Reach Readers

Strategic Readers’ Services: A Complete Plan (104)

*️⃣ This course is for anyone who is a practitioner of readers’ advisory, or RA. Use this self-guided toolkit to develop your own finished readers’ advisory strategic plan, which you can share with your administration. When you complete this course, you'll be empowered to advocate for readers' advisory services and guide your own RA work in these uncertain times.

This course will take the average learner about 6 hours total to complete.
Group rates are available:
20% off for 3-25 seats
30% off for 25-49 seats
40% off for 50-99 seats
Ask us if you need more than 100 seats. To take advantage of a group rate, email

*️⃣ Example learning outcomes include:
- Creating a strategic plan for readers' advisory that is connected to your library's overall mission.
- How to reimagine the readers' advisory model.
- Creating a plan to train your staff for readers' advisory.
- Implementing formulas to ensure your library's budget can support your plan.
- Tips for presenting your plan to senior leaders and stakeholders.

*️⃣ Course format: You have 24/7 access to this course, and it can be completed at your own pace. This course offers six broad lessons with multiple small units in them. Lectures are presented in video format and include closed captions. You will have automatic graded quizzes and assignments to assess your learning level, but there is no final class grade. Complete each lesson to receive your course completion certificate.

*️⃣ Course instructors:
This course is instructed by NoveList Advisors Stephanie Chase and Kaite Stover. Chase is the Founding Principal of Constructive Disruption, the Executive Director of the Libraries of Eastern Oregon, a current Public Library Association Board of Directors member, and one of the founding members of LibraryReads. She has worked in libraries, mostly as a director, for more than 20 years, and has a long-time love for and focus on readers’ advisory. Stover is Director of Readers’ Services for the Kansas City Public Library and a founding member of LibraryReads. She is in her second year as an ALA Councilor and is the co-editor of The Readers’ Advisory Handbook. Stover began working in libraries in 1986 and has focused her career on promoting library collections and services to help build a community of readers.

*️⃣ Last updated: January, 2022

Course Instructor: Stephanie Chase & Kaite Stover Estimated completion...: 6 hours Course Level: Two

  • Welcome to the Course
  • Download Worksheet #1, "Be Thinking About" from the Files section
  • Lesson One: Elements of a Strategic Plan
  • Why This Work Is Important
  • Elements of a Strategic Plan
  • Download Worksheet #2, "Gathering Your Resources" from the Files section
  • Instructions for the Gathering Your Resources Worksheet
  • Your RA Mission Statement
  • Download Worksheet #3, "Developing Your RA Mission Statement" from Files section
  • Examples to Help You Complete the Developing Your RA Mission Statement Worksheet
  • Share Your Readers' Advisory Mission Statement
  • Download Worksheet #4, "Building Your Plan" from the Files section
  • Lesson Two: Rethinking Readers' Advisory Services
  • Rethinking Readers' Advisory
  • Assigned Reading: Rethinking the Readers' Advisory Service Model
  • Big Pivots
  • Big Pivots in Library Reader's Advisory
  • Taking Inventory of Your Readers' Advisory Service
  • Download Worksheet #5, "Current Readers' Advisory Services" from Files section
  • Reading Assignment
  • Evaluating Your Readers’ Advisory Services
  • Download Worksheet #6, "Articulating the Vision" from the Files section
  • Instructions for Completing Your Articulating the Vision Worksheet
  • Lesson Three: Building & Advocating for Your Plan
  • Developing Your RA Strategic Plan
  • Download Worksheet #7, "Turning Ideas into Strategies" from the Files section
  • SMARTIE Goals
  • Download Worksheet #8, "Developing SMARTIE Goals" from the Files section
  • Gaining Support
  • Considering Your Audience
  • How Do You Measure Success?
  • Is My Pitch Audience High Context or Low Context?
  • Assigned Reading about High and Low Context Communication
  • Lesson Four: Training for Success
  • Training Policies and Protocols
  • Training at Your Organization
  • Strategic Planning and Training
  • Response to this Discussion Question
  • Gathering Support
  • Download Worksheet #9, "Planning for Training" from the Files section
  • Instructions for the Planning for Training Worksheet
  • Identifying Training Needs
  • Download Worksheet #10, "Training Assessment" from the Files section
  • Example of Completed Training Assessment Worksheet
  • Your Training Preferences
  • Lesson Five: Programming and Promotion
  • Planning for Action
  • Program Formats: Actual, Virtual, Hybrid?
  • Download Worksheet #11, "Turning Goals Into Actions" from the Files section
  • Programming at Your Library
  • Creating an Effective Marketing Plan for Your Idea
  • Download Worksheet #12, "Your Target Audience" from the Files section
  • Choosing Your Promotional Tactics
  • Download Worksheet #13, "Library Marketing Tools" from the Files section
  • Social Media Engagement at Your Library
  • Creating a Basic Marketing Plan for Your New Service
  • Download Worksheet #14, "Basic Marketing Plan" from the Files section
  • Lesson Six: Budgeting & Pulling It All Together
  • Follow the Money
  • Assigned Reading: How to Consider Your Proposed Budget
  • Uncovering Your Organization's Budget
  • Download Worksheet #15, "Follow the Money" from the Files section
  • Projecting the Cost
  • Download Worksheet #16, "Project Cost" from the Files section
  • Instructions for Completing the Project Cost Worksheet
  • Example of Completed Project Cost Worksheet
  • Using Your Completed RA Strategic Plan
  • Complete the Post Course Survey
  • Post-Course Survey
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever