Definition

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Readers' Advisory Services are defined as the library staff providing suggestions and guidance in finding interesting materials for readers in the library. This can, and often is, informally done at the circulation desk when desk workers get to know the library users' preferences and suggest other similar titles that they might enjoy reading. Many libraries are offering more formal Readers' Advisory Services both at desinated service desks, on the library's website, and through programs offered to library users where new and topical titles are discussed and suggested. The key to effective readers' advisory is in training library staff to listen carefully when readers discuss the books they enjoy, or don't enjoy, and focus in on common threads for the reader. For instance some readers prefer regional books that talk about areas they are familiar with, or others are interested in anything on a topic, like horse racing or cooking. Once a readers' advisor has found the common thread in the readers interest they can make recommendations of other books with common elements. It is always a good idea to suggest three or four titles, and ask the reader to get back to you about what they liked or didn't like about your suggstions. There are also a number of excellent reference resources available with lists of titles both in print and electronic formats. --Cheryl 10:22, 8 Jul 2005 (EDT)

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