RA for your Friday 7/10/20

County: 

Remember in Dead Poets Society how Robin Williams is always referring to or quoting from Walt Whitman? I am fully aware that's how I am with Becky Spratford from the RA for All blog. So, allow me to stand atop my desk and point you to her recent blog post about going 110% on RA as libraries begin to reopen:

"One of the main things we have learned here in the public library world during this pandemic is that people still want reading options from their libraries... Therefore, as we reopen, RA services are where we need to focus. These are services we can not only provide at a safe distance, but they will will also bring much goodwill and joy to our patrons, with less stress on us."

Yes, people like being in our buildings, and yes, people need internet access. But what I heard about the most during our own building closures were stories about patrons wanting books. I've said it before and I will keep saying it forever - for many of our communities, the library is the only game in town for readers. We collectively strengthened our e-book collection when that was the only way we could provide access, and now that we can circulate physical materials again, let's do the same for our print collections - renew our commitment to keeping them balanced, diverse, appealing, and accessible, and then promote them like mad. *gets down from desk*

One of Becky's tips is to provide lists for patrons, and I'll start you off three that I've found this week: vacation reads and travelogues from the NYPL, 10 recent nonfiction favorites from What's Nonfiction, and 10 things to enjoy after Hamilton from Town & Country. Find some lists you like, print them out, and add them to your curbside bundles for contactless RA!

We've got July picks from Goodreads, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Barnes & Noble, Shondaland, and Bustle. And for all you genre readers, we've got science fiction from Tor, SFF from Gizmodo, romance from SBTB, and of course crime reads from CrimeReads. (Was there ever a better named blog?)

Finally, #FridayReads: I read three books on vacation last week - three! Slump officially broken! So, now that I'm back in the saddle, I want to read everything. My very first holds since March have come in, so this weekend, I've got my choice between Interior Chinatown and The Yellow House. As soon as this heat wave breaks, I'll even be able to turn on an actual lamp instead of trying to read by the glow of my phone... Happy reading!

Consulting: