Mary White, director of the Howe Library and previously of the library at Marlboro College, has used the Rapid Reviews format in two different libraries. The Marlboro College version: faculty members and library staff choose favorite books to talk about. The presentations happen before final exams– when students need a quick break.
Mary revamped the idea for outreach in Hanover, NH. She created a program for the Rotary Club by having staff choose favorites a few months in advance; making sure the library had a copy of every book; creating a list in alphabetical order; and then holding the program. At the Rotary meeting, staff members reviewed their books, moving down the list in order. After the reviews, Rotarians could check out any of the books on the spot. (Staff just noted names and did the actual work back at the library.) Everyone went home with the list of the books– which included room to jot notes as the reviewers went along.
The Rapid Review format is a quick positive book talk, just enough information to whet the reader’s appetite. Allow about one to two minutes for each book.