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Monday, November 5, 2012

Using Social Media for Readers' Advisory

I attended an interesting session at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference about leveraging social media as a Readers' Advisory tool.  Ben Miller from Sauk City Public Library talked about using Pinterest to recommend books, have a virtual staff-picks display, or link to new books in the catalog.  It made me want to explore this idea even more.

Then, folks from the Milwaukee Public Library talked about having a special 5-hour event that allowed people to use Facebook to submit the last 3 books they'd read  and get a suggestion for the next book to try.  The Milwaukee event was staffed by 10-12 people, all in the same room.  The event was held during the school day, and they didn't encourage participation by children or teens, but there are many ways to make this work in a smaller library, and with youth.  What would happen if you had this offer out there all the time?  Or make it last for a week?  Response time would have to be slower if you didn't have an event created especially for it, since you would have to be doing other work at the same time.

The presenters mentioned that this would be great training ground for someone who is not as accustomed to doing readers' advisory on the fly--you have a little more time than if someone is standing right in front of you.  It has the added benefit of being social, so others can add in their suggestions, and see what others are reading.

Anyone thinking about doing this?  If so, how is it going?  What's your plan? 

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