Book Appeal, Literacy, and the Reader: Readers’ Advisory in practice and theory


  • Anna Ferri University of British Columbia



readers' advisory, public libraries, book appeal


This paper examines the development of “appeal factors” as a guiding principle of modern readers’ advisory (RA) services and training programs in public libraries. There is a growing body of literature that suggests this method, with the focus on factors intrinsic to the materials, limits the profession’s understanding of how readers experience reading and understand that experience. In examining existing literature, it is clear that more research is needed on how the reader, rather than the material, impacts the success of the readers’ advisory experience. If RA is to survive and thrive into future iterations of public library practice, then it is essential that we push the existing materials-focused model of book appeal into a more nuanced and reader-focused model.

Author Biography

Anna Ferri, University of British Columbia

Anna Ferri is is graduating with her Masters of Library and Information Studies in May 2015. She is pursuing a career path in public libraries with interests in readers' advisory, instructional programming in libraries for lifelong education and developing community-library partnerships.


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