Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Librarian's Guide to Book Programs and Author Events

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The Librarian's Guide to Book Programs and Author Events

Article excerpt

The Librarian's Guide to Book Programs and Author Events. By Brad Hooper. Chicago: ALA, 2016. 160 p. Paper $55 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1384-0).

The Librarian's Guide to Book Programs and Author Events covers topics ranging from book clubs, author events, and public speaking to writer-in-residence events and "one city, one book" programs. An accomplished Booklist reviewer and active participant in ALA, author Brad Hooper draws on his own experiences to guide librarians who are planning author visits or engaging readers in book clubs.

In the beginning of the rather lengthy introduction, Hooper recounts an experience he once had as moderator of an ALA program; this leads him to discuss moderating panels and working with authors. Much of this material would be better placed in the chapters on public speaking and author events, as it goes into far more detail than is suitable for an introduction. Later in the introduction, Hooper provides a brief overview of the chapters.

Quite a bit of the book's advice is good--tips on remaining calm and coherent when on stage, engaging with authors without placing them on a pedestal, choosing book club selections, and asking interesting and appropriate questions of authors. But, unfortunately, it is difficult to see much connection between the types of programs Hooper is accustomed to participating in and those that the typical public librarian is likely to encounter. Much of Hooper's experience has been in large-scale programs, such as those that take place at ALA, with much larger crowds than the typical librarian will likely ever face. Additionally, his advice is often based on a questionable understanding of how public libraries tend to work. …

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