Professional Development Opportunity: Readers’ Advisory Workshops with Becky Spratford | Compendium

Our ability to connect readers to books they’ll enjoy is at the heart of library service. Books have the power to shape ideas and attitudes and library workers are in a position to expose their communities to diverse themes, genres, authors and characters that broaden their understanding of the world around them. It is not always easy to convince a customer that they’ll connect with a title that feels outside of their comfort zone, and it takes a solid knowledge of the collection and a great conversation to do so.

Readers’ advisory (RA) is a skill that can be learned and developed. Join RA expert Becky Spratford in a series of four virtual workshops that will help hone and broaden your RA abilities, including booktalking, merchandizing your collection, and learning how to integrate anti-racist principles into your readers’ advisory work.

You are welcome to attend all four as each training builds on skills learned in the previous workshop, but you do not need commit to attending all four.

This training series is suitable for all library staff.

RA for All: Flip the Script and Think Like a Reader
Thursday, July 20, from 10:00 to 11:30 AM
Register here

Booktalking Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town
Tuesday, August 8, from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Register here

Demystifying Genre
Wednesday, August 30, from 10:00 to 11:30 AM
Register here

Actively Anti-Racist Library Service to Leisure Readers: Foundations
Tuesday, September 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 PM
Register here

Please send any questions to Julie Moore (, Professional Development Advisor, Bureau of Library Development, Office of Commonwealth Libraries.

Becky Spratford [MLIS] is a Readers’ Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All. Becky is a 21 year locally elected Library Trustee [still serving], a Board member for the Reaching Across Illinois Library System, and on the Executive Board of the Illinois Library Association. Known for her work with horror readers, Becky is the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Third Edition [ALA Editions, 2021]. She is on the Shirley Jackson Award Advisory Board and is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual Librarians’ Day. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll.

This training is made possible by Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries. The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services or the Department of Education.