Familiar with doing readers advisory for fiction but not for nonfiction? Why should fiction get all the attention? Nonfiction books can be just as fun to read too. For doing readers advisory for nonfiction, here’s a valuable reference tool: The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Nonfiction by Neal Wyatt, published by ALA Editions.
Why I bought it: I wanted to learn about how it’s possible to do readers advisory for nonfiction.
My take: This was an informative and interesting book. In the first two chapters Wyatt discusses how to do readers advisory for nonfiction, the four elements of nonfiction, and how to offer the service to the patron. Popular subjects such as food and cooking, science, sports, memoirs, travel, and history are covered. The remainder of nonfiction subjects receives its own chapter. (How-to and reference books are excluded) I liked how the topical areas within a subject are broken out and explained. Well-known titles are presented at the end of the chapters. (Additionally Appendix B presents those well-known books in a list format by subject) Wyatt ends with a chapter of suggestions about how to learn and promote your nonfiction collection and the kinds of aids you can use for patrons to explore more about their favorite subject. (For example, you can present nonfiction books with a novel based on the subjects covered in the story) Just as you would for fiction, read nonfiction widely too! Bridge the Dewey divide, Wyatt writes.
Bottom line: Worth reading! I learned a lot from reading this book. Great for those new to public librarianship or have been practicing in the field.
Editors note: ($47.70 from Amazon with free shipping - $53.00 from ALA and $47.70 from ALA *if you are a member *. . . hmmm)
To blog readers: On a personal note, I changed divisions within my library. After two years of working in fiction, I transferred to the History & Biography section of our Social Sciences Division in early summer. I had been there before working in our fiction division. My undergrad degree is in history so its my area. Because I’m in a specific subject area, it’ll give me an opportunity to relearn the collection and explore what we’ve got on our shelves.
Elisa Babel, MLS
Filed under: current topics, Public Services, Library Profession, Collection development, Book lists, Book selection, Readers' advisory, Reference, Adult, Urban, Public-academic, Research Tagged: | book review