RA experts Neal Wyatt and Joyce G. Saricks discuss the new Resources for Readers pamphlets

RA experts Neal Wyatt and Joyce G. Saricks discuss the new Resources for Readers pamphlets

Someone is asking if you might suggest a good suspense novel with a strong female point of view. Oh, they also like to read horror stories now and then but they'd prefer to avoid books of the blood-and-guts variety. Armed with one of the Psychological Suspense Resources for Readers pamphlets,  you quickly suggest Black-Eyed Susans, by Julia Heaberlin and The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. And guess what? You're an RA hero!

Resources for Readers pamphlet on Psycholgical SuspenseDrawn from the expertise of Neal Wyatt and Joyce G. Saricks, the six new Resources for Readers pamphlets offer grab-and-go guidance for devotees of Adrenaline, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Relationship Fiction, and Romance. Designed to be patron-facing, they're versatile enough to come in handy behind the desk as well. We talked with Wyatt and Saricks, authors of the new third edition of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction, about the pamphlets and how to get readers excited to explore new books.

What are some of the ways that you envision these being used by library staff and patrons?

We think these guides are useful for conducting quick staff training, especially in genres advisors might not read as deeply as they would like. They can also serve as a ready reference desk resource.
They can be given to patrons: as part of an RA conversation, as a guide to take home, and as a self-help resource when the desk is very busy.
Possibilities as bookmarks and handouts are also strong: put specific genre guides in books in that genre, put them on end caps and use as shelf talkers. Also, add them to genre displays. Pile them up at the circ. desk and hand them out during book discussion and have on hand for parents attending story time.
Each pamphlet highlights “Key Authors” and “Sure Bets.” Would you describe your criteria for the selections you made?

The key authors are ones that librarians should know and share with readers. They're important names in the genre and can be counted on to deliver the kind of reading experience patrons want, across the wide arc of each genre.
“Sure Bets” are authors we know to be popular with fans and that are likely to please readers exploring the genre for the first time. These are also "of the moment" authors who are buzzy right now.
The “genre” jumps on the back pages of the pamphlets offer some really fun suggestions for readers to expand their horizons. Would you share some techniques that librarians can use while talking to patrons to facilitate that?

Our book helps librarians find connections among genres and is, in fact, organized by those connections. A key technique is to think about genres in terms of their appeal and offer books based on similar appeal across all genres, rather than staying within the same genre. Most readers are happy to venture beyond a genre's borders as long as they find the reading experience a rewarding one.

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