Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Readers Advisory

An excellent article Taking Back Readers' Advisory by Barbara Hoffert appears in the current Library Journal. This is an important service to our communities.

While nothing can replace reference staff trained in RA, we can ensure our records help the reader. Most cataloger users appreciate summaries or abstracts. We should try to get them for as many titles as possible. Maybe the annotation that is written for the Web site reading list should also be included in the bib record? How about linking to on-line reviews? Table of contents information can help our readers. GSAFD? These are just a few ideas off the cuff. RA responsibility does not stop at the "Staff Only" door.

The Web presence for annotated lists should consider some content management systems, like Movable Type. These blogging tools can make the lists available to our patrons on the Web, via e-mail and RSS. Patrons can decide the format that suits them, which is always a good idea. The archiving function will be helpful. The creation tools make it easier to get it up and available. Could be a good fit.

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