“Erica Jong: When Male Authors Write about Love They Are Praised; When Women Do the Same, They Risk Being Ghettoized”
So opened our Readers’ Advisory Online blog on June 22, 2007. That was not actually our first post—we changed blogging platforms early in our history and lost some of our first posts—but this is one of the earliest posts we have archived. And it’s a doozy; fascinating (if disappointing) to see that discussions about gender and authorship were raging long before the VIDA Count ever started putting hard-and-fast numbers on the phenomenon of women’s voices not being well-represented in modern literature. And of course such discussions were everywhere before 2007. Every day that passes makes all of our discussions, book and otherwise, part of one big cultural archaeological dig.
But why are we waxing nostalgic today? Well, because it is time to announce that as of May 15, 2016, ABC-CLIO will no longer be sponsoring or publishing the Readers’ Advisor Online blog. The reasons for this decision are many, and include but are not limited to variables such as time and resources, but in the end what Cindy and I want to express most can be mostly expressed in two words: Thank you.
Thank you to publishers ABC-CLIO and Libraries Unlimited, supporting us and RA workers for so many years. These publishers have created some of the very best readers’ advisory and library reference tools in the market, and their dedication to publishing this blog and resource for nearly a decade is inspiring in an online world where blogs often come and go in a matter of months.
Thank you to the many librarians, writers, and readers who wrote for us—from articles about reading trends, to conference reports, to comments and other articles that made our blog stronger.
And thank you, THANK YOU, to our many readers, out there perusing our weekly “RA Run Downs” and our “New, Noteworthy, and No-Brainer” forthcoming title lists. For years now we have labored with you—the advisors, the librarians, the booksellers, the library pages, the masters’ degree students, the teachers, the readers—to find the best reading headlines, the most exciting news about new titles, the most timely conference and professional development reports. And we felt great about it, because we know that you took our posts and used them to help your colleagues, patrons, and friends and family members to find out more about what they wanted to read, listen to, and watch. It has been, believe us, our very great pleasure.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to say that now there is an opportunity for someone else—perhaps RUSA, perhaps a library, or maybe even any number of personal bloggers—to publish a similar resource. At the end of this article, we will list a number of other websites and resources that we use to write this blog, in the hopes that others will somehow carry on this work. Because we know our audience, and we know that you are all people who in some way or another have chosen professions that are all about helping others, particularly to knowledge. We know that many of you will, in one way or another, step up to offer great reading resources to others.
Thank you all for a great run! Cindy Orr and Sarah Statz Cords
Cindy Orr published the title Crash Course in Readers’ Advisory at the end of 2014, and you would be hard pressed to find a more valuable resource on the subject. In addition to taking you through the nuts and bolts of advising readers, she provides a wealth of information and lists of resources where readers and librarians can look to increase their title awareness and overall knowledge of readers and reading material. Libraries Unlimited continues to publish titles in its definitive Genreflecting series. In addition to the most recent edition of Genreflecting (the 7th), which provides an overview of genres, representative titles in those genres, and lists of suggested titles and read-alikes, you may wish to check out such titles as Michael Pawuk’s and David Serchay’s forthcoming Graphic Novels II and Susan Fichtelberg’s second edition of Encountering Enchantment: A Guide to Speculative Fiction for Teens.
We will be publishing the RA Run Down and the New and Noteworthy lists until May 15. But please do also check out these blogs that we often consult. And do you have favorite blogs or online news sources for reading and title awareness news? Please let us know about them in the comments!
Citizen Reader, http://www.citizenreader.com/
Comic Book Resources, http://www.comicbookresources.com/
Digital Book World, http://www.digitalbookworld.com/
Fiction-L, a listserv for all librarians and readers’ advisors in particular, http://www.mgpl.org/read-listen-view/fl/flmenu/
A Library Writer’s Blog, http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/
Publishing Perspectives, http://publishingperspectives.com/
RA for All, http://raforall.blogspot.com/
Reading the Past, http://readingthepast.blogspot.com/
Shelf Awareness, http://www.shelf-awareness.com/
Originally published at the Readers' Advisor Online blog, April 29th, 2016. http://www.readersadvisoronline.com/blog/index.php/2016/04/29/goodbye-from-all-of-us-at-the-readers-advisor-online-blog/