Cindy Crushes Programming: Find a Good Book with Miss Cindy
Today librarian Cindy Shutts is sharing with us how she turned reader’s advisory into a simple yet fun and effective program.
I love Reader’s Advisory! It is one of my favorite things to do. I try to read as many books as I can. Every year I like to do a Reader’s Advisory based program called Find a Book with Miss Cindy. To make the program more fun and appealing, I provide snacks. Teens love food!
This is a pretty simple program. I give everyone a Reader’s Advisory survey and have them fill them out (see the end of this post). I let them enjoy the juice and snacks as they fill out the surveys. One question I receive is “Do I have to check out books to attend?” I let them know that they do not have to check out materials. I will have materials available to check out if they wish, but it is certainly not a requirement. I know not everyone is able to check out materials for a variety of reasons and I don’t want them to feel unwelcome. I want to be able to give them recommendations even if it does not help circulation. I often look at thrift stores for books for teens to make sure they have access to books. If they can’t check a book out, maybe they can still take one home.
I set up tables with some of my favorite books on them. Often books are checked out and I have to use older titles that are in and available at the time of this program.
An important note: Please include many own voices books. This is so important. My teens often look for own voices books and really need them. When putting together any time of display or RA you should always make sure that you have a diverse and inclusive variety of books available so that every teen who walks through your door is represented.
After teens fill out the survey, I then work with them individually to help them find a book that I think best matches their interests and past reading experience. I go to the table of books and start to pick them out for the teens based on the results of their survey. I often bring them to the table with me, particularly if I know they have read a lot of the books. This helps me know what they have already read. My goal is simple: to try and connect them with some new books that they might enjoy reading based on their survey.
Find a Good Book with Miss Cindy
- Name your favorite authors?
- Name your favorite books?
- What genres do you like?
- What movies and TV shows do you watch?
- What video games do you enjoy?
- Do you have any hobbies?
Final thoughts: This is one of my favorite programs to do. It is cheap and fun. Everyone usually leaves happy. One reader had read pretty much everything, but a copy of On The Come Up by Angie Thomas has just come and I could give that to them. It’s a pretty rewarding experience. This program is great for prolific readers or readers who are new to young adult books.
Filed under: Reader's Advisory
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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