January 9, 2020

Multitask with NoveList Folders

Multitasking and librarianship go hand in hand, don’t they? For me, some days went like this: in the midst of say, preparing for a program, a patron would approach with a question about finding that just-right book; I’d be absorbed in the quest, then would encounter a *really* great book to help with some other previous question, thinking, “I need to remember this book…,” jotting the title on a sticky note which would ultimately disappear. Sound familiar?

Folders make multitasking useful. Folders can help with programming AND providing great readers’ advisory. Folders can help you pivot from program-planning to readers’ advisory. Here are tips on incorporating folders into your multitasking days.

Book Clubs

NoveList has a slew of book club resources (as well as for our friends in Australia and New Zealand), including book discussion guides, with plot points, discussion starters (and answers!), and suggested read-alikes to jump-start prep for in-house library programs you’re working on. 

Folders for the win: create a book club folder in NoveList and harvest both potential books for discussion and potential read-alikes for handing out to patrons at the program itself.

Pivot to readers’ advisory: share suggestions with your patrons for *their* book clubs! Print out our Book Club Best Bets list, with book-club worthy picks chosen by NoveList librarians. After you get hooked on Book Discussion Guides, you’ll want to set up a search alert, so you’ll know when NoveList adds a new one:

Folders for the win: save the results from your search alerts to a folder. You can email those to your patrons directly from the folder page:

Summer reading

Each spring, NoveList adds content based on the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme (this year’s theme, Imagine Your Story, is based on fairy tales/mythology/fantasy).  It’s as easy as typing summer reading into the search bar then clicking the Lists & Articles tab:

Leverage NoveList themes to build insta-fantasy displays for easy passive readers’ advisory all summer long. Themes are based on popular and common plot constructs in fiction – for Fantasy, think ‘court intrigue,’  ‘academies of magic,’  or ‘women of steel.’  Need ideas? Check out our themes browse page, found on the NoveList home page.

Folders for the win: make those displays last all summer long by stashing titles found into folders! 

Pivot to programming: turn what could be simply answering a patron question at the desk (“Do you have fantasy books where kids go to wizard school?”) into a casual program for patrons! Block off time to show them how to search for their favorite themes. Hand out NoveList promotional materials, show this brief 2-minute tutorial, and create a theme-based book display! 

Storytime planning

As a children’s librarian, my go-to storytime books were often funny rhyming books. NoveList metadata (appeal factors, subject and genre headings, and the ability to search reviews) help identify those preferred titles – fast!  Try creating searches with your desired characteristics:

Folders for the win: Stash the titles in folders you’ve created.  You’ll have them at hand as you prep and can also use these books to create displays for the parents of your storytimers. Or, share folders with your colleagues during stretches when ideas run dry. 

You can save articles on storytime best practices to folders, too.

Have you found an ingenious way of using folders in NoveList? We’d love to hear from you!


Kathy Stewart is a NoveList Consultant. She is currently reading The Second Sleep by Robert Harris.





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