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Keep It Simple Stupid

I'm in love with book recommendation websites. Sometimes I think there's a problem with how much time I spend on GoodReads. But I'm an avid reader. Seeing list after list of book recommendations makes me happy. That's not the case with everyone.

Sometimes I think we have to remember that as librarians we serve not just the avid readers (although they sure can be fun), but the reluctant ones as well. Sometimes we get lucky and turn a reluctant reader into an avid reader, but many times we just help a reluctant reader find a book they didn't hate to write a book report about, and that is just as important.

For some of our patrons we just need to keep it simple. They don't care that you can lay out all the subgenres of erotic romance. They just want to know what they can read while they're waiting for their hold on Fifty Shades of Grey to be filled (and here's where I could insert the snarky joke about how if you're waiting for Fifty Shades you probably don't realize that there's much better stuff out there, but I'm currently reading the series, so I wouldn't want to make fun of myself). Our job is to be aware of a wide range of resources to serve our patrons, but when it's time to actually assist our patrons, they really only need to know what will answer their question.

And that's why I love Read It! Loved It! so much. Gavin Jones distills his knowledge of the books he's read over the years as a school librarian to create a site highlighting only the titles most worth reading to answer the essential question "What's a really good book for me to read next?" He takes the time to divide his picks up into genres including the essential "Quick Reads", but also gives his overall best of list right at the top of each genre and age specific list.

In what other ways can we get to the point more quickly with our patrons?

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