Weekly Reading – Week 1
Reading is not Just a Hobby
Before I read Wiegand’s chapter “On the Social Nature of Reading”, I have not thought that reading has such significant effects on our lives. Reading not only positively affects our social lives and in a way makes our lives better but reading also unites people. The author says, that “social nature of reading does more to draw people into groups than to separate them from one another.” (Wiegand, 2005)
Therefore, reading is not just a hobby. Reading for someone is a passion; passion that is significantly important in their lives. Because we share what we read, whether it’s a fiction or nonfiction; we discuss stories with others; we recommend books that we love and some books we criticize. It is amazing to see that reading truly unites people together by their reading interest.
How Important is Reader’s Advisory to Public Libraries?
Patrons’ needs are definitely changing over the years. After reading chapter one (Saricks, 2005), I was surprised that in the past, reader’s advisory services in public libraries were focused mostly on nonfiction collection. However, today’s statistics show that 60% of total adult circulations are fiction books (Saricks, 2005). In addition, today’s reference librarians do not answer as many reference questions regarding information materials as they used to. Frankly, “libraries continue to be repositories of books,” which is another reason that libraries need knowledgeable staff to navigate patrons who might be overwhelmed by the size of the collection when choosing any library material.
Besides that librarians help patrons to use computers or library catalogs, they also have to be well established in conducting effective RA interviews in order to help patrons who literally might be lost among such a large selection of books. To some people reader’s advisory services might sound easy but librarians who conduct these services have to be not only knowledgeable in fiction and nonfiction collection but they also have to be good listeners and open-minded nonjudgmental individuals who ask the right questions at the right time.
Saricks, J. G. (2005). Readers’ Advisory Service in the Public Library (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: American Library Association (ALA).
Wiegand, W. A. (2005). Introduction: On the social nature of reading. In D. T. Herald, Genreflecting: A guide to popular reading interests (6th ed., pp. 3-14). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.