Reader’s Advisory: Library V. Blog

I was at work the other day making displays, and I was hit with a thought. Display making is a form of reader’s advisory. So is blogging. And I love both things to bits. They do, however, both take a different approach.

The reader’s advisor in a library takes into account the reader’s interest over their own. In blogging, it’s where the two overlap. I’m very passionate about both of these things, and want to find a way to bring them together

I know that things recommended on blogs have the blogger’s personal seal of approval. At least, they’ve usually read them. In the library, that’s rarely the case, unless asked specifically for a personal recommendation.

I’ve decided to do some posts from the point of view of a library reader’s advisor. I think there’s value in using the tools at my disposal to reach beyond my personal experience. If you’re only interested in personal recommendations, don’t worry: these posts with come with a disclaimer. However, I think that there are many useful tools and skills I’ve acquired as a reader’s advisor that would benefit readers.

How does reader’s advisory work?

The main thing I do as a reader’s advisor is figure out what a reader loved about a book and find other titles or authors with similar appeal factors. Some examples of appeal factors are character, pace, writing style, tone, setting, etc. So, if a reader likes a book because it was character-driven and atmospheric, I would look for other books that had the same appeal.

So, how am I going to combine a blogger’s style of reader’s advisory and a librarian’s? I am going to do read-alike posts that include both books I can personally recommend, and books that have similar appeal—whether I’ve read them or not. I’m obviously most hyped about books that I have read myself, but I think it’s useful (and fun) to look outside of our own experience and expose ourselves to new things. If I’m doing readalikes of a book I’ve read and loved, I obviously am interested in finding new titles and authors, too!

I’m super excited about this and hope you are, too.

Hit me up with things you’d like readalikes for! (Could be an author, a title, a show, a movie, anything! The more challenging the more fun!)

  • This is such an awesome idea! I absolutely love the fact that you’re bringing in your library know-how to the concept of recommendations… mainly because I think all readers love their local librarian’s advice, too! 🙂 I’m desperate to find some reading recs for my 15-yo brother… he likes YA that’s fast-paced and a little adventurous, and now that he’s finished the Lord of the Rings series, I’ve just been flinging Scott Westerfields at him, hoping something will stick. Do you have anything in mind for someone like him?

  • I love this idea! It’s one thing to read a blogger’s personal opinion of a book, but sometimes it’s more helpful to have recommendations based on a theme instead.

    • I feel the same way! And because I read and enjoy such a wide range of things it can be hard to pull together books around a theme from personal experience 🙂

  • This is a great idea!! It’s a topic I’m very interested in as I run my blog from a personal point of view but I wonder how/if I might change that when I start thinking from a public librarian’s perspective…