January 20, 2016

Help Patrons Take Advantage of Your Collection When Holds Lists are Miles-Long

You know how the story goes: Stephen King releases a new thriller and suddenly the holds list is 75 deep and growing, or the next book in a popular series is already looking at 43 holds a month before its release. Maybe it’s the latest book-to-movie blockbuster and your readers are scrambling to get their hands on the book before they see it in the big screen. Besides ordering 50+ copies  of every bestseller out there, what can you do to satisfy your patrons while they’re waiting? NoveList can help.

Read-alikes: The Best Weapon in Your Arsenal

When you’re faced with the dilemma of helping a patron find a book to read while they’re waiting for the upcoming Stephen King, read-alikes are the best weapon in your arsenal. Whether it’s finding another twisted, creepy thriller, a series read-alike, or even a listen-alike for audiobook fans, you can find something your patient patron will love with just a few clicks in NoveList.

Now that you’ve found a list of titles for our bestseller, what can you do with them? Of course, if you have a patron at the desk requesting a book like The Martian while she waits for her hold dy, go ahead and print out that read-alike list directly from NoveList. But if this is a bestseller-turned-blockbuster like The Martian, you may want to preemptively get prepared for the influx of readers looking for something just like it. Books-to-movies are some of the most checked-out books in the library -- make sure you don’t miss a beat with the Books-to-Movies list in NoveList.

Reading maps are a great way to both catch a reader’s eye and help them find something else to read while they’re waiting for their hold to become available. If you have access to LibraryAware, we’ve taken the work out of creating reading maps by offering dozens of ready-to-go maps of different layouts for popular titles such as The Martian, All the Light We Cannot See, and many more -- and even buzzworthy genres. Print them out with your library’s branding and they’re perfect accompaniments to displays, posting nearby your holds shelf, or in any high-traffic areas of your library.

The Martian

It’s Easy to Find Great Books, if You Have Great Tools

Maybe you have a patron who isn’t looking for a read-alike, they just want something good to read while they wait for the hold they’ve been dying to get their hands on. They aren’t sure exactly what it is they want to read, all they know is they want it to be good. In this case, lists are your new best friend. Whether it’s the Best Of 2015 or Made into Movies Recommended Reads lists or the Awards lists for critically acclaimed titles, regardless of reading interest, a patron will be able to find a book or two that keeps them busy (and maybe even a new favorite author!)

For your more on-the-go readers, NextReads newsletters deliver reading recommendations directly to their inboxes. Opting in to the New York Times Bestsellers or the new LibraryReads newsletter practically guarantees a reader will have their holds list filled up in no time with great books to read. Plus, each newsletter links directly to your catalog, allowing a patron to quickly place a hold in the time it takes to scroll through their email. Win-win!

Make Your Holds List Work For You

A reader walks in, they pick up their holds, head to the self-check, and walk out. It’s likely they’re still waiting on some titles to become available, and let’s face it, you can never have enough books in your TBR pile. So why not use your holds shelf to your advantage?

Take a look at the titles with the longest waiting list. Using a tool like LibraryAware, create bookmarks with read-alikes (see, those read-alikes really are your best weapon!) for popular titles and stash them in books on your holds shelf. Create eye-catching shelf signage to display on your holds section pointing patrons a display of bestsellers,  books-to-movies, or read-alikes of hot titles -- try language like “Psst! Waiting for The Martian to be available? Try one of these in the meantime!”

What else has worked for you in your library? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!


Cassi Hall is the Communications Specialist at NoveList.





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