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Two Thumbs Up: Genres, Directors & Films to Know for Awesome Viewer's Advisory

Pierce County Library System & Kitsap Regional Library System

Problem Statement

Although films make up a significant portion of library circulation, library staff are often uncomfortable giving advice to patrons about what movies to watch. Staff are usually quite comfortable with the notion that “Reader’s Advisory” is part of their job description, but the same cannot be said for “Viewer’s Advisory”.


Kati Irons, Pierce County Library System, and John Fossett, Kitsap Regional Library System, Collection Development librarians from neighboring systems joined together to create “Two Thumbs Up: Genres, Directors & Films to Know for Awesome Viewer’s Advisory”. This program is designed to give staff confidence in helping patrons find films of interest, even when the staff person is not a movie “expert”. Important film genres, directors and films are discussed in context, and if/then suggestions are offered (IF the patron likes this film, THEN they may enjoy these.) Gearing recommendations to the right audience is discussed. Up to date film resources are given.


The program has been incorporated into staff training at both the Pierce County and Kitsap Regional Library Systems. Staff have found the program useful, entertaining, practical and enjoyable! The program was successfully presented at the 2010 WALE (Washington Association of Library Employees) Conference. It has been selected for presentation at the 2011 WLA (Washington Library Association) Conference and the 2011 ALA conference.