Rethinking Readers’ Advisory: An Interactive Approach eCourse

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/12/2015


Liz Steiner

Marketing Manager

ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — ALA Editions announces a new iteration of its popular eCourse Rethinking Readers' Advisory: An Interactive Approach. Rebecca Howard and Laura Raphael will serve as the instructors for this six-week facilitated eCourse starting on July 13, 2015.

Do you find yourself experiencing the “patron-asks-for-reading-suggestion-and-mind-goes-blank” phenomenon during a readers’ advisory interview? Form-based readers’ advisory moves beyond traditional methods such as general book lists, open-ended interviews, and counter displays, allowing librarians to develop RA services that are more efficient and responsive to library users' needs. In this eCourse, you’ll go in-depth and learn all about this exciting RA model, from start (getting administrative and staff buy-in) to finish (building forms and training staff members).

After participating in this eCourse, you will be able to:

  • Identify the challenges of traditional RA
  • Describe benefits of form-based RA
  • Understand how to assess your library’s capacity for this service and garner support from library leadership 
  • Describe the key elements of an effective RA form 
  • Understand the terms readers use when describing what kinds of books they enjoy
  • Describe the competencies of an effective RA team member 
  • List RA resources available to assist in development of reading guides 
  • Identify important aspects of personalized reading guides 
  • Consider a variety of special situations and issues that may arise when offering a form-based RA service

eCourse outline

  • Week 1: History of Form-Based RA and the Decision to try it at Your Library
  • Week 2: Crafting the Form
  • Week 3: Selecting and Training the Team
  • Week 4: Creating the Guide
  • Week 5: Organizing and Marketing the Service
  • Week 6: Tricky Issues and Questions

About the Instructors

Rebecca Howard is the Managing Librarian of the Broken Arrow branch of the Tulsa City-County Library System. Prior to becoming a Branch Manager, she worked as a Librarian in the Readers’ Library Department, where she co-created Your Next Great Read, a personalized Readers’ Advisory service, wrote for the Reading Addict blog, and developed adult programming for the system. Her first position in the library was with the Adult Literacy Service, a program that remains very close to her heart. While in Literacy Services, she began a book club for adult new readers, developed a creative writing course, contributed to statewide training modules, and expanded opportunities for English Language Learners.  She has Masters Degrees in Human Relations and Library and Information Studies both from the University of Oklahoma. 

Laura Raphael is an Associate Librarian with the Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) with more than 10 years' public library experience. She has written for Library JournalPublic LibrariesMarketing Library Services, and American Libraries. In 2011, she received the Community Leadership Award from the Oklahoma Humanities Council for co-creating and coordinating “Novel Talk: Smart conversations for serious readers”, a series of literature-based programs for TCCL.

Registration for this ALA Editions facilitated eCourse, which begins on July 13, 2015, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

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