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BookMatch

Skokie Public Library

Innovation Leader: Ricki Nordmeyer, Manager of the Popular Services (retired) and Adult Services Librarian, mjacobsen@skokielibrary.info

Problem Statement

We have outstanding reader advisors that were being underutilized.

Innovation

We designed an online questionnaire using SurveyMonkey. With SurveyMonkey it was possible to create “paths” in order to provide patrons with a more customizable survey. Once the survey was completed it is transferred to a wiki. More than twenty reader advisory librarians reviewed each survey and suggested books. By providing a well rounded list of books and a relatively quick turn around our patrons are now looking to the Library as a valuable resource for discovering new and exciting books online as well as face to face. A video was produced for the Library Journal about BookMatch. It is at http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6711557.html.

Progress

Patrons absolutely love BookMatch and comments have been glowing. For example,

“Hi! I loved receiving the list of books and it was spot-on! Some were ones I'd read, others I already had on my to-read list and others I hadn't heard of but were right up my alley! Very cool service, I recommended it to my family as well. Thanks!” - Monica

And

“I absolutely loved this service! I am an avid reader and feel quite lost without a book in progress, so as you can imagine, I am always looking for suggestions and new books. When you announced this service, I signed up almost immediately. I got my list and am still working my way through it but so far have been very pleased with the results - and the best part is that if I like one book on the list, that same author often has other books that I would enjoy. So by opening up new authors, in addition to specific books, it expands the impact. Thank you so very much for providing this service. I would do it again (and probably will as I "run out" of the first round of recommendations). Much appreciated!” - Amy

219 lists of suggested books have been sent out to patron in less than nine months and we are continually receiving new surveys. An additional benefit for library staff has been our greatly increased reader’s advisory knowledge base from reviewing the surveys and the titles suggested by our colleagues.