On Being a Librarian

Trends, Achievements, and Perspectives

Getting Summer Reading Right

By Sue Clark (Flickr: Cover ~ The Lost Princess of Oz) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Summer beckons with possibilities for reading on the front porch with cups of tea at the ready and stacks of books from which to choose for the afternoon’s delight.

How to find the next best read can be challenging and overwhelming. Thankfully, my friends working in public libraries quick to offer book lists and read-a-likes.  Other friends happily loan their latest great read, too.  For those who might not have a gaggle of buddies at the ready with suggestions, finding your next few years can be difficult.

Access to the Internet provides many options to find book suggestions, and here are a few places to look.

1. Your public library. Sit down at the breakfast table with a toasted crumpet, a cup of coffee, and your device whether laptop, tablet, or phone. Most public libraries offer fantastic services including book recommendation lists and read-a-like services. The Toronto Public Library offers a “We Recommend” service listing recommended reading lists each month. Calgary Public Library provides four different categories for finding reading materials (New Titles, Award Winners, Bestsellers, and Recently Reviewed.  The Cranbrook Public Library gives you access to NoveList, while Whistler Public Library provides links on their “We Recommend” page to staff recommendations – that’s twenty-three suggestions!

2) On-line blogs and websites.  Yes, there are too many online sites to wade through vetting and evaluating authenticity and appropriateness before even considering review content.  Here are a few places to look to save your time and frustration:

3) Social Cataloguing and Review websites. Each site has a unique interface, differing features and functionality, and levels of inquiry options.

  • Shelfari was my favourite for years and recently merged with Goodreads.  Get the most from the site by registering.
  • LibraryThing has a different utility for me learned from using it since 2006.  Registering and paying $25 for life get you so many services and opportunities, for example, getting an early release (there are over 2,000 per month), cataloguing your reads, and talk about your reads with others.  The LibraryThingBlog makes for great reading, too!

4) Literature Prize websites.  Almost every country recognizes national authors with a series of prizes.  There are dozens worldwide; however, look at the websites of these few and be sure to look for lists of winners from previous years.

I created a list, placed requests and holds on most from my local public library, borrowed others from friends and am ready for a summer of porch reading.

Are you?

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This entry was posted on 06/29/2016 by in Competency.
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