Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Harris County Public Library in Houston, Bibliotherapeutic Readers' Advisory BOOK HUNTERS

HCPL started its Book Hunters program in November of 2010 and in the time since, librarians have compiled more than 5,000 recommendations. About 50 librarians work as reading list consultants.
The HCPL form includes questions around likes and dislikes, allows you to select genre and book format (e-book, audiobook, print) and book length (short, medium, long). It also allows readers to request books along a sliding scale of sensibilities including humor (a lot, a little, none or don’t care) sex, violence, obscene language, pace, mood and more. It’s a pretty complex form that allows librarians to really dial into what their readers might want. That profile then gets matched to a librarian whose interests align with the reader.
“We’re matchmaking,” Stevens said. “Just like the librarian is matching you to a book, we’re also matching you to a librarian.”

Online user form:

“We’ve offered this service for seven or eight years, and last year we decided to revamp the form to make it shorter and easier to fill out. Since then the popularity of the service has skyrocketed,” Kadir said. Libraries have actually seen a resurgence in usage as the popularity of e-reading devices has grown, since library members can borrow e-books for free.