Sure Bet Bests: Matching Readers With Their “Best” Reads

The end of each year brings a deluge of lists with everyone and their neighbor weighing in on what are the "best" books. But are this year’s “best” titles a sure bet to recommend to your readers? And what happens in a few months? What lists can we fall back on as we work with readers no matter the season? Readers’ Advisory specialist Becky Spratford takes you down this year’s "best" list rabbit hole, makes sense of reading trends, and starts you off on crafting your plan to help your patrons find the right reads. Together you'll look at how to turn the excitement of “best” season into an actionable plan where you, your entire staff (from public service to behind the scenes), and even your patrons can get in on the act, suggest books to each other, and allow you to have the “best” service to readers all the year through.

Originally presented December 7, 2016.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Understand how to use “best” designations as a tool to help readers find the right book for them;
  • Know how to create “sure bets” lists and why they are essential to our work with leisure readers; and
  • Be able to engage patrons in telling you what they think is the ”best.”

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This free, on-demand webinar will be most helpful to library staff with some knowledge in how to assist leisure readers.


Becky Spratford (photo: Bob Briskey)Becky Spratford, MLIS, 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, and is on the steering committee of the Adult Reading Round Table. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist. 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 a proud member of the Horror Writers Association—which is honoring her as a special guest of honor at StokerCon 2017 for her contribution to the genre. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.



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Credits or CEUs

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