One of the most rewarding elements of library work is being able to match a patron with exactly the material he or she is looking for when visiting the library. Often it’s books, but sometimes this means websites, articles, and even multimedia resources. But no matter what a patron is looking for, nothing can replace the feeling of meeting that particular need. Here are some samples of different reader’s advisory tools I have put together.
Recommended Books by Grade Level and Subject
I created these document based on patron demand for books appropriate to a specific grade level. For inspiration, I drew on the library’s existing recommended reading list, as well as a variety of resources for recommended titles by grade. When I switched library systems, the classification of materials, as well as the type of information requested by patrons, changed. In addition to looking for books by reading level, patrons also look for books by series and subject level. Consequently, I have developed several different reader’s advisory lists to accommodate those requests.
The Other Boleyn Girl: A List of Nonfiction Reading Resources
I created this document based on the movie The Other Boleyn Girl. Having read Philippa Gregory’s novel and seen the movie, I was intrigued by the amount of historical information both included. This annotated bibliography focuses on nonfiction resources on the topics discussed in the story, including Tudor England, Henry VIII, the six wives of Henry VIII, and the heirs to the English throne.
Lone Star Stories: An Examination of the Tales of Texas and the Southwest
This document was also created as a school project. While much of the project focuses on defining Texas retellings and original tales with the intent of creating a definition of a Texas tale, it also provides a collection of stories of interest to teachers or librarians. I got the inspiration for this project through my work with a local elementary school. Each year, the first grade studied Texas, and the teachers looked for various Texas stories to use with their curriculum. This list includes 15 different Texas stories that the teachers could use in developing their curriculum, and represent some of my favorites from the research that I did in defining the Texas story.
Middle School Book Talk: Surviving Middle School
I had the idea for this theme after seeing James Patterson speak at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in San Antonio in April 2014. I was inspired by his comments and the need to encourage our children to read, and the books that he has developed particularly for reluctant readers are fantastic. This book talk highlights three different series about surviving middle school. These books are good for boys and girls, as well as reluctant readers. The pictures included with the stories add humor and the topics are relatable. Additionally, the series elements of these books make them a popular choice for students who want to read several books with the same characters or by the same author.
Elementary Book Talk: Fun Animal Stories
I had the idea for this theme from my previous story time students. One of their favorite books to read was the Skippyjon Jones series. I love the stories because they are fun, engaging, and full of humor. I wanted to find additional books with a similar theme that included both fun stories and engaging illustrations to appeal to a variety of younger readers. This book talk highlights different stories about animal adventures. These books are good for boys and girls, and focus on interesting books for younger grades. They can be read independently but also make good read-aloud stories. All feature colorful illustrations that add to the stories. Most of the authors in this group have several additional books that students can choose from as well.