RA in a Day is a one-day conference that brings some of the best readers’ advisory advocates together to share their knowledge and expertise on meeting the needs of adult readers. During the day, participants will learn about the latest RA trends and look at how to best serve those who visit our libraries every day, either in-person or virtually. The 2016 program for RA in a Day will focus on the power of continuous training.  All of the sessions will highlight training tips, strategies to build your own  RA skills, and inspiration on how better serve adult readers through readers’ advisory.

You will find the details below, including our full list of speakers, as well as vendor partner participants. We hope to see you there!


9:15 - 9:30:  Introduction and Welcome (RA Committee Chair)

9:30 - 10:15: Ann Walmsley, Author of The Prison Book Club

Start the day with inspiration to keep us focused on why we do what we do. Ann Walmsley is a magazine journalist whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail Report on Business Magazine, Maclean’s and many other publications. She is the recipient of four National Magazine Awards, a Canadian Business Journalism Award and two International Regional Magazine Awards. The Prison Book Club (2015 Viking, Penguin Canada), is her first book and was longlisted for the 2016 RBC Taylor Prize, the 2016 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and named as a best book of 2015 by the National Post and Book City. She founded her first book club at age nine.  

10:30 - 11:30: Training Your Readers' Advisors

Diana Krawczyk, Chair of the Mississauga Library System’s Readers’ Advisory committee, will facilitate a discussion about how different library systems of various sizes train their library staff to offer quality readers’ advisory services.  Jodi Marr (Markham Public Library), Mary-Beth Arima (Toronto Public Library), Catherine Coles (County of Lennox and Addington Libraries) and Erin Kernohan-Bering (Haliburton Public Library) will speak about how readers’ advisory skills are supported through staff development activity and resources.

12:00 – 2:00: Luncheon Event

Our lunch speaker this year is the dynamic novelist Shari Lapeña. Her new domestic thriller, The Couple Next Door, is already climbing the bestseller lists in the UK and is sure to do the same when it is published in North America on August 23. This suspenseful read, featuring two couples and a missing baby, can be compared to Gone Girl and similar titles. Shari has also previously published two acclaimed literary novels, Things Go Flying and Happiness Economics. She will be reading from her work, speaking about her writing process, and signing books after lunch.

2:00 - 2:00: What Should I Read Next?

Facilitated by Members of OLA’s Readers’ Advisory Committee
Participants will have a little fun interviewing different “readers” to see what they should read next using appeal factors and the four doorways. The committee will lead the session, which will include the development of readalike lists that will be shared at the end. 

3:00 – 4:00: The Booksellers Panel

Discover the tricks of the trade from some of the best booksellers around!  Learn how they hand-sell books, train their staff and promote those soon-to-be sleeper hits.  Our panel of independent booksellers includes Ben McNally from McNally Books in Toronto, Nancy Frater from Booklore in Orangeville and Chuck Erion, formerly from Wordsworth Books in Waterloo.

Session will be moderated by committee member Megan Renkema, Caledon Public Library.

4:15: Final Comments and Door Prizes