Creative Communities - BC Library Conference 2015
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Thursday, May 21 • 9:15am - 10:30am
T03 - Readers’ Advisory for the Rest of Us: Innovative Reading Recommendations for Diverse Communities LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

On behalf of the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group, this session advocates for a renewed emphasis on reading recommendations and presents innovative approaches offered at the Vancouver Public Library.  While libraries are still known for books, our role as a trusted resource for reading recommendations faces intense competition from digital and physical retail. A wealth of recent survey data indicates that while the public rates the library highly as a valuable institution, we are not being recognized as a place to discover great reads. Of further concern is that the recommendation sources that dominate the market are limited in their ability to reach socially and economically excluded communities. Librarians can improve on services provided by social networks, media, booksellers and recommendation engines. We can synthesize an array of readers’ advisory tools to benefit a specific individual or respond to a local community need. We can neutralize commercial biases of booksellers; combine all engines to increase the power of their recommendations; and utilise our existing community connections to expand readers’ advisory to a much larger segment of our population. By using flexible and proactive techniques for connecting individuals and their communities to their next read, we can retain one of the core missions of the public library. The session concludes with an overview of alternative recommendation services recently launched by the Vancouver Public Library that reach reading communities left behind by big retail.


Jorge Cardenas

Jorge Cardenas is a community librarian at the Vancouver Public Library and has a background in literature, creative writing and translation. He rides his bike around the city to bring the library to the people.

Caroline Crowe

Caroline Crowe is a librarian at Vancouver Public Library. She received a MLIS from the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, UBC. She has been a librarian at the Vancouver Public Library since 2003 and is currently a member of BCLA’s Readers’ Advisory Interest... Read More →

Tim McMillan

Tim McMillan graduated from UBC's School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies in 2009 with an MAS and an MLIS. Since 2010 he has worked at the Vancouver Public Library first as an auxiliary reference librarian and later as an acting Branch Head. Tim currently works at the... Read More →


Thursday May 21, 2015 9:15am - 10:30am PDT
Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, Elmbridge Room 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond BC
  • Sponsored by: Library Bound Inc.