Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chapter 14 Readers Advisory Services

I really like thinking that a library is just like a business. Good customer service and a warm inviting environment that will make people return. Many of the ideas presented in this chapter made sense me and I am excited to try something new and different at my own library.

I had worked for over 10 years at a large regional grocery chain. They prided themselves on amazing customer service and a shopping "experience". The store was laid out in such a way to draw you in with its beautiful displays and amazing selection. There was always something new to try. You could ask employees anything and they seemed like experts. If you wanted to try some strange new fruit, someone could tell you what it tasted like. If you needed to find something within the store they had someone roaming the aisles ready to assist you in finding its location. The same could be said of the Reader Advisory Service. They are the go to person for those needing assistance and can guide a patron to what they are looking for. Chelton writes"that a skilled librarian who can suggest or call attention to something they might like to read...becomes a very valuable asset."(p.166)

Another aspect that is intriguing is the idea of merchandising. Creating a visually appealing space that creatively promotes titles encourages us to try something new and different. When I walk into my local library I immediately run to the new releases. I know exactly where to go. Imagine my surprise when I went to the same spot a few weeks later and discovered them gone. In its place was a display of books all about fun summer activities. Well that caught my eye, and I proceeded to check out a few books that I didn't even know I wanted. Fascinating! Just like the grocery store, always buying items I didn't know I needed.

Chelton, M. (2008). Readers Advisory Services: How to Help Users Find a Good Book. In Haycock, K., Sheldon, B. (Eds.), The Portable MLIS Insights from the Experts (pp.159-167). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

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