Working With Readers

The Art and Practice of Providing Outstanding Reading Recommendations   (106)

*️⃣ This course is for anyone who is a practitioner of readers’ advisory, or RA. Connecting readers with books they love is a core library service. But talking with readers about their tastes, and then trying to match those readers to books is a lot harder than it sounds.

*️⃣ In this course, you’ll learn how to navigate common scenarios librarians face when working with readers. You’ll learn techniques from library staff working in the field, who share how they handle situations that can stump librarians. You will also learn how to find and use the best tools and resources available to you, including the NoveList database. And you'll learn how to evaluate whether your readers’ advisory services are making an impact. When you have finished taking this course, you will have the training and the confidence to work with readers in a variety of different scenarios. You'll be more confident in your ability to respond to reader requests.

*️⃣ Here are the core skills you will learn in this course:
- How to master common situations and conversations when working with readers using tips the readers’ advisory experts have learned from years of experience.
- How to position your library as the primary source of trusted reading recommendations by engaging readers inside and outside of the physical library space.
- The tools and resources that library staff can use to ensure their reading suggestions are engaging, inclusive, and serve the needs of all readers. You will also learn how to use NoveList to do readers’ advisory work.
- The importance of measuring and advocating for your readers’ advisory services.

Special note: This course assumes that you have access to the NoveList Plus database. This course will take the average learner about 4 hours total to complete.

*️⃣ Course format: You have 24/7 access to this course, and it can be completed at your own pace. This course offers four 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.

*️⃣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. Additionally, this course is available as part of our subscription offerings. For group rates or subscription package options, please contact us at

*️⃣ Course instructor: Halle Carlson is a former manager of the Editorial Content Team of NoveList which oversees the creation of the lists, articles, NextReads newsletter, and read-alike recommendations. Prior to that, Halle spent a dozen years working for a public library system. This course also includes advice from readers’ advisory experts including:
- Abby Hargreaves, a Teen Services Librarian in Washington, DC.
- Barry Trott, an Adult Services Consultant at the Library of Virginia.
- Becky Spratford [MLIS], a Readers' Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up.
- Helen Sharma, a school library media coordinator in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Jennifer Lohmann, a librarian, and a marketer.
- Kate Fais, a Senior Young Adult Librarian at the Bloomingdale Library.
- Michelle Morris, a Collection Development Librarian at Fort Worth Public Library.
- Rebecca Vnuk, the Executive Director of LibraryReads.
- Susen Shi, a Young Adult Librarian at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (NYPL).

*️⃣ Last updated: July 2022

*️⃣ This course is designed for professionals in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Course Instructor: Halle Carlson Estimated completion...: 4 hours

  • Welcome to the course!
  • Lesson One
  • The Readers’ Advisory Conversation
  • Lesson Two
  • Engaging Readers Inside and Outside the Library
  • Lesson Three
  • Measuring the Impact of Your Readers’ Advisory Services
  • Summary
  • Key Takeaways
  • complete the survey
  • Course Feedback Survey
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed
  • Leads to a certificate with a duration: Forever