Diverse Readers' Advisory Program Resources

Thank you to everyone who attended today’s Diverse Readers’ Advisory Program with Becky Spratford which was hosted by the Center for the Book at the NH State Library and was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Here is the link to the slides which are full of resources and information to help you build a truly inclusive library community:


Please note that this program was NOT recorded.

The Green Book for Libraries,  a Black/Indigenous/People Of Color-only crowd-sourced rating and review system for library, information, and archival workplaces, came up in the discussion. Here is a link to that: librarygreenbook.com



Book of the Week (1/24/2022)

American Harpist: An Historical and Personal Journey by Stephanie Curcio (Stephanie Curcio Publications, 2021)

"Harp culture in America began in the early 1900s in New York City. Stephanie Curcio grew up and studied harp during those times. In 1969 she moved to New Hampshire and built a harp culture there through her extensive performances and teaching. She shares her experiences as well as her contributions to the world of harp. She also provides insights into growing a career, teaching/pedagogy, ensemble/orchestral work, competitions, various styles, composing, notation, copyright and music publishing.

Stephanie Curcio is a renowned harpist, teacher, composer, arranger, publisher and clinician. Her music, published by Stephanie Curcio Publications, has been performed throughout the world. In 2008, her achievements were recognized by the NH House of Representatives. In 2014 she was featured on the cover of Harp Column magazine. Her students have won numerous competitions and in 2014, one was designated as a Presidential Scholar in Music for which Ms. Curcio was recognized as a master teacher by the U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama." --Publisher's blurb


Book of the Week (1/17/2022)

The 4,000 Footers of New Hampshire's White Mountains by Mike Dickerman (Charleston, SC:Arcadia Publishing, 2021).

New Hampshire's iconic 4,000-foot peaks, with their rugged character and natural beauty, have been attracting hikers, explorers, and outdoor enthusiasts to the White Mountains for more than 200 years. Though they are best known today for their long-standing popularity among peak-bagging hikers, these mountains played a major role in the development of the region from a daunting wilderness to a thriving recreational mecca. This transformation included the construction of the world-famous Mount Washington Cog Railway in 1869 and its various summit hotels atop the Northeast's highest peak, the cutting of hundreds of miles of recreational footpaths in the mountain valleys and on their steep slopes, and the creation of some of New England's first downhill ski trails on Mounts Moosilauke, Cannon, and Wildcat in the 1920s and 1930s. Over the years, the 4,000-footers have attracted visitors from all walks of life, including US presidents, renowned poets, world-class skiers, and Supreme Court justices. -- Back cover.


Book of the Week (1/10/2022)

Saving Penny by Sam Osherson (New York: Adelaide Books, 2021)

"Jake knew he’d seen a creature in the woods but what was it? He’d driven it away with rocks, then bolted back to campus, breathing hard.

Meanwhile, the large bobcat mother hurried her two small kits deeper into the sprawling forest, away from the two legged predator who’d thrown a rock at them. In search of safe territory to raise her young, the bobcat has taken up residence in the Great Woods, where the nearby faculty pets offer easy prey, food for herself and her two kits.

In time, two struggling 11th graders at Great Meadows Prep – Jake, grieving the tragic death of his mother, and Chantal, a beautiful bicultural girl questioning her heritage – will rally several classmates (with the help of their very pregnant English teacher) in a risky plan to save the hunted wild bobcat, and find themselves-and love- in the process.

Saving Penny is both a coming-of-age story and a dawning-of-awareness tale for us all about the importance of wild nature in our lives." --Publisher's blurb

Join NH author Sam Osherson via Zoom where he presents his newest book, "Saving Penny"! This event is hosted by Toadstool Bookshops. Click here for more details.

Event date: 
Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 3:45pm


Diverse Readers' Advisory Program with Becky Spratford

photo of Becky Spratford
Becky Spratford
The Center for the Book at the NH State Library invites staff at New Hampshire libraries to join us on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 (1-3pm) for an online program with Becky Spratford to help you move your library toward an actionable plan to incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion values into your normal readers' advisory practices. 

Registration is required for this free program.

Program Details

Increasing the collection and circulation of titles written by underrepresented authors is not a trend, rather, providing robust readers’ advisory service (RA) that values equity, diversity and inclusion principles (EDI) is essential to all library service. But moving from being a neutral, well-meaning library where systemic racism is acknowledged to an actively anti-racist organization involves work, some of which is uncomfortable at first. In this program you will begin that work, learning tangible skills to help build enthusiasm for reading and discovering "diverse" books, to deepen RA service through thoughtful inclusion of EDI principles in all interactions with leisure readers, and to be a steward of the anti-racist mindset for your organization. We will move your team from merely discussing "why" putting EDI concerns at the forefront of all of your work with leisure readers is important to the "how," including an honest look at action steps for all staff. While it may seem uncomfortable at first, we will help you shift your focus allowing your entire organization to craft an actionable plan to incorporate EDI values into your normal RA practices. All you need is a little nudge in the right direction and a commitment to begin the march forward. The program will include a live Q&A session.

About Becky Spratford

Becky Spratford [MLIS] is a Readers' Advisor in Illinois specializing in serving patrons ages 13 and up. She trains library staff all over the world on how to match books with readers through the local public library. She runs the critically acclaimed RA training blog RA for All. She is under contract to provide content for EBSCO’s NoveList database and writes reviews for Booklist and a horror review column for Library Journal. Becky is a 20 year locally elected Library Trustee [still serving] and a Board member for the Reaching Across Illinois Library System. Known for her work with horror readers, Becky is the author of The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, Second Edition [ALA Editions, 2012] and recently completed the 3rd Edition which is available for pre-order now and will be released in Summer 2021. She is a proud member of the Horror Writers Association and currently serves as the Association’s Secretary and organizer of their annual Librarians’ Day. You can follow Becky on Twitter @RAforAll

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.