March 29, 2018

Hello library land, we’re listening

Written by:
Jennifer Lohmann


The NoveList team returned from a cold, snowy PLA in Philadelphia last week and, as always, we got together to share our takeaways from the conference. Usually, each member of the team finds something different that resonates with them at the conference. This year, we all heard the same thing:

Libraries want the vendors they work with to listen to them and to put their needs first and foremost.

From the NoveList perspective, this is great! We want your feedback -- any feedback, good or bad. We want to hear what you have to say about the services we offer and the services you wish we could offer. If NoveList Plus comes close to solving a library program for you but doesn’t quite get there, we want to know why. We can’t promise we can fix it, but we want to know, and we can promise that we review and respond to all feedback.

How do you give feedback?

At the EBSCO lunch, we shared a survey asking two simple questions: What would you like NoveList to work on next and what do you think readers want or need from libraries to find their next great book. We invite you to fill out the survey and let us know what you think is important to help you develop relationships with your readers.

Working in NoveList Plus and notice something you like, dislike, or wonder about? There’s a feedback button on the top of each database page. Click it and let us know how we can help you better.

Looking at a recommendation and think it’s fabulous? Maybe you think it’s terrible. Let us know what you think by giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down.

Working in LibraryAware and looking for help? We’ve got live chat at the bottom of LibraryAware during business hours, Eastern Time US, and an email form you can ask questions of when chat isn’t staffed. Our support team is a hidden NoveList secret -- though not so secret if you’ve used them in the past. We regularly hear from people how awesome the support team is.

Not in the database or LibraryAware and have feedback to give us? Click the Contact Us link at the bottom of any NoveList website page and let us know what you’re thinking. Or, send an email to

Prefer to give feedback in person? Find us at a library conference. NoveList sends teams to ALA, PLA, ALA Midwinter, and the occasional state conference. We love talking to librarians about what they’re working on and how we can help or what we can do better.

What happens to your feedback?

The easy answer is that we respond, but there’s more to our response than an acknowledgment and maybe some clarifying questions. All your feedback gets read, then we work on it in a couple different of ways, depending on the feedback.

  • Questions about our recommendations? Our Book Discovery Team reviews all the comments about recommendations, metadata suggestions, NoveList feature articles, etc. Reading suggestions are subjective, so we don’t remove all recommendations people disagree with, but we consider them all. If you have lots of suggestions and ideas for recommendations, consider becoming a NoveList contributor.
  • Suggestions for improving our products? Got a small tweak of an idea that would make it work better for you? All suggestions like this get logged as service issues. If you ran into a bug, our support team tests that bug to make sure we can reproduce it and under what circumstances. If they can fix it, then they do. If not, it gets logged as a service issue. What happens to service issues? We have teams that review them for feasibility and greater library impact before adding them to our developers' list of projects.
  • Got a grand idea for a NoveList service you wish existed or a place you wish you could find NoveList data to help your readers? Bigger ideas also have a team of people to review them for feasibility and greater library impact. If we think it would help readers and we think it’s feasible, it also gets added to the list of projects for our developers.

Notice a trend? Those developers are endlessly working on a long list of projects. If you don’t see your service issue addressed in a product right away, it’s because (like you) we have more ideas than time and are prioritizing them as best we can. But we want to hear them! All of them. Good and bad. We read and work through all of them.

What did we miss?

No post asking for feedback would be complete without this ask: Is there a way you wish you could give us feedback that we don’t offer?

We’re NoveList and we’re listening.


Jennifer Lohmann is a NoveList Consultant. 

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