I recently presented “Automated Reader’s Advisory” at the 17th Annual Professional Growth Day at Bellevue University Library. My main objective was to find resources I could use to find my next good book. At the time I chose this topic, I did not realize how important leisure reading is to society. It turns out that what we read can make us a more empathetic person and increase our outreach to humanity. By simply reading a story of another culture or human experience, we go through the same emotions of these cultures as if we were there ourselves. An article I read by Pauline Dewan entitled Reading Matters in the Academic Library highlights the importance of leisure reading in the academic library (see link below). According to the article, “experiencing empathy towards those outside our social groupings is essential for furthering human rights worldwide. Stories are, in fact, the ‘glue and grease’ that bind societies.”
The Bellevue University Library already has some of the marketing ideas found in the article, such as, a comfortable reading area and themed book displays. We also have a new Readers’ Advisory LibGuide. It gives online resources to help the reader find their next good book and includes books in the library to help with this search.
Here are some of the online resources to help you find your next good book:
Whichbook. If you’re not good at remembering book titles, or if you are the sort of reader who likes to choose by browsing around a little and seeing what tempts you, Whichbook is for you. Browse from lots of intriguing and less well-known titles which are reviewed by a changing team of 70 people drawn from literature organizations and libraries.The sliding scale allows you to choose a book theme based o
If you would like to choose a book based on plot, setting, character or writing style you may want to look at Allreaders. This resource allows you to look at the plot outline to give you a better idea on the book.n your mood. Characteristics and themes are found on scales such as “optimistic” to “bleak”, “larger than life” to “down to earth”, “expected” to “unpredictable” are just a few of the scales from which to choose.
If you have just finished a wonderful book and would like to read something similar, you can check out What Should I read Next. Enter a book you like and the site will analyze their huge database of real reader’s favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.
Lastly, if you would like to combine your love of reading with social media, check out GoodReads. This is the largest site for readers and book recommendations. You can keep a list of new books to read, currently reading or ones you have read.
Thanks for listening and let me know what Reader’s Advisory sites you use!
Dewan, Pauline. (2013). Reading Matters in the Academic Library. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 52(4), 309-319. (read online, Bellevue University users must log in)