Library, Library, Make Me a Match: Impact of Form-Based Readers’ Advisory on Academic Library Use and Student Leisure Reading

Kaia Sievert, Amber Fick, Becky Adamski, Ashley Merrill, Danika LeMay


Staff from the Access and Information Services (AIS) department at the University of Minnesota Libraries developed several readers’ advisory services to promote student engagement. One project was a Book Matchmaking service, for which users completed a web form and were given reading suggestions owned by the libraries. A brief survey was distributed to users of the service during the fall of 2016 to assess impact. The resulting data made a strong argument for further readers’ advisory activities in academic libraries, as libraries and users benefit equally. Participating in the service encouraged positive engagement with the library and encouraged leisure reading.

Full Text:



Janelle M. Zauha, “Recreational Reading in Academic Browsing Rooms: Resources for Readers’ Advisory,” Collection Building 12, no. 3/4 (1993): 57–62.

Julie Elliott, “Academic Libraries and Extracurricular Reading Promotion,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 46, no. 3 (Spring 2007): 34–43.

Zauha, “Recreational Reading in Academic Browsing Rooms,” 57–62; Susan Andriette Ariew, “The Failure of the Open Access Residence Hall Library,” College & Research Libraries 39, no. 5 (September 1978): 372–80.

Elliott, “Academic Libraries and Extracurricular Reading Promotion,” 34–43.

Pauline Dewan, “Why Your Academic Library Needs a Popular Reading Collection Now More Than Ever,” College & Undergraduate Libraries 17, no. 1 (March 2010): 44–64.

Barry Trott, introduction to “Academic Libraries and Extracurricular Reading Promotion,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 46, no. 3 (Spring 2007): 34.

National Endowment for the Arts, “Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America,” June 2004,

Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Lynne E. F. McKechnie, and Paulette Rothbauer, Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries and Community (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2006), 17–26.

Mary C. Daane, “Good Readers Make Good Writers: A Description of Four College Students,” Journal of Reading 35, no. 3 (1991): 184–88.

Heather Nicholson, “How to Be Engaging: Recreational Reading and Readers’ Advisory in the Academic Library,” Public Services Quarterly 8, no. 2 (2012): 178–86.

Barbara MacAdam, “Sustaining the Culture of the Book: The Role of Enrichment Reading and Critical Thinking in the Undergraduate Curriculum,” Library Trends 44, no. 2 (1995): 237–63.

Raymond A. Mar, Keith Oatley, and Jordan B. Peterson, “Exploring the Link between Reading Fiction and Empathy: Ruling Out Individual Differences and Examining Outcomes,” Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research 34, no. 4 (January 2009): 407–28.

David Comer Kidd and Emanuele Castano, “Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind,” Science 342, no. 6156 (October 2013): 377–80.

Loris Vezzali et al., “The Greatest Magic of Harry Potter: Reducing Prejudice,” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 45, no. 2 (2015): 105–21.

Pauline Dewan, “Reading Matters in the Academic Library: Taking the Lead from Public Librarians,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 52, no. 4 (2013): 309–19.

Nicholson, “How to Be Engaging,” 178–86; Rochelle Smith and Nancy J. Young, “Giving Pleasure Its Due: Collection Promotion and Readers’ Advisory in Academic Libraries,” Journal of Academic Librarianship 34, no. 6 (November 2008): 520–26.

Bette Rathe and Lisa Blankenship, “Recreational Reading Collections in Academic Libraries,” Collection Management 30, no. 2 (April 2006): 73–85.

California State University Library, “California State University,” in Library Development Policies: A Reference and Writers’ Handbook, edited by Richard J. Wood and Frank Hoffman (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1996), 100.

Julie Gilbert and Barbara Fister, “Reading, Risk, and Reality: College Students and Reading for Pleasure,” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 5 (2011): 474–95.

“Campus and Unit Enrollment by Academic Level for Fall 2016,” University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research, accessed February 28, 2017,

“University of Minnesota: Employee Head Count 2016,” University of Minnesota Office of Institutional Research, accessed February 28, 2017,

Neil Hollands, “Improving the Model for Interactive Readers’ Advisory Service,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 45, no. 3 (Spring 2006): 205–12.

“Readers’ Advisory in Public Libraries Report,” NoveList, 2013,

Barry Trott, “Looking for a Good Book? Ten Years of Form-Based Readers’ Advisory at the Williamsburg Regional Library,” NoveList, January 2014,



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ALA Privacy Policy

© 2019 RUSA