January 11, 2017

A new year of RA inspiration

A new year is upon us, and no matter how you feel about 2016, I think we can all agree that 2017 is… Well, I think we can all agree that it’s here. No one can disagree with that, right? Just like how no one can disagree that readers still come to the library to find something great to read. And since that’s true, we here at NoveList want to help you make 2017 your best ever year for helping readers discover their next favorite book.

Don’t hesitate, evaluate!

Make readers’ advisory part of your library’s mission in 2017 with the help of the Evaluate section of the NoveList Idea Center. If you’re involved in contributing to your library’s strategic plan, we have some inspiring examples of language used by libraries that committed to making RA a focus.

While you’re thinking about your mission, check out our RAx self-assessment guide. The resources and exercises in this guide will help you assess the current state of services for readers at your library by helping you assess the different types of readers, the different types and strengths of staff, and the readers’ services your library currently offers. The guide also offers suggestions for how to best support each type. Knowledge is power! Use this knowledge to take your readers' advisory services to the next level.

Let’s get promoting

So you’ve gotten started evaluating your RA services -- what next? Make sure the readers in your community know about all those great services and programs you offer. The Promote page of the Idea Center can be your new go-to source for creative ideas and practical tools for launching (or re-launching) reader services at your library.

Looking for some quick ideas and inspiration? We’ve collected some of our favorite creative ideas  for promoting reader services into a convenient list for you to take advantage of. Be sure to also take a look at some of the examples we’ve collected on our Pinterest boards. Lots of good ideas from libraries around the world on those boards! And since book displays are a perpetual and effective form of promotion, we’ve also compiled a list of some of our best book display tips and ideas you can browse whenever you need a strike of inspiration.

If you want to explore more in depth, we also offer launch guides for each of our products – NoveList, NoveList Select, LibraryAware, Linked Library Service, and NextReads. Even NoveList’s pros may find it useful to take a gander at these guides for a quick refresher!

While you’re clicking around Promote, don’t miss out on the info for the Grow Your NoveList Usage grant program. While the application period for this year’s grant is closed and the selected libraries are well underway with their projects, it’s never too early to start thinking about next year’s grant. Reading about other libraries' efforts can serve as your spark!

Speaking of promoting, make sure to sign up for February’s webcast on email newsletters for libraries and get some tips for reaching and connecting with readers.

Never stop learning

So, a reader walks into the library looking for a book…what do you do next? Whether you’re an experienced readers’ advisor, strong in science fiction but not so much with romance recommendations, or just getting your feet wet with advising readers, we have some great resources compiled in the Learn section designed with you in mind.

Start your NoveList journey with 10 tips for NoveList newbies; if you’re already familiar with the basics but feel like you need to brush up, check out the NoveList refresher guide. Our search strategies and cheat sheets will help you tackle challenging reader questions and library scenarios -- from exploring books by culture, finding gentle reads, or using field codes to speed up your searching.

For the more experienced readers’ advisor or anyone who just wants to dive a little deeper, explore some of the resources on field codes. While field codes may look like magical incantations to the untrained eye, they’re actually quite simple to use. These two-letter codes help you create complex, targeted searches to meet the needs of any reader.

It's always great to gather ideas -- check out our archive of past webcasts. From food programs in libraries to utilizing pop culture in your RA services, there’s a webcast that is sure to be of interest. Take a look, or grab colleagues for a viewing party!

Inspiration strikes

Sometimes learning from others is the best way to improve. We love seeing these inspiring stories from libraries. We know that you, too, are doing great things to help readers. If you have a story of something your library has done that was a resounding success and other libraries can learn from, we want to hear about it! So drop us a line and show off the great work you’re doing -- you may be that flash of inspiration for someone else.

No matter what your goals are for the new year, we want to help you make 2017 your best ever year for readers’ advisory. Happy reading, and happy advising!

Cassi Hall is the Communications Specialist at NoveList.

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