One example of both partnership and outreach is visiting classrooms for book talks. Here is an opportunity for library staff to turn YAs on to books and libraries. Booktalking is an opportunity to “sell” books, yourself, and the library in an audience or classroom setting.
A technical definition of Booktalking is that it is “a presentation designed to persuade an audience to read a book or books”.
It is not a book review or literary criticism.
A “formal” booktalk presentation consists of carefully and cleverly prepared brief book descriptions designed to “hook” a listener into a seeking out and reading a particular title (or more) from those presented.
Booktalks can be created around an interesting recreational theme, such as books about “wilderness survival” or “urban legends”, or created at a teacher’s request to promote an area of study such as the renaissance, or the immigrant experience.
Library staff who feel unqualified to booktalk should remember they do this same thing informally, every day, “in the stacks” through individual reader’s advisory interactions.
There are also a great number of resources available to assist in creating booktalks, some have pre-written talks that can be used right out of the book, including Joni Bodart’s comprehensive Booktalk and Booktalking the Award Winners series and Hazel Rochman’s Tales of Love and Terror: Booktalking the Classics, Old and New.
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