January 10, 2020
Hello fellow library lovers,
Can you imagine a world without libraries? If libraries didn’t exist, would we even be able to convince people to build them now? Those intriguing questions were asked by Eric Klinenburg at a recent presentation. I hope the answer to the second question would be yes, but it’s admittedly hard to say for certain. Which means it’s important for those of us who love libraries to speak up or risk losing what we value.
Speaking up for the library also means that we need to speak up for the core value of reading and the ways that libraries help us connect communities of readers. Reading is the gateway to growth, and connecting readers is how we will ensure our future success.
Which is precisely why I’m excited about everything we’re working on at NoveList — because our goal has been, and always will be, to better connect libraries, readers, and books. As I look back on what we finished in 2019, I am proud of the work we did that helped libraries support readers. And as I look ahead to 2020, I see new and exciting things in store, yet with the same strong mission guiding us.
Here’s a look back and a peek ahead:
At our heart, NoveList is about connecting readers and books. Our goal is to help fill the sweet spot for every reader, so we’re always looking for new and better ways to make those connections. This year we added media mentions; it was such a big hit that we’re exploring options for expanding it further in 2020. We added ways to help readers geek out with our new fandemonium theme, pinpoint hard-to-find science and technology reads with our new STEM fiction genre, read about superheroes, and locate the perfect voice in audiobooks (anyone else love baritone voices?). We’re also working on better tools for getting at those access points, much like our new browse books by themes page. Our team is ALWAYS innovating in this area, so watch for it throughout 2020.
We’re growing LibraryAware to help libraries promote everything — and I mean everything — they do, including readers’ advisory, story times, book clubs, collection marketing, advocacy and reporting, Library Card Sign-up Month, supporting local businesses, and more. We ended up with SO MANY great templates that we also added a new home page to see what’s new and trending, and a new search page to help you find exactly what you need (try a search for ‘book display’ to get started!). In 2020, keep an eye open for some fresh template collections (watch for ‘welcome messages for new patrons’!) as well as some new and improved channels for promoting your library. We want to save you time and expand your reach beyond the library walls. Speaking of connecting, don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming webinar on Promoting Your Library 365 — it’s sure to provide you with some practical takeaways.
Keeping up is time consuming, and we all have so much information coming at us. So, we’re working to make it easier for you to share and gain knowledge. In 2019, experts from NoveList and LibraryReads teamed up to talk about what’s new and exciting in genres. If you missed any of these super-popular Crash Course webinars, don’t worry, they are recorded. We’ll be continuing the series in 2020 (historical fiction, literary fiction, and graphic novels are up next!). In 2019, we released a brand-new way for libraries to gain insights into reader preferences: the new reader engagement dashboard and additional reader insights have started to revolutionize the way libraries think about patron interests and collections. Speaking of collections, have you heard about the upgraded Core Collections interface? In 2020 we’ll be adding to this authoritative source of advice from real-world librarians on building and weeding collections. If you’re interested in taking greater advantage of NoveList’s know-how, watch for information in 2020 on how to hire one of our experts to work directly with your library.
The new year is typically a time for setting intentions, and this is mine: I’d like to connect with as many of you as possible. I’d like to hear about your joys and frustrations working with readers, about your desires for libraries in general, and about your wish list for NoveList in particular. I’d like to talk about how we can together help libraries build the communities of the future. Write to me if you’d like to chat — I’d be happy to make time to meet up at an upcoming conference, talk on the phone, or simply exchange thoughts by email.
Vice President of NoveList