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Help Patrons Find the Book They Never Knew They Were Looking For

Post by Cassi Hall
Posted August 10, 2015 in NoveList Plus, Readers' Advisory News

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Picture this: a reader walks into the library. She glances at the book displays and wanders the stacks; she hops on a computer and scrolls through the catalog; she peeks at some of the flyers and bookmarks at the reference desk, and then leaves the library empty-handed, looking more than a little perplexed. Sound familiar?

How can you help those readers who aren’t exactly sure what they’re looking for when they walk into the library? NoveList has some solutions that can help even the most overworked librarians better serve patrons like these.

Appeal-ing to Undecided Patrons

Readers may not know exactly what author or genre they want to read next but maybe they know they want to dive into something sweeping and dramatic. Or maybe they’re looking for a book that’s sassy and suspenseful for a beach weekend. Our appeal mixer -- one of the latest features of NoveList -- is perfect for those who enjoy books with a certain “feel” or “mood.” It’s easy for readers to find right on the front page of NoveList, whether they want to choose from one of our suggested combinations or try a custom blend of appeal terms.

What about those readers who are dedicated fans of mysteries or other genres? NoveList’s new browse-by-genre pages, organized by popular genres and full of visually-appealing book carousels, encourage readers to explore and find their next favorite read.

Both of these new reader-friendly features were designed to help readers discover books that match their personal reading style. All it takes is a friendly nudge from a librarian!

Help your Patrons Find a Great Book to Read, However They Access your Library

Not only is your catalog one of the most valuable resources at your library, it’s also where "drive-by" patrons spend most of their time. With a tool like NoveList Select, the catalog can be a source of discovery for readers looking to browse through your collection wherever they are. Whether they’re scrolling through read-alikes for that one book they loved, searching for books with a haunting appeal term, or narrowing down reading choices for their child by Lexile number, it’s easy for readers to browse and find just the right book that they never knew they were looking for.

Many readers know they love to read, say, Science Fiction, but don’t necessarily keep up with the latest books being published or what their favorite author is up to. How can your library provide what they need? With NextReads, patrons can sign up to receive newsletters focused on a genre or topic. Since each issue arrives ready to be sent, busy librarians don’t have to do anything to get them delivered (well, unless you want to! Each newsletter is also totally customizable). You can even turn your newsletters into a widget for your website, with books that link directly to your catalog.

Catch their Eye, Catch their Interest

When a reader walks into your library, what’s the first thing they see? Often, it’s a book display. You already know that displays increase circulation, but they’re also a great way to engage those patrons that didn’t come into the library with a specific book in mind. Make sure your displays don’t get overlooked by adorning them with eye-catching signage. Need ideas? Look no farther than NoveList to pull in content like book lists for similar reads.

What about in the stacks? Create guided pathways for your wandering patrons with shelf signage and a reading map or two. It doesn’t take a graphic designer to make attractive and attention-grabbing signage for your shelves and book displays -- LibraryAware does the heavy-lifting for you. All it takes is a few clicks and a walk over to the printer. The set of romance-themed flyers and signage to the right is just a peek at the ready-to-go items available in LibraryAware.

Guide those wayward readers onto a path that ends with a book they love. With a little help from NoveList and LibraryAware, even the busiest librarian can find a way to help nudge those wayward readers towards their next favorite book -- one that they didn’t even know they were looking for.

How has your library been successful at matching undecided readers with books? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!


Cassi Hall is the Communications Specialist at NoveList.