reading matters, so let's make public library reader services awesome!



Reading can transform people’s lives.*

I started bookables a while ago to track my published reviews, then relaunched it as my reading place, moved it to wordpress and renamed it Reading360. It’s not about reading all year round. It’s about reading being an activity we share; we talk about it, we give and receive recommendations, we develop programs to support reading and we promote the collection through programs, etc.

There’ll be:

  • more reviews
  • more exploration and application of contextual reader services
  • reading challenges
  • features on readers and reading
  • stuff I haven’t thought of yet (to do with reading)

This blog is about reading, readers, and the people, places and practices that enable reading in the community.
I’m Alison, and I work as a librarian. My roles have included information and reader services, online engagement, client services, and team leadership across public and academic libraries.
Successful reading programs I have developed and delivered include:

  • Connections (connecting the community with information when and where they need it. This first for Queensland and Australia included Cancer Wellness, Dementia Awareness, Mood-Boosting Books, LGBTI Rainbow Connections). Read more.
  • Beyond…reading maps (This first NZ-Aus collaboration packaged themes, booktalks in the community, eBook and Goodreads content). Read more.
  • Great Summer Reads at The Strand (Queensland’s first pop-up library at the beach),
  • Great Reads (popular books list on the library’s website and in The Townsville Eye newspaper since 2009 – to 2016 currently – and on an interactive poster-all weekly),
  • Triple Treat (three themed titles packaged by librarians for adventurous readers),
  • Five Star Reviews (workshop for readers to develop reviewing skills and knowledge about review markets-possibly also an Australian first), Read on.
  • Get into Geocaching (Queensland’s first geocaching program by a library service) focused on digital and map literacy: reading maps and coordinates, using digital devices, solving clues, and finding treasure).
  • What are you reading? (shared morning discussions with staff),
  • WordBox (online resource for young Australian writers 2006-2011, championed nationally by authors, librarians, teachers, young Australian writers, and industry professionals).

I also review books, and write. I’m exploring collaborative practice and community-connection-based reader services including bibliotherapy in the community and community publishing.

I have researched in the area of readers advisory practice, presented at various professional development days and conferences, and have had articles published on this subject. I provide advice on public library readers services practice.

1. LIANZA LibraryLife, June 2012 – Reviews: Your 15 seconds

2. TropicALIA PD Day, November 2012 – A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action Please (or Show, Don’t Tell)

3. ALIA InCite, January 2013 – Reading can transform people’s lives (page 32)

4. Rural Libraries Queensland Training Course, April 2013 – Top 10 low cost/no cost high return readers advisory ideas (with Jo Beazley)

5. QPLA Conference, November 2013 – Embedding readers advisory services in professional practice as a key collaborative strategy in
Queensland public libraries.
  Available here: QPLA-Research-project-report-blog (with Jo Beazley)

6. QPLA Big Ideas, November 2013 – Reading Map + Programs (with Jo Beazley, Sally Pewhairangi, Tina Cavanough and Louise Pieper)

7. QPLA Smart Ideas Forum, November 2013 – Five low cost/no cost/high return strategies for embedding readers’ advisory service in
professional practice in Queensland public libraries (plus one that comes with a cost as well as a high return)
. (with Jo Beazley)

8. Reader Services Notes available here

9. Readers advisory learning program on State Library of Queensland’s ConnectED – 2014 (with Jo Beazley)

Artistically, I’m particularly captivated by conceptual art with words, public art, poems spoken or stamped into concrete, theatre, short stories, microfiction and any good story.

* The Reading Agency. (2012). Read: The Reading Agency

The ink drawing on this blog’s home page is by Edward Ardizzone from Eleanor Farjeon’s The Little Bookroom

2 comments on “Info

  1. Michellee Neumann
    February 4, 2014

    Hi Alison,

    I love your blog(s) and what you are doing with Reader Advisory. Have you heard of this fun USA library initiative which I just found out about?


    • alisonwrote
      February 9, 2014

      Thanks for the booksecret link Shelly. I hadn’t seen that before – I like it! There’s only one entry from an Aussie library – needs to be more!

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