Take 5: Creative RA Campaigns for Your Library Shelves
Sometimes, creative RA ideas come to me. Other times, I feel like I’m tapped out and drawing a blank; like I’ve already done every display idea or RA theme I can think of. In those moments, it’s nice to get inspiration from others. Today I am sharing with you some recent RA campaigns from others that have inspired me. I think they might inspire you as well, or you can put them in your pocket for a day when you need inspiration.
Booked on a Feeling
The Epic Reads blog has a series of posts that recommends books based on the feelings you may want to feel when you read. I loved this idea so much I put together my own RA tools that linked books to feelings. One of the things I loved about it is how they came up with a consistent branding scheme, making it easy to identify and use. You can create your own lists based off of the idea, or use theirs. You can find them here: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/category/booked-on-a-feeling/
Refreshing the Canon
School Library Journal did a series of book lists on refreshing the canon that recommended newer reads for everything from Shakespeare to Hatchet. Our own Amanda MacGregor participated in this project (go Amanda!). This is a great way to get readers thinking about updated texts instead of just going straight to the classics. You can find the lists here: https://www.slj.com/page/refreshing-canon-booklist
Many of us are used to Netflix and how it recommends books in easy to scroll through recommendation lists. Like British Mysteries? They have a list for you. Teen dramas? They even often have a helpful movies based on books. If you use OverDrive or can create your own PAC catalogs, this is a great model. But you can also use this model for visual displays. My coworker did a giant wall display a few years ago, which inspired by RA tools. I like the visual appeal and you know what, Netflix hit on something that works. In my opinion, it’s a great RA format so I run with it.
Back over at Epic Reads, they have a Trope Rec Generator. You choose the trope and they give you a book recommendation. I was so inspired by this idea that I went through and made RA sheets for Teen Fic romance based on every book I can find. It helps teen readers find the books they want and it helps me, not a romance reader, learn this genre better so that I can do better RA on the fly. You can find the post here: https://www.epicreads.com/blog/trope-book-recs/
One day, years ago, I stumbled across a booklist for an album. Years later I remembered that book list while my own teenager went down the Billie Eillish rabbit hole and I started to think of books that would go with their songs. Thus I started creating reading playlists which I called a reading jukebox. The theory is music lovers pick a song and they get book recs for that song. I haven’t made tons of them, but the ones that I have made have been wildly successful.
I hope I have inspired you and if you have some other great RA tips to share, please do in the comments. I’m always looking for RA inspiration.
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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