February 28, 2019

How to use book reviews in NoveList

The title record of each book found in the NoveList database is a treasure trove of information available to our many users. In addition to seeing a book jacket image, reading level, and the many tags we have added to the book, most of our titles also include book reviews from notable review sources. A recent poll amongst staff revealed multiple ways we here at NoveList use or have used the reviews. 

  • Reviews help our catalogers determine which themes, appeals, and genres a book should receive, even when we haven’t read the book.
  • A targeted keyword search can unearth titles to which the reviewer compared the book. Looking for books like The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn? Search RV “Woman in the Window” to find named options. 

  • Use the same search to assist patrons that gush more over TV shows, movies, or podcasts to find their next favorite: RV “Black Mirror.”
  • While NoveList appeals help identify books with diverse characters, reviewers often go the extra mile and break down the character’s identity on a more detailed level. The Kirkus review of Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari identifies Peter as “Indian, African-American, and white.”
  • Having several reviews together in one spot can help a librarian put together a balanced view of a book and determine if it’s right to hand to a reader.
  • Need to pull together a list of books on one topic? You will want a variety of tones, viewpoints, and writing styles. Use the review information to create a balanced list.

How do you use the book reviews in NoveList? We’d love to know! If you have tips, tricks, or regularly point them out to patrons, let us know.



Lindsey Dunn is a Readers’ Advisory Librarian for NoveList and a member of the Book Squad


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