New Reader’s blog highlights the catalogue as an RA tool

I’m always looking for ways to further the relationship between the library catalogue and Readers’ Advisory services. I believe the catalogue is an important RA tool and cataloguers are key Readers’ Advisors.

This month, our library launched an RA blog called The Reader. It’s a public blog, created for patrons and staff. As a member of the core team at our library, I’m one of the contributors. Although The Reader isn’t a forum to push the importance of the catalogue as an RA tool to other Readers’ Advisors, it is an acknowledgement by our library and the rest of our team that my knowledge, and the catalogue, play an important role in RA services.

When I am writing posts for The Reader, I try to put myself in the place of a frustrated reader, just looking for something interesting to read. So, I promote existing lists in the catalogue and search strategies. I’m also trying to provide, in an interesting and fun way, subject headings and genre lists for fiction and non-fiction.

One of my recent drafts (which has not yet been posted) targets mystery readers. What if you’re a mystery reader just back from vacation and looking for something interesting to read? In this post, I provide a list of our mystery genre headings and ideas for searching. Then I provide examples as to how to combine a genre with a place or profession (or both). These examples link directly into our catalogue.

I’ve also drafted a post on narrative non-fiction. Here’s the short post:

What does “Salt: a world history” have to do with “The secret life of lobsters”? What about “Olives: the life and lore of a noble fruit” and “Chocolate: a bittersweet saga of dark and light”?

There are many books out there that explore the everyday life of “things”. The history of chocolate, salt, lobsters and olives are only a small example of ordinary “things” that are explored through anectodal stories and humorous accounts of controversy, hardship and the mundane in a genre we call “microhistory”. These histories are presented in a story format, for an easy read and full of interesting information.

If you enjoy reading about the ordinary in a far from ordinary way, you’ll enjoy our collection of books that fall under the microhistory genre in our library catalogue.

While our MARC records do not yet provide description for appeals such as the language of a book (fast-pasted, descriptive, etc.), I’m hopeful that this information is forthcoming, especially in RA created lists that exist in the catalogue.

It’s an interesting way of pushing the catalogue forward and working directly with patrons in a new way. I also feel that it’s pushing my limits and testing my knowledge of the catalogue and its potential.


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Filed under future of cataloguing, Social catalogue, The Cataloguer, The Library Catalogue

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