Along with my colleagues David Wright and Abby Bass, I am co-teaching a class online at the Information School at the University of Washington called “Adult Reader Services in the Public Library.” In preparing my lecture on book groups, I have reflected on how much I have learned from the greater community of readers’ advisors, many of whom write for Booklist, some at this blog and others for the magazine proper (or both!).
Here are just a few words of appreciation for all of you:
Gary Niehbur–I have just been perusing your book Read ‘Em Their Writes: A Handbook for Mystery and Crime Book Discussions and have found it an excellent resource for any group needing some help finding great mysteries and crime fiction to discuss. Also, I thought that it was quite right that you took The Seattle Public Library to task for our previously genre-dismissive tone in our Book Group How-To’s. The language you cite in your book has since changed, and I requested that the line that remained about “most” genre fiction not being good for discussion to be changed to some. Public confession–Gary, I met you at PLA in Seattle years ago when I was a new librarian and I snobbishly said something about never reading mysteries. I am so sorry about that. I have been since enlightened, by you and others.
Neil Hollands–Thank you for your thoughtful posts about book group themes and questions. Thanks also for your excellent genre book group guide, Fellowship in a Ring: A Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups. I mentioned your book and Gary’s in the lecture I recorded for my class.
Kaite Stover–I have had the pleasure of hearing you present at conferences. You are a natural book talker and so enthusiastic about what you do. Your library is so lucky to have you, talking about books over the airwaves and meeting with groups all over your community. Plus, I love your She Said counterpoint columns!
Rebecca Vnuk–I appreciate your posts on women’s fiction and your posts on the Library Journal blog, too.
Joyce Saricks–No one could become a Readers’ Advisor without owing a huge debt of gratitude to your groundbreaking work in this field. Plus, you make it look easy. You are so welcoming, approachable and down-to-earth with the advice and reflection you have to share on how we all can get better at connecting books and readers. For your books, articles, monthly columns and more, I thank you.