For immediate release | February 21, 2012

Booklist adds popular backlist-focused blog Shelf Renewal to growing list

CHICAGO - The highly regarded blog Shelf Renewal, dedicated to readers’ advisory focusing on backlist titles, has joined the Booklist family of blogs.

The idea of the blog was born at ALA Annual Conference in 2008, when librarians Karen Kleckner Keefe and Rebecca Vnuk (now Booklist editor for reference and collection management) attended a program that included what people were doing to get pre-pub information out to librarians. “We started feeling a little sorry for those backlist titles that just don’t get enough attention, “ said Vnuk, “so we brainstormed what we could do for those awesome books that languish on the shelves, while library patrons walk away empty-handed after putting in their reserve for the newest thing.”

Shelf Renewal followed soon after. The heart of the blog is readalike suggestions - matching old books to new releases, finding older titles relevant to what’s happening in the news and in pop culture today. The blog has two regularly scheduled features: “Dusty Books”– those books that someone, somewhere, will love, if they only knew they were still on your shelves—and “Web Crush of the Week,” showcasing every Friday a different website that you must know about if you want to be a great readers’ advisory librarian.

“Not only have we been delighted to welcome Rebecca to Booklist with her range of experience, record of successfully implemented new ideas and high energy,” said Publisher and Editor, Bill Ott, “but adding the popular Shelf Renewal to our growing family of blogs is a great bonus.”

Karen Kleckner Keefe is director of the Hinsdale (Ill.) Public Library. Formerly head of readers’ services and public relations coordinator at Deerfield (Ill.) Public Library, she has happily recommended books to patrons for more than a decade. She was named a 2009 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, partly for her leadership in the community-wide reading program “One Book, One Zip Code” and the Adult Reading Round Table’s “Genre Boot Camp” program. Keefe was also a previous chair of the Adult Reading Round Table.

Rebecca Vnuk has a high profile in the library community as a librarian, consultant, workshop presenter, speaker, writer, blogger and now Booklist editor for reference and collection management. She has also worked at several public libraries in readers’ advisory and collection development roles, served as chair of the ALA RUSA CODES RA Committee, is author of two readers’ advisory titles published by Libraries Unlimited and has been a reviewer and freelance writer for a number of professional publications. She has been widely recognized for her contributions, receiving PLA’s Allie Beth Martin Award for excellence in Readers’ Advisory in 2010 and being named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

Booklist is the book review magazine of the American Library Association, considered an essential collection development and readers’ advisory tool by thousands of librarians for more than 100 years. Booklist Online includes a growing archive of 135,000+ reviews available to subscribers as well as a wealth of free content offering the latest news and views on books and media. Booklist subscriptions offer essential integrated print and online access for the most efficient and effective workflow.


Mary Mackay L