Because cloning myself is completely out of the question (my husband doesn’t think the world is ready for more than one me), I’ve had to consider ways to work smarter, not harder. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to connect a reader with the right book. However, that reader often walks into the library when I am working with a teacher or teaching a class. I hate to see a student leave the library empty-handed because I was unable to find the time to work with him before he had to return to class.
Recommended Reads Notebook
To address this problem, I recently created a Recommended Reads notebook that is displayed on our Circulation Desk’s counter. It will remain a work in progress but currently contains:
- Yearly South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees brochures (annotated brochures provided by fellow SC school librarians and available at the SCASL website)
- Copies of our B.O.W. (Book of the Week) signs. Each contains a photo of a book’s cover and an annotation meant to entice students to read the book.
- YALSA’s 2010 Teen’s Top Ten Nominations (with the titles in our collection highlighted)
- Readalike Lists created using ATN Reading Lists
- The Great Scavenger Hunt Book list (with the titles in our collection highlighted)
Next I will be adding a section on Series. It will contain annotated lists categorized by genre to help readers determine the sequence of a series.
Not Reluctant Readers, but Readers Reluctant to Use the Notebook
At first, I had to physically hand the book to students to encourage them to discover what it contained. I have been rewarded recently with seeing students approach the desk and pick up the notebook on their own when they are looking for a book to read. I still love to help students find books, but it is gratifying to know that even when I am not able to verbally suggest a book, I can still guide students towards books they might enjoy.
Suggestions for Improvement?
What else would be helpful to readers who have to rely on this notebook for a recommendation?