Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Canadian Reading Habits

This study has been circulating for the past few days and it is an interesting consideration of American and Canadian readers.  Booknet Canada had a look at the Pew Research Centre's study which suggests that Americans are reading less than they were in the past.  There are some additional statistics that can lead you to develop a profile of those who are reading the most and who are reading the least.  Generally, white women with higher education and higher salaries are the best readers.

Booknet Canada was intrigued by the American numbers and conducted their own survey.  The results of that survey is displayed to the left.  This information is particularly helpful for readers' advisors as it identifies who might be your most avid readers and new markets that might be important to target.

Booknet Canada also cites a NOP World Culture Score Index study that identifies who reads the most in the world.  Not sure why they profile only Russia for genre interests, but the whole map is interesting.

Readers' advisors can learn a lot about their business from these and other studies that look directly at reading habits.  There have been studies in the past which ask readers where they find out about books and libraries barely rank.  Readers are finding out about books from friends and booksellers.  The readers are using libraries but they are not engaging with library staff to find out about books. 

That is something we have to work to change.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Scotiabank Giller Prize

It is old news the Andre Alexis won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize.  I have tried diligently to locate an online version of the ceremony, hosted by Rick Mercer, but I have not been able to locate one. You can check out other Giller-related videos on their site.

Readers' advisors can learn a lot about booktalking and promoting books from the award ceremony. The show is typically one hour long and the shortlist includes 5 books.  During this year's broadcast, presenters were tasked with "booktalking" their assigned title.  A booktalk does not summarize the book but identifies the most interesting aspects of the book in a way that promotes interest.  The author is invited to read some of their book and then they participate in some random television activities.  This is a great way to conduct an author visit and most authors are familiar with the structure.  Be sure to check this out next year and assess the show as a readers' advisor.

The CBC Books webpage really deserves its own post but I will mention it here to direct you to one of the best Canadian book resource.  There are many timely lists and related book news.  Their Facebook page is equally informative and will keep you up to date on the latest news that your readers already know.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Library Reads

Librarians and selectors regularly read reviews to determine appropriate additions for their library collections.  These reviews are written by professional writers, some academics and some librarians and consider the item on its merit and may consider the relatively value that the item will have for library users.

There is a resource for forthcoming reviews which employs only librarians and library staff as reviewers.  Library Reads is a partnership project with prominent librarians and major publishing firms to provide reviews of new publications.  The books are reviewed in advance of publishing to allow time for selectors to assess and add them to the upcoming orders.  The project is two years old and it is well-know stateside by librarians and fiction selectors.  The top 10 adult titles are displayed monthly with a majority of fiction titles and a few non-fiction titles.  

The reviews are timely and can easily aid library staff in developing readers' advisory intelligence from the reviews.  They help to set up staff for success with readers by providing good forthcoming coverage, predicting the possible books of interest which your users will be clamouring for.  The website has a number of print templates which could be used to promote the program and the books selected.

Library staff are encouraged to participate by reading and reviewing books provided by the publishers.  At present, this is an American initiative but there will be exciting news of the Canadian front in a few more months.  If library staff want to get access to forthcoming publications, subscribing to NetGalley is another way to get free access to new books.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Get to Know Harlequin

Libraries are pretty hostile territories for Harlequin books. Librarians were discussing how either libraries don't actually purchase them or bother to catalogue them which makes them hard to access for romance lovers.  At my library, we - literally - put these books in the back corner.  These books are seen as just ephemeral and that readers who like one would like any other one.

Libraries and library staff are not doing their readers any service if they are not familiar with Harlequin and the various series that are offered.

Check out the Harlequin site:

There is further information about the books which are published by Harlequin and there is a lot of series information available on the site.  Harlequin has done a lot of work already for readers' advisors to direct readers to their perfect Harlequin.  In addition to series information, they have sub-divided their publications into fiction categories.

There are a few library resources but they aren't as helpful as the information included on the main site.

Everyone has a Harlequin memory and do not discount how well loved these books are by readers.