Readers' Advisory 101

Tuesday, 7/5/2016 - Sunday, 8/21/2016

Weekly Live Chats 3 p.m., Chicago/Central Time on Thursdays (1-2 hours)

Register online now! Or, register by mail or fax by downloading the registration form (PDF format.)

Course Objectives and Description

Learn how to become more comfortable providing readers' advisory (RA) services. Through practice sessions, learn how to use RA tools, craft annotations, read in genres, articulate appeal, and experiment with methods to offer RA services. Readers' Advisory 101 is tailored for support staff, library technicians, newly hired reference librarians, and those librarians who want to brush up on their skills. The topics covered are introductory in nature. Class segments are geared to cover issues of interest to staff in all types of libraries.

Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library by Joyce Saricks will be the course textbook. This well-regarded textbook is published by the American Library Association and available for sale online.

At the start of the class, students will be asked questions about one genre book from the list below (they are welcome to read more than one). It goes without saying that if you register, proceed to read the book well before the class begins! The four books will be used as examples during the class to illustrate many of the subjects and be used in the book discussion session.

  • Romance - The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne
  • Mystery - Still Life by Louise Penny
  • Speculative Fiction - The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Action/Thriller/Suspense - The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver

This course includes practice chat sessions conducted online. The chats will take place at 3 p.m., Chicago/Central Time on Thursdays, and will last 1-2 hours. Those students who miss a chat may comment on the chat transcript. Students will have the best learning experience if they attend all of these chat sessions.

Learning Outcomes

  • Module 1: Introduction
  • Module 2: Basic Elements of Appeal
  • Module 3: Basic RA Tools
  • Module 4: Annotations
  • Module 5: The RA Conversation
  • Module 6: Marketing RA and Book Discussions
  • Module 7: Conclusion

Who Should Attend

Class segments are geared to cover issues of interest to staff in all types of libraries.


A librarian since 1977, Joyce Saricks worked exclusively at the Downers Grove Public Library in Illinois until her retirement in 2004. In 1983 she developed and directed a readers’ advisory department there. She has written Readers' Advisory Service in the Public Library (3rd ed., ALA, 2005) and Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction (2nd ed., ALA, 2009). She currently presents workshops on readers’ advisory, serves as NoveList’s Readalike coordinator (and author), and writes a monthly column on RA for Booklist. She also teaches Readers’ Advisory at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library Science.



  • $130 for RUSA members
  • $175 for ALA members
  • $210 for non-ALA members
  • $100 for student members and retired members

How to Register

  • Online
  • By Fax: download, complete, and fax form (PDF format) to (312) 280-1538
  • By Mail: download, complete, and mail form (PDF format) to American Library Association, ATTN: MACS/Online CE Registration, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Tech Requirements

ALA uses Moodle for all online educational courses. It is hosted at Learn more about Moodle at

***The live chat sessions will be offered using Adobe Connect. Please ensure that you have Adobe Flash Player Version 10.1 or later on your computer. No audio is necessary. You will be able to ask questions and interact with the presenter and other participants via chat.

You can test your settings to verify that your computer is configured properly to participate in the chat sessions.


Questions about your registration should be directed to Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Andrea Hill, RUSA Web Manager, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!