ASSOCIATES (2013, July, v. 20, no. 1)


What We’re Reading

Michael D. Brooks
Saint Joseph’s University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What originally began as an innovative idea, quickly blossomed into an annual event and eventually developed into a regular feature.

About twelve years ago, the library staff at the Francis A. Drexel Library at Saint Joseph’s University compiled a list of books that library staff had read throughout the year. The list was then mailed to the university community as a way of offering book suggestions for people who might be interested in buying something for the holidays for themselves or others. The list was called “Season’s Readings,” and proved to be very popular. (Some people have actually given the list to others as part of a holiday gift.)

Eventually, a brief description of each book was added. Then, brief annotations of each book were written by the staff member who read the book being suggested. The limit was a maximum of two books. Since that time, Season’s Readings has gone from a printed list of book suggestions to a digitized one.

Season’s Readings eventually gave birth to a regular feature on the library’s blog called What We’re Reading. But instead of featuring a list of books, one book a month is highlighted. The basic bibliographic information is made available (title and author) along with a brief description of what the book is about, written by the staff member who read it, and is posted monthly on the blog.

The idea was to highlight some of the books people are reading that appear in the library’s collection, but sometimes a book is featured that is not in the catalog. Occasionally, a featured book not already in the catalog is added to the collection.

If your library is interested in doing something similar, you might want to consider giving it a try; it could turn out to be a popular feature with both staff and patrons, the young and the young at heart.