Tracked Sessions

Attend one, some, or all of the sessions in the RA track! Stay in room 2502B* and enjoy learning about how to connect patrons with books.


Wednesday, September 30

RA Toolkit: Developing RA Skills & Morale-Genre Studies & Team Building | 2:00 – 2:45pm | presented by Lucy Lockley & Erin Downey Howerton
Your staff have the basic skills, now how do we keep those skills fresh and energy high? A genre study group can keep staff current with trends in fiction and nonfiction. Keep morale and interest in readers’ advisory services high with team building ideas (that are not boring or dumb). Handout 1 / Handout 2

Format Focus: RA Mixtape: Short Stories | 3:00 – 3:45pm  | Presented by Angela Strathman & Andie Paloutzian
No other area in readers’ advisory strikes fear more often than short stories. Yet short stories are the best arena for discovering new authors, new genres, new subjects. Two short story experts will talk about introducing readers to short stories and the appeal of short stories. Learn how to use short stories and anthologies as a readers’ advisory tool to build your own knowledge base of authors, styles, and genres. Handout


Thursday, October 1

Breaking Down Borders: LGBT Collections for Children and Adolescents | 3501E/F | 9:00 – 9:45am | Presented by Beth Brendler & Vanessa Adams
According to the Williams Institute, as many as six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. The U.S. Census reports that the number of same-sex households increased over 80% between 2000 and 2010. The Center for Disease Control reports that between 4%-10% of youth surveyed identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. These numbers indicate the importance of evaluating our collections to ensure that we serve all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation. As librarians our mission is to serve a diverse clientele and represent them in our collections. Incorporating LGBT materials into collections for youth is sometimes risky, often challenging, and always essential. This presentation will discuss research the authors have completed on LGBT collections in Missouri. We will also look at techniques librarians can use to assess the quality of LGBT materials, which can be applied to all diverse literature, and we will offer some suggestions on good additions for your collections.

A Quick n’ Dirty Guide to Adult and YA Urban Fiction | 10:00 – 10:45am | Presented by Elena McVicar, April Roy, & Debbie Stoppello
Think you know urban fiction? Think again. Urban fiction has quietly been growing and mutating, masked by the popularity of paranormal romance and dystopian literature. It has emerged as a complex and entertaining genre that boasts several subgenres including street lit, faith-based literature and Hispanic and Latino fiction, all with broad  appeal. Hear from a Collection Development Manager, a Branch Manager and a Youth Services Librarian as they discuss the genre as it stands today, the challenges of managing and maintaining an urban fiction collection as well as its appeal and subgenres. SlidesHandout

RA Toolkit: Care and Feeding of Book Groups | 11:00 – 11:45am | Presented by Emily Walters & Diana Platt
Long a library program staple, the book group can bring a great deal of satisfaction for patrons and sometimes, frustration. Hear from two seasoned book group leaders how to keep the conversation going, how to handle difficult participants, how to choose thought-provoking and discussable books, creative ways to keep the book group fresh. Handout / Pictures on Flickr

Teen Books for Adult Readers | 1:00 – 1:45pm | Presented by Rachel Crowe & Colleen Olinger
Teens have always known what adults are just now learning—their books are better. This session will explore the appeal of teen literature to adults. What are adults finding so intriguing in young adult books? What are some of the trends in teen literature that adults are discovering? Which genres are crossing over the most? Slides / Handout 1 / Handout 2

Redefining Inspirational Fiction for a Broader Audience | 2:00 – 2:45pm | Presented by Claire Rust
If you hear “Inspirational Fiction” do you immediately picture a book with a bonnet on the cover? Maybe the latest Karen Kingsbury novel? Inspirational Fiction has a reputation for being a narrow genre with a well-defined readership. This may be the perception, but the reality is much more diverse. While Inspirational Fiction is a genre unto itself, it also encompasses many other genres. Romance, Historical fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult, even Horror are all represented. We’ll cover appeal factors, genre definitions, and what Amish vampires are doing in space. (Really!) Inspirational Fiction is expanding its horizons and its audience. There’s something for everyone, but they may need your help to find it! Slides / Handout

Reading is my Superpower: Comics in the Library | 4:00 – 4:45pm | Presented by Karen Young, Lindsay Beckman, & Amanda Barnhart
Have you ever wondered why Batman isn’t in any of the Avengers movies? What in the world is the difference between an issue and a volume? Want to lure the cosplay crowd into your library? Join comics fangirls Lindsay and Karen for a newbie-friendly foray into the wonderful world of comics! We’ll be talking about comics history and terminology, collection development and programming. Learn how to respond to those patrons and coworkers who still feel that “comics don’t belong in the library!” Slides


Friday, October 2

So Your Youth Has Become Historical Fiction: Talk Up Your Era with Today’s Readers | 8:00 – 8:45am | Presented by Erin Downey Howerton, Kaite Stover, Lucy Lockley, & Naphtali Faris
Whether you were a love child, a material girl, a grunge fan or followed The Simple Life, you love recommending books from your youth! However, a new reader is born every minute and to them, these titles are historical fiction. Our panel of experienced librarians will each represent their own “youth decade” and will highlight notable trends and pop culture. We’ll cover the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s – and we’ll discuss the differences between books written in that era and books written about that era. Come jam out with us as we hop into our reader’s advisory time machine! Slides

RA Toolkit: Writing Reviews, Annotations, Book Talks, & Blog Posts | 9:00 – 9:45am | Presented by Molly Wetta & Polli Kenn
You’ve read all those books, NOW what do you do? Turn that reading into writing. In this session learn how to take all the knowledge about elements of the reading, appeals for readers, and turn it into short reviews, exciting annotations, captivating booktalks, and lively blog posts. Slides /Handout 1

Format Focus: Nonfiction–Got to Be Real | 11:00 – 11:45am | Presented by Polli Kenn, Kim Beets, & Amanda Hendrix
Narrative nonfiction is one of the fastest growing leisure reading areas in the past ten years. From micro-histories to memoirs to travelogues and history, nonfiction offers the same compelling story lines, breath-holding suspense, and colorful characters as the best fiction. Hear about some of the most popular nonfiction areas for readers, what the reader appeal is for nonfiction, and some failsafe titles for library staff and patrons. Slides / Handout 1 / Handout 2

New Adult Fiction: A New Genre for a Growing Audience | 2:00 – 2:45pm | Presented by Beth Atwater & Lisa Palmer
New Adult Fiction is a genre gathering buzz everywhere from Goodreads to Booklist. Publishers are releasing more and more titles each month. This session will focus on building a core collection including finding review sources, defining the genre, and getting to know it’s target market.

*Thursday, October 1, Breaking Down Borders: LGBT Collections for Children and Adolescents will be in room 3501E/F from 9:00 – 9:45am

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