About Us

Who we are and what we’re about:

We’re Karen Kleckner and Rebecca Vnuk, librarians in the Chicago metro area, and, OK, we’ll say it, Readers Advisory experts.

We decided to start this blog after being so impressed with what Nora Rawlinson and her crew at Early Word are doing for pre-pub titles.  We started feeling a little sorry for those backlist titles that just don’t get enough attention.  We wanted to know, what could we do for those awesome books languishing on the shelves, while library patrons walk away empty handed after putting in their reserve for the newest thing?

Fortunately for us, other people felt the same way and less than a month after we started ShefRenewal, Library Journal picked us up as one of their hosted blogs.  We lived there happily for almost 2 years and then came back to our roots on our own site, only to be “taken over” again, by BooklistWe’ll keep this sit up to hold our archives, random information, program handouts, and more, but please be sure to follow current blog postings at Booklist Online!

Two of our regularly scheduled posts:  Dusties – those books that someone, somewhere, will love, if they only knew it was still on your shelf; and every Friday, we’ll be featuring a website that YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT if you want to be a great readers’ advisory librarian.

Drop us a line to let us know what you like about the blog, or what you hate (although, really, must we hate?).  We’d also LOVE to know, what do you need suggestions for?

Karen and Rebecca

Headshot14Rebecca Vnuk
Rebecca is the Editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is the author of 3 Reader’s Advisory nonfiction titles for Libraries Unlimited: Read On…Women’s Fiction, Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide, and Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (co-authored with Nanette Donohue), as well as the best-selling weeding guide, The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-by-Shelf Guide (ALA Editions, 2015).   A long time reviewer and collection development article writer for Library Journal, she was named their “Fiction Reviewer of the Year” in 2008.  In 2010, Rebecca was named both a Library Journal Mover and Shaker as well as the recipient of PLA’s Allie Beth Martin Award.  She blogs (very) occasionally on her pet project, http://womensfic.blogspot.com.  An online portfolio of work can be found at http://womensfic.blogspot.com/p/portfolio.html.


p1000259Karen Kleckner Keefe
Karen is the Director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library.  Formerly Head of Readers’ Services and Public Relations Coordinator at Deerfield (IL) Public Library, she had happily recommended books for over ten years. Karen reviews fiction for Library Journal andBooklist, and was named a Library Journal 2009 Movers & Shaker.She was recognized, in part, for her leadership in the community-wide reading program  “One Book, One Zip Code” and the Adult Reading Round Table’s “Genre Boot Camp” program. Karen was also a previous chair of the Adult Reading Round Table.

The buzz about Shelfrenewal:

“Shelf Renewal has a fun, fresh style that should keep blog readers entertained.”

“I am excited to see where Shelf Renewal takes its authors and readers.”

“While their blog is somewhat geared towards librarians, it still has plenty of useful info for readers of all types!”

“Part of the blog’s goal is to help other librarians recommend good reads to their patrons, but for readers in general, the blog looks like it will certainly do well to branch out into lesser known books on topics of their interest. (After all, do we really need to know another person’s opinion on the latest Dan Brown?) I look forward to seeing which books the pair dig up in future posts.”

“What a great idea…especially in these days of huge budget cuts…bring out the good old stuff and recycle it to new readers!”


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