Expanding your book knowledge
Everyone recognises that the ability to suggest the right book at the right time to interest a particular child is a top priority, but it’s hard keeping your knowledge up to date when you’re busy with all the other pressures of school life. Use this course for quick and easy ways to improve your awareness of trends and knowledge of individual titles several times over!
Personal feedback is available from an Opening the Book mentor to gain a certificate.
|How to use the course|
Part 1: Too many books, too little time
|Using covers to acquire book knowledge|
Part 2: Interpreting covers
|The importance of cover clues|
|Identifying age appeal|
|Who are these books aimed at?|
|Who would choose this?|
|Odd one out|
|The gender gap|
|Appealing to boys|
|Closing the gap|
Part 3: Expanding your knowledge
|Series and brands|
|Meet the Books|
|Meet the Books: a group activity|
|Making the most of online resources|
Part 4: Helping a reader discover something new
|Setting the scene|
|Feedback activity: Take a bite|
|Spread the word|
|Other Opening the Book courses for primary schools|
The information is set up in nice chunks to complete in 20-30 minute blocks, which is great for a busy schedule. The science behind successful retail displays was very interesting - really makes you think about the stores (and the libraries!) who do well, and how much that can be linked to great displays.
It makes you think about displays and how much power they have to create a user experience in a library. Seeing clean, enticing, varied books in a display will make people feel good about themselves - and this course tells you how anyone can achieve such a display.
This week we had our yearly Book Week. It was a lot of fun. I had something prepared for them but specially third graders wanted to continue with the activity Lucky Dip Again!! I mixed both activities - Lucky dip and Fortune Teller - and called it Lucky Dip Again! That was a surprise and everyone felt happy about it.
The structure of the course is impressive: things work, it is graphically attractive, clear and useful information is easily accessible. The library walkthrough was a valuable and interesting exercise and made the participants feel valued too! I loved the provision of the questionnaires, differentiated for users and attractively presented for a school; not too corporate but business like! There were lovely interactive exercises that vary the course experience. The onus on self-reflection makes the feedback tasks good - it made me think long and hard, which is a starting point for growth.
The option to pick up/leave off at will meant I could handle the course in bite size chunks, which was really convenient. The practical elements were well interspersed throughout the course, just at the right points to reinforce what I was learning. I liked the downloadable resources. Particularly impressed by the Like/Hate bookmarks which I think we will put into regular use in our library. They've proved a fascinating way to gauge readers' responses to our stock choices.
Overall this course has proved well worth the time and effort. I was slightly worried it would be too theoretical, but a lot of the information has real, immediate practical use. The course format gave me ample time and I didn't feel like I had to rush to get the course completed. There was time to read through sections more than once and really absorb what was being communicated. Having the time estimate also helped in planning how much time to take off my normal library duties to complete the course.
The course makes you stop and think about how we do things and how to make improvements to displays. It gives you ideas to try out and some really good suggestions. It was very comprehensive and gave good examples and illustrations so you could easily see the point. I would recommend it absolutely – I really enjoyed it!
Loved it. It’s so easy to get stale and not "see" that which you look at every day. The course made me see our promotional displays with fresh eyes.
What I liked about the course was the questions are worded simply and by using the printables it was just so simple to decide what was appropriate for certain children age groups etc. I actually went into a fellow librarian’s class as I wanted to see how the questions would be received by different groups of children. My fellow teacher sat mesmerised at my enthusiasm!! I just found it so easy to use the printables and then run classes and then answer questions knowing what worked and what I could enhance or change. Brilliant.
I now have children who I can ask to find a book that might make them laugh and offer an idea of where they might look in the library and they are confident to go and bring back something that we can share together and decide whether it’s the right kind of book for them. I think that also by having a question displayed on the wall it’s easy for me to focus certain students on a particular question and get them involved if I feel they are losing interest.
I think that my library groups have become more inclined to look around the library in areas they maybe did not before. They seem to be talking to each other a lot more and I have noticed that children who mainly looked at sports books, for instance, have wanted to branch out and look at other literature.
I thought it was very informative. I enjoyed getting out there and getting the readers’ opinions. Due to my professional knowledge of libraries and customer service, I found this course very helpful in different ways of doing reader advisory as this is my specialty. I would recommend this course to anyone starting or wanting to start in the library profession.
I underestimated what this course could offer me as I thought it would be 'Just Another One of those Courses'. I am so happy to eat humble pie. This course was extremely enlightening, thank you.
It really inspired me to work very hard in our library. You know we work as a team and we all look forward to promoting our library to greater heights. I have read your feedback and it really impressed me very much. Thank you very much for your very good and inspiring comments on what I have done concerning the course.
The course made me think more about the various areas of the library and how we look. I enjoyed the content and it is very easy to understand and follow. I particularly enjoyed the exercise where I moved the covers of the books on the screen and tried lots of colours against each other.
I would say that the time was suggested was very realistic and it was nice being able to log on any time or any place that suited me and go straight to where I was on the course.
The course was very interesting, I have picked up some helpful hints for when readers ask for recommendations and I can suggest appropriate titles even if I have not read them myself. It also made me look at some of the collections at my library in a new light.
I certainly would recommend it. We all have occasions when readers ask for our recommendation of a new book that is outside our usual reading tastes. This module provides a toolbox to aid library staff to access the whole of their collections to locate titles that will match their readers' interests.
I enjoyed this course because it helped me with ways on understanding books without having to read them. Recommending books is a big role of a librarian and I thought this course helped with that. The course gave me the chance to talk to students about what they would like to see in the library.
What I enjoyed about the length and time of this course, was that it was always open and there was not a rush to finish it in a certain amount of time. I have been in my job for two months now, and my focus has been on teaching some classes, preparing lessons for the academic part of the library, and Follet Destiny training. That is to say there were many days where I could not focus on this course. I like that it was interesting, saved my progress, and I was able to go back to those sections whenever I wanted.
I would recommend this course to librarians who would like to know their collection better. And to those who don't feel very comfortable recommending books. I would add that I like the practical side to this course. Applying what you learn is great. The exercises make the course a lot more engaging and worth the time invested in it.
I think the course was excellent because it made me think about aspects of my job that I had not thought deeply enough about. The main thing I gained was an awareness of my reader prejudice, which I was not aware of, and I feel I may have been guilty of being a bit dismissive of patrons seeking, for example, romance novels, or perhaps I did not put in the effort that all the patrons deserve. I actually decided to read a Bestseller that looked like the type of book I would normally not borrow, and I am really enjoying it, so I have certainly gained a lesson there!
I would love all our staff to do it! It's so important for everyone to be aware of the need to present our collections in the best way possible for our patrons. Bring out the gems, show people just what libraries have to offer and to make the library a place people want to visit regularly. Give people a great experience every time they visit, make the library a modern, up to date go to place.
Learning the importance of displays and how and what to display are skills that all library staff need to acquire and this course definitely delivers this.
This course has been wonderful for looking at stock from a different angle. To look at things within genres - subgenres in genres like space opera and satire under the sci-fi umbrella. I particularly enjoyed the graphic novels section and the practical part of setting up a display to showcase a genre. I would say that is great for understanding genre, marketing books and for broadening knowledge of the stock.