In my readers’ advisory (RA) class, I often include an assignment that asks students to visit any book store they wish and look around. What I hope they will see are examples of RA in action – in a different setting than their library. The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, N.C. offers some great RA moments for their readers – in ways that invite participation and in ways that create serendipitous discovery opportunities. Behold:
In addition to readings and author visits, The Regulator provides its reading community a chance to suggest books to both the staff and other readers. The comments are typed up and posted in a display called Book Love. Fans of Harry Potter got a chance to offer up odds on what might happen in the last book and the staff posted the list of ideas right over the checkout counter. Readers can match their interests against those of the community by tracking The Regulator bestseller display – which includes both expected titles and many surprises. While none of this is necessarily new, all of it is well done (and I will say that I have not heard of the Harry Potter prediction list as of yet appearing in any library), and it shows that a place that makes money off of its ability to invite and engage readers, thinks in terms of RA all the time – even if they would not call it that. So if you are ever in Durham, N.C. check out The Regulator on Ninth street and the next time you visit your local library or bookstore – see what RA features surround you.