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Competences: 23 Things Reference - Thing #20

What is Readers' Advisory?

Readers' Advisory is a service which involves suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles to a reader through direct or indirect means. This service is a fundamental library service; however, readers' advisory also occurs in commercial contexts such as bookstores.

There are A LOT of sites that give readers' advisory help - and each one of them is very helpful. There are genre specific sites, there are age-appropriate sites (children, for instance), there are sites that deal with series, there are sites that give read-alike lists, etc. Because there are so many, it can be overwhelming when you are with a patron and have to think quickly about which site to use. Because of this, Readers' Advisory will be a multi-week topic that will cover quite a bit of material. However, this may be the reference service you use most often when working the circulation desk. That in itself makes it worth it.


Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. This would be a great recommendation to patrons.

Age or Genre Specific Sites

Book Suggestions


WorldCat is a great place to find information about books that we don't have in our library. In addition, it tells you the closest library to you that has the book in its holdings. Patrons can also create lists, with bibliographic citations, for research or reading list compliation.

Reader's Cafe

Our library has a Readers' Advirsory LibGuide for patrons that contains reader's advisory resources. You are welcome to share this information with patrons who are looking for new books! If you click on the "Learning Guides" link (available on our website on the right hand side navigation bar), you can use this resource to assist patrons. We created this LibGuide, so the information is specific to our library. Take a look!

Your Assignment

  1. Create a "reading list" for whatever subject you'd like on WorldCat. Make sure your list if viewable to the public and, when you're done, send at invitation to view your list to
  2. Search online and find 5 great book review/suggestion sites. Send the name, URL and a short review (that you wrote) about the sites. Send the list to
  3. Visit our library's Reader's Cafe. How could you use this guide to help patrons? Be specific.