Remote RA work: Reaching Readers through Social Catalogues

In preparation for my upcoming audio conference, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about RA work.  More specifically, I’ve been examining how RA services can be performed when we take readers away from the face-to-face interview that has traditionally defined the service.  In particular, if and how library catalogues can enhance RA services. (I believe they can!)  I think it’s very important to stress the importance of the face-to-face interview, but to also accept that social software is redefining how our community views personal interaction – and the benefits social software has in enhancing our RA practices.   Our current RA services vary from good to great to exceptional, but there are also assumptions that RA work can only occur within the physical library, or by a select group of individuals.

Anyone who likes to read can share in the RA experience.  This includes all members of our community who enjoy reading.  To that extent, our library catalogues and the social, interactive community environment they are creating need to be explored as an avenue in furthering RA services and bringing reading suggestions to the reader – wherever they are.

I’ve found a handful of articles I thought I’d share with you that discuss the challenging and changing nature of RA services.  These are the articles that I have found extremely helpful in shaping my presentation.  I believe many of you who are trying to explore new ideas for enhancing RA services will also find these interesting as well as those who want an introduction into RA services outside of the traditional model we are currently using.

If any of you have other articles that discuss this topic, please share!

Improving the model for interactive readers’ advisory services by Neil Hollands. Reference & User Services Quarterly. 3/22/2006

LJ Series “Redefining RA”: 2.0 for Readers by Neal Wyatt. Library Journal 11/1/2007

LJ Series “Redefining RA”: Take the RA Talk Online by Neal Wyatt. Library Journal 2/15/2008

Stalking the wild appeal factor: readers’ advisory and social networking sites by Kaite Mediatore Stover. Reference & User Services Quarterly. 3/22/2009

LJ Series “Redefining RA”: The Ideal Tool by Neal Wyatt. Library Jounral 10/15/2009

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