Many library workers are familiar with Becky Spratford, creator of the RA for All blog, due to her enthusiasm for professional readers’ advisory training and her promotion of diversity and inclusion in all aspects of library work. If they haven’t had the pleasure of working with Becky as a consultant, perhaps they are fans of her RA articles and book reviews of the latest and greatest for Booklist, NoveList, and Library Journal. But those who have followed Becky for years know that her roots in reading lie firmly in scary territory: she is the go-to librarian when it comes to all things horror. Becky was the first Librarian Guest of Honor at the Horror Writers Association’s StokerCon. And now, she runs Librarians’ Day for the conference, supervises the HWA “Summer Scares” programming; and has been on the Stoker Award Jury for Best First Novel for several years.
Her book, The Reader’s Advisory Guide to Horror, is now in its third edition, no small feat. As she notes on her second blog, RA for All: Horror (that’s right, her popular blog has a creepy twin they keep locked under the stairs), she had so much content for the updated edition that she had to move some of it online. Incredibly, for every horror subgenre in the book, she was able to offer an astounding 20 annotated book suggestions. A dozen appear in the print edition, and she has created an online archive for the rest. When I saw that update on her blog, I knew that was pretty much a perfect encapsulation of Becky, her personality, and her generosity: she gets so excited about books and authors; she cannot wait to share her knowledge about them; and she wants everyone to have the resources they need to share.
Whether they are already a fan of the horror genre or they need to know more about it in order to beef up their RA skills, library workers need to get their hands on the latest edition of Becky’s book.