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 2017 program for RA in a Day will focus on the history of and current trends in Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. All of the sessions will share tips and techniques aimed at increasing your knowledge of the genre and raising your comfort level in talking to patrons about both specific books and trends in this genre.

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: Defining the Science Fiction Tradition

Lorna Toolis, Head of the Merrill Collection, TPL, will be sharing must-know titles and subgenres, discussing elements of the science fiction and speculative tradition, and providing tips on how best to talk about science fiction with library patrons. 

10:30 - 11:30: Trends and themes in Science Fiction Panel Discussion

Chris Szego, Manager of Bakka-Phoenix Books and Julie Czerneda, author of The Gate to Futures Past join us to discuss their thoughts on Science Fiction, the growth of the genre, its past, present and future, trends in publishing, and the titles that best represent the genre.

12:00 – 2:00: Luncheon Event

Our lunch speaker this year is science fiction writer and self-proclaimed futurist, Madeline Ashby.  Madeline is the author of the Machine Dynasty series, as well as various short fiction and most recently the acclaimed Company Town.  Described as a “futuristic murder-mystery thriller”, Company Town, which was longlisted for Canada Reads 2017, is a unique blend of mystery, action and cyber-genetics.  Madeline will be speaking about her experiences writing science-fiction, and her unique twists on the genre, as well as reading from her work and signing books after lunch.

2:00 - 2:45: Interactive Session

Take some time with your tablemates to enjoy some entertaining and interactive techniques to put into practice what we’ve learned about science fiction so far. RA tools will be shared with all tables, and the RA Committee will be roving to assist with the activities.

3:00 – 4:00: Keynote Presentation

End the day with a talk about science fiction and diversity. “Geek girl” Sam Maggs is the author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy and Wonder Women, and she is also an assistant writer for video game developer Bioware. Sam will be reading from her work, talking about science fiction, gaming and women, and signing her books at The Library Marketplace table afterward.

4:15: Final Comments and Door Prizes