One of the things I helped spearhead this year was a departmental RA blog. I found that almost all of us were voracious readers and often talked to each other about what we were reading. However, once the converstation ended, it was hard to remember what we had talked about once time had passed. Same thing went for our RA meeetings. I LOVE when we have them, but trying to remember everything that was talked about was HARD. So, I pitched the RA blog and, thankfully, my amazing co-workers supported the trial run.
So, how does it work? What my boss did was built in posting to the blog in each of our goals. Full timers are to do 2 posts a month and part timers have to do 1; this gives us on average 10 posts a month. We all hav out own style, but typically we all include the basic summary, then our thoughts about the book, and who we’d recommend it to. I also try to include read-a-likes or a quick spiel they can use to sell the book to a patron. Here’s a screenshot of a typical post from me. (I would share the link, but I didn’t pass it by my my co-workers and I don’t feel right sharing here without their permission.)
We also make sure we’re using tags along with category assignments. While the category are basics, we try to add more in with the tags. For example, I put Lumberjanes under Juv>Graphic Novel, but added camping, funny, adventure, and girl power to the tags. Of course, we could do this category wise, but we wanted to keep those fairly simple/clean.
So far the project has been good. I enjoy reading everyone’s posts and it’s certainly helping my RA on the younger end! Since we’ve only been posting 7 months, there’s not enough to make it a regular part of our day-to-day RA. We’re hoping once we hit the year mark and have a good amount of posts built up, we’ll be able to use it more reguarly. If we decide to continue it, we’re even considering making it a part of our regular website so patrons could benefit from it as well!
I know that not everyone has a large Youth Services team, or maybe one as awesome as mine, but I still believe this is an easy project to replicate. I’m betting if you ask around your library, you’d be suprised by how many people would be willing to participate! Even if you only get 3 or 4 contributors, that a great start for sharing RA knowledge that targeted at your community.