RA Rethink

9:15 AM - 4:30 PM
South Central Library System
Sun Prairie Public Library

Event Details

RA for All: 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.

Booktalking: Harnessing the Power of Sharing Books with Patrons: Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons each and every day at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do each and every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to teach. Booktalking is more of an art than a skill, but with the right guidance and some practice, it can go a long way toward engaging your patrons and re-energizing your staff. Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind delivering great book talks, giving you tips and tricks you can begin using right away to hone your own skills. Rediscover the power and joy that comes from sharing books with patrons.

Working Lunch*: Get your lunch and sit at a table with people you don't know. Spend an hour eating and networking. Then at 1:30, practice booktalking the title you used in the exercise earlier in the morning, or another favorite book, to your colleagues. Becky will provide even more examples during lunch.

*Lunch will be the fabulous taco buffet from Cranberry Creek for $12. Vegetarian and gluten-free options included. SCLS Libraries: let Jean know if you'd like your library invoiced for the fee.

RA Rethink: RA Rethink: You can live without a 3D printer, but without readers’ advisory, you’re not doing your job. Readers’ advisory belongs in every library, no matter your budget or size. A robust and modern program that embraces whole collection discovery is one that inspires staff, engages patrons, and builds stronger library communities. Reconnect with this core service and empower staff at all levels to connect users with your collection. RA expert Becky Spratford will offer “rethinks” that will harken back to the basics of this core service and incorporate 21st Century possibilities.

Group Discussion of RA Services: Becky will facilitate a discussion between all of you about how service to leisure readers is going at your library. Please bring successes and failures, comments and questions. I want to help you help each other. Let's all work together to improve service to all your area's readers.

Becky is a Librarian [MLIS] in Illinois specializing in serving leisure readers ages 13 and up.  She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through their local public library. She is the author of The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Horror, 2d edition (ALA Editions, 2012).  Becky writes content for EBSCO's NoveList database, reviews for Booklist, is a member of the Adult Reading Round Table Steering Committee, a 5 term Trustee for her local library, and am a proud Active member of The Horror Writers’ Association who honored Becky at 2017’s StokerCon as a Guest of Honor for her contributions to the genre. You can follow Becky’s exploits on her popular RA training blog- RA for All, it’s evil twin- RA for All: Horror, or on Twitter @RAforAll

Event Type(s): CE - Continuing Education Workshop
Presenter: Becky Spratford, RA for All
Jean Anderson
(608) 246-5613

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