RA service [more voices leads to more equitable, diverse, and inclusive offerings]. Libraries that hire RA for All must be interested in allowing all staff [not just professional and/or public service staff] to participate in serving all populations, not just the ones most represented by staff or as identified in a local census.