From the selection process to the readers’ advisory : choosing titles in fiction

Introduction: This article focuses on the process by which library users select works of fiction and considers the importance of informal and formal literacy mediation in readers’ advisory practices.

Objective: To understand in greater detail how users select works of fiction in order to tailor readers’ advisory practices in the area of literacy mediation.

Methodology: The research took the form of a case study using a questionnaire addressed to young readers.

Results: The questionnaire showed that young women read more works of fiction than young men and that library users generally chose a book at the moment they visited the library rather than beforehand. Library professionals were important in providing readers’ advisory. The questionnaire also revealed that the moment when a book was chosen was characterised by its solitary nature, its lack of planning and the importance given to chance discovery. Furthermore, the subject of the work of fiction was considered to be the most important factor in the choice, both for the user and in readers’ advisory practices. The article concludes that readers’ advisory practices can be tailored to library users’ interests and behaviour, and that it is especially important for library professionals to find informal ways to work as literacy mediators.