New Mexico State Library

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Infopeople: Reader’s Advisory Fundamentals Books and Beyond

Submitted by Amanda Lewis at the Jemez Springs Public Library

I want to share a couple of things that I thought were important about helping patrons choose their next book.  The first thing that I thought I need practice at and was glad it was brought up was how to ask “What kind of books do you like.”  Often if you just ask “what do you like to read” you’ll get a very vague answer such as “thrillers” or “historical fiction” not very helpful answers.  Asking questions that will narrow down book options can be more helpful in narrowing down a good fit for the patron. Questions like do you prefer a happy ending or a cliffhanger? Do you have a favorite genre, what do you love about it?  What kind of lead character do you like, someone strong and determined or a more subtle lead character? The goal is to get more details from the patron so you can help narrow down some book suggestions for them.

The other thing that I thought was a good possibility to help readers find their next read was Pinterest.  A library could possibly use Pinterest to create boards and group books together by genre, character type, story location, length of read etc.  This could allow people to look at a library’s page to help them find a book that will suit their needs, while from a remote location.

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