April 23, 2019

Be a superhero readers’ advisor

Given the abundance of recent superhero movies (Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Shazam, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home), you may be seeing more requests from your patrons for superhero comics and stories. If not, the stakes are being raised: May 4th* is Free Comic Book Day. Let NoveList be your sidekick, a Robin to your Batman, if you will. Whether you know every detail of the DC Universe or you can’t tell Spider-Man from The Hulk, we are here to help you help your patrons. Since books featuring superheroes have unique characters, settings, and storylines, we have expanded our themes to provide you with better recommendations. Fans will tell you that not all superheroes are created equal. For instance, some fans prefer Batman or Iron Man for the fact that they don’t actually have any powers but use their money and technology to create cool gadgets (no power, still super). Others prefer their superheroes with natural powers, like Wonder Woman or Thor or Superman (cosmic and mystical beginnings).

A full list of our super themes can be found here, but here’s a list of those newly created (no x-ray vision needed):

  • Assemble! – TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More (and stops more villains too). (adult, teen, ages 9-12)
  • Multiverse encounters – Wait – you mean there are two of us? (adult, teen)
  • Cosmic and mystical beginnings – Part superhero, part wizard or god. (adult, teen, ages 9-12)
  • Origin story – Gather round and learn how it all began. (adult, teen)
  • Reboots and retcons – New storyline, new setting, new time period, new clothes, new attitude! (adult, teen)
  • Born this way – Congratulations! It's a superhero! (adult, teen, ages 9-12)
  • No power, still super – It takes hard work to get to be this good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a million push-ups to do. (adult, teen)
  • Sidekick spotlight – Sidekicks get a promotion. (adult, teen)
  • Super-families – Families that fight together, stay together. (adult, teen, ages 9-12)
  • Super subversive – Watch these superheroes undergo a major change in disposition. (adult, teen, ages 9-12)

For the patron who wants to know how a superhero came to be, search: TH origin story

Example of searching for the theme origin story in NoveList

Combine themes to help those very specific patrons. For example, search: TH born this way AND TH Assemble!

Combing the themes born this way and Assemble! in NoveList

Superheroes appear in materials at all age levels. To limit your search to a specific audience level, add the field code RL. For example, to find materials with superhero teams for ages 9-12, search: TH Assemble! AND RL 4

Now, pull your cape a little tighter (because we know librarians are the real superheroes) and help your patrons find the perfect read.

* It’s also Star Wars Day, so expect the world of fandom to explode! 

Suzanne Temple is a Metadata Librarian II at NoveList.


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